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The Late Paul Wellstone is and always will be a hero to me. Here is the little guy who fought for workers and the poor against the forces of special interests and big business. Paul Wellstone often won.

If there is anyone living or dead who represents the values of the Daily Kos Community, I would nominate Paul Wellstone.

I came across this documentary on the life of Paul Wellstone. This should be required watching for anyone who calls themselves a Democrat.

Paul Wellstone, a college professor and activist, was a two term Democratic Senator from Minnesota. With his scruffy nerf-herding hair and $200 JC Penny suits, he was one of the only Senators to vote against authorizing GW Bush to invade Iraq. He stood on principles, and many times had to step on boxes when he spoke due to his short size.

His life was cut short when he died in a tragic plane crash along with his wife and others, 11 days before his election bid for a third term, a 3rd term he would have won.

I remember my first local political convention in 1990. I rolled my eyes as this short guy with a bad fitting suit and extremely curly hair comes on stage to pitch his candidacy for US Senate.  The  two term incumbent Senator, Rudy Boschwitz appeared unbeatable against the no-name DFL field. The Senator had all the money and all the perks of being a sitting Senator. The Democratic candidates had no money, no name recognition and no chance......

So this scruffy little fellow gets up and starts slowly, and increases his tempo and volume. slowly, slowly and builds his speech like a good preacher. He pounds the podium with his fist as his sermon becomes almost a shout. Sweat his pouring out of his face as well as his neck veins are throbbing. I think he's going to become the Incredible Hulk.

I look around and the normally subdued auditorium was no full of energy with everyone on their feet. Clapping and yelling back to prompts by Paul Wellstone- the speaker. It is loud in the auditorium. For most like me, this is the first time ever seeing this guy. I have never seen a political speech like this before.

I still remember thinking to myself after that moment.... With Paul we at least have a chance.

Paul Wellstone went on to defeat the Incumbent Senator Rudy Boscwitz in that election considered of the biggest political upsets in history. I like to think my "Wellstone" sign in my college dorm window helped.

Again, if you did not follow Wellstone's career, or want to relive some great memories,  I encourage you to go back in history to understand why he is a modern hero.

Originally posted to Intheknow on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 10:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Hellraisers Journal and Community Spotlight.

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