Politics Nation: Interview with MSNBC’s Karen Finney

Karen Finney Politics Staff Writer For the journalist’s journalist, you love to spread good news — like the story of whether Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, considered running…

Politics Nation: Interview with MSNBC’s Karen Finney

Karen Finney

Politics Staff Writer

For the journalist’s journalist, you love to spread good news — like the story of whether Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, considered running for the state Senate.

How exactly did that happen?

Oh, it didn’t exactly happen that way. But, to use Ms. Finney’s real name, who was once an elected official and lobbyist, as a label to label anyone — regardless of their qualifications — and then set up a reelection-before-races fundraising system is nonetheless, at least, one of the odder stories about politics to surface recently.

Ms. Finney is now chief political correspondent for MSNBC and a host of her own show, Politics Nation, on the network’s morning lineup. She spoke at length about the origin of the story for this week’s podcast.

“I remember I was interviewing former state Sen. Sandra Wabasha and I asked what she thought about Keith Ellison running for the state Senate,” Ms. Finney says. “She said that the only chance Ellison had to run for the state Senate was to co-opt the party establishment. The fact that Ellison is pro-choice on abortion was irrelevant to the general election when the only reason that Ellison had any chance at all was to repurpose the base.”

At least there’s the irony of Wabasha’s telling.

Ms. Finney is the author of Right in the Middle: My Life in the Washington Bureau for Bloomberg News.

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