Socialist Worker

Who is Norm Coleman?

Issue No. 1952

“God bless America is a prayer, and I believe that George Bush is God’s answer to that prayer.”

That was the welcome Bush received in 2002 from Republican senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Coleman has led the senate investigation into George Galloway’s alleged oil dealings.

Coleman was a student radical in the 1960s, organising marches at Hofstra University against the Vietnam War.

Standing for the Democrats, he was elected mayor of the town of St Paul. But almost immediately he began to slither towards the Republicans.

Coleman still supported Bill Clinton for the 1996 presidential elections, but then switched parties.

By 2002 he had won the Republican senate nomination for Minnesota. He was behind his Democrat rival Paul Wellstone in the polls when, on 25 October, Wellstone’s plane fell from the sky and he was killed.

Wellstone was one of very few US mainstream politicians who had spoken out and voted against the Iraq war.

Coleman demanded that the US launch a strike against Iraq even before Bush had publicly supported such a move. Recently, Coleman has been on a crusade against Kofi Annan, the secretary-general of the UN. This is in line with Bush’s anti-UN policies.

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