Walz emerging as Democratic Leader on Iraq War

After all the hoopla and controversy surrounding the election of new Minnesota Congresspeople Keith Ellison and Michele Bachmann, it may be the third member of that freshman class, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz from the 1st District, who winds up with the most clout. Walz defeated popular incumbent Gil Gutknecht last November by leading with his impressive bio--which includes a long tenure, including overseas service, in the National Guard, as well as being a veteran geography teacher and football coach--and following through with sharp, carefully considered, and pragmatic (and left of center) positions on the economy and the Iraq war.

Now, in the wake of President Bush's recent announcement of a troop "surge" in Iraq, the freshman from Mankato is taking center stage on the national scene. Tomorrow Walz will be a guest on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Saturday, Walz will give the Democratic response to President Bush's radio address.

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