Once upon a time, Minnesota House Representative and “squad” member Ilhan Omar very well might have been considered a darling of the Democratic Party, or at least it’s more liberal, left-wing. As a former immigrant, a Muslim, a woman, and one who continually pushes the boundaries of just how far left she is willing to go, she checks nearly every box the party could think of.
However, it would seem that her favoritism is now being replaced with little more than barely concealed regret in electing her to office.
As you well know, every House member is up for re-election this year, with the primary for Omar’s democratically ran state taking place on Tuesday. But unlike a great many members, the freshman representative is not running unopposed. In fact, she has four contenders for her seat, and that’s just in her own party.
And her own hometown newspaper just endorsed someone other than her.
Yep, Minneapolis’ Star Tribune published an article on Wednesday that not only wholeheartedly endorsed another Democratic candidate but also made sure to criticize the Somalian born incumbent heavily.
Naturally, the first half of the article praises the newcomer, Antone Melton-Meaux, noting his successes as a progressive mediator for the city. But the second half is where it gets really interesting, as the paper begins to turn its attention to now not so appreciated Omar. And while not precisely scathing, it definitely doesn’t spell good things for her.
Per the Strib:
“Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight as the first woman and her refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues.”
The piece goes on to describe that despite these issues, the DFL Party, which is Minnesota’s version of the Democratic Party, decided to criticize her opponent, Melton-Meaux, on finance issues. However, this led to Melton-Meaux, in turn, flipping the tables on Omar and making a public issue of her financial habits.
Most notably is the fact that over the last few months, Omar has sent her current husband’s political consulting firm, E Street Group, over $1.6 million. This and previous mishandling of campaign funds, such as excess travel expenses, have even caused the Federal Election Commission to launch a thorough investigation into the woman.
As the Star Tribune says, “It is just these kinds of ethical distractions that the Fifth District could do without.” And they add that when these concerns were brought to Omar’s attention, she “took little responsibility… instead largely blaming her critics and saying her failing was perhaps in not realizing what a ‘special unicorn’ she would be in Congress.”
Special unicorn? I’m sorry, but what? Did she honestly just call herself a unicorn? And that her only mistake was not to realize how special she was?
Essentially, the entire piece is a ‘don’t let the door hit you on your way out’ message to Omar, and one that she and her community can’t ignore.
Then again, it’s critical to point out that the Strib didn’t endorse Ilhan in 2018 either when she garnered 48% of the vote against five other candidates. However, this likely had much to do with her nationality, as the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is home to the nation’s largest Somalian-American community, about 50,000 or so.
Obviously, that fact doesn’t exactly bode well for Melton-Meaux this year, as he most certainly is not Somalis. But, as the outlet suggests, Omar’s history of fraudulent activity, as well as her very loose understanding of marriage, does little to rally the people around her, no matter her heritage or background. And her constant stream of anti-Semitism doesn’t work in her favor either.
You see, while the greater Minneapolis area has a large population of Somalis, it is also home to quite a few Jewish-Americans. And while the two communities may squabble over things like religion, they actually have much in common, such as immigration opinions and a great desire to become a more involved part of American society.
And yet Omar seeks to only divide them, making it harder for both to see their dreams to fruition. Just as her hometown newspaper has now rejected her, she may soon find that even her own communities have done that.