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Chicken suits, Flip and Flop, Waffleman and politics

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: May 22, 2014 - 4:16 PM

A chicken came to visit the Star Tribune's Capitol office on Thursday.

To be more specific, a woman in a chicken suit stopped by.

The suit was donned by a staffer from the Democratic Alliance for a Better Minnesota and was worn to make a comparison between Republican gubernatorial candidates and Chicken "The sky is falling" Little.

But Madam Chicken was far from the first crazy critter to try to prove a political point.

Former Republican operative/blogger/ousted Minnesota Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb back in 1998 put on foul's feathers to accuse Democratic gubernatorial candidate Skip Humphrey of avoiding debates.

Brodkorb, who has returning to his blogging roots, said he was under strict orders to say nothing but, "cluck, cluck" while besuited. "Which," he said Thursday, "I did."

He also shared a 2002 photo that reminds of the time another Republican operative dressed as Waffleman to go after Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny.

But does do the silly suits work?

"If they reinforce a message that voters care about, then yes," said Republican operative Tom Erickson. "If they distract from a message, they can hurt a campaign."

Erickson, now a staffer for the U.S. Senate campaign of Mike McFadden, should know. He once dressed as a cow to greet Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry at Macalester College and starred as Flip (with his twin brother Flop) to berate Democrats.

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