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If Rendell doesn't think a Democrat can beat Specter, why would he fight Matthews for the chance?
Wal-Mart though is doing fine. They are very saavy with the way that they manage their business. Keep in mind that Sam Walton started out with a "Mom & Pop" business with his Ben Franklin Five and Dime. Any one of those francisees could have had his success, but he was the one that seized the opportunity. I certainly have no love for Wal-Mart, but they really can't be blamed entirely for the change in the retail sector. Again, if it hadn't been Wal-Mart it would have been Target, Family Dollar or Dollar General that decimated the inefficient shop keepers incapable of offering low prices.
Minnesota presented a great opportunity for someone to move from the House to the Senate. It was a shame that the DFL only had a choice between Franken and college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer at their convention. I think Collin Peterson (represents a rural district) or Jim Oberstar would have had a decisive win against Coleman in this political environment.
I wish I could find the entire episode online, but you know how it goes with intellectual property.
Wal-Mart is not that important. If Wal-Mart had not risen to prominence we would all be talking about this amazing company called Target. Likewise in a world without Wal-Mart there is a chance that either Family Dollar or Dollar General would have made the strategic choice to have stores with a larger footprint.
Keep in mind that Kmart and Sears both went through bankruptcy before their merger.