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August 31, 2006View for printing

On a recent sunny Sunday afternoon, about 70 supporters of Jon Tester gathered at a Northside Missoula home to celebrate the Montana Democratic U.S. Senate candidate’s 50th birthday. As the hot sun blazed, Tester’s supporters gathered in the shade, drank microbrews, joked about Sen. Conrad Burns’ latest political gaffes and analyzed Joe Lieberman’s recent defeat in Connecticut’s Senate primary.

The scene looked more or less like any other late-summer lawn party: children played soccer in the yard while adults milled around the appetizer table, occasionally swatting yellowjackets away from their drinks. Save for the television producer from PBS’s weekly news program “NOW” poking her camera into conversations, it seemed like your run-of-the-mill Missoula potluck.

by John S. Adams

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