Today’s provocative question from Politico’s Arena, and the answers given by Arena pundits, might hold some advice worth heeding for President Obama if he cares to peruse (or pursue) them. My response follows the question–but tell me how you would have answered. I had a hard time being serious this morning. Listen to Minnesota Public Radio’s more erudite comparison with what’s going on in states around the country–Dayton is hardly alone.
Politico Arena Question: There is no end in sight to Minnesota’s state government shutdown. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, backed by DFL lawmakers, says he will not abandon his pledge to raise taxes on the wealthy – a nonstarter for Republicans.”
Which side has the better argument, and who is likely to prevail? Also, will the impasse have any affect on former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination? He’s out with a new ad touting his record of confrontation with labor unions and Democrats in the Minnesota legislature.
Here’s How I Answered: I’m getting the vapors. It’s been so long since a Democratic executive leader refused to capitulate on a core economic principle that I can barely process it.
I have three pieces of advice if Dayton wants to win while playing Chris Christie in Minnesota Niceland:
1. Hire a world class public relations team to stay in control of the message, or the Republicans will once again convince people down is up.
2. Blame former governor Pawlenty for–everything.
3. Call them revenue raisers not tax increases and maybe John McCain will help lead the recalcitrant Republicans to the table.
What would you say?
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