August 10th is Primary Day in Minnesota. For those of you who live in other places, I have to apologize. We have work to do here at home, so I have to talk to the family for a bit.
For those of us who live in Minnesota, you are like family to me. I’m proud of this state and all that it has accomplished towards building a decent life for everyone. That’s why I’m proud to support Margaret Anderson Kelliher in our primary and I hope that you do, too.
I have been a fan of Kelliher for a long time because of her great skills as a leader. Her ability to make a deal and get things done is well known – especially, it seems, among people who don’t like some of the things she has gotten done. The Twins Stadium in particular still sits poorly with many people as an example of a deal that shouldn’t have been made. I understand that. But Kelliher’s skill is plain and obvious. We need that running Minnesota.
Her choice of John Gunyou as Lt Gov shows that she is unafraid to bring people into the very top of her administration who could easily become her rivals. I strongly look forward to having Gunyou as a full-time manager of our state’s fiscal crisis. His skills and his reputation among many different interests – including businesses – will be essential for getting us through this difficult time.
More than anything, I know that Kelliher understands that her career depends on her being able to make Minnesota work again. It’s very plain to me that she’s learned a lot as Speaker during the wrenching years of constant crisis – and how much people are sick to death of it. There’s no way that people will have faith in Minnesota until we get out of that pattern. As much as Kelliher would like to once again have a state we can depend on to do great things, it’s clear to me that she knows what has to be done first.
I’m also impressed by her ability to work the bonding bills to create jobs in lean times. It may be a bit late to make that happen when it’s needed most, but she was able to get us something. That’s more than anyone else running can claim – and it’s vital.
Times have changed, and our perception of leadership is one of the critical issues that we won’t be talking about – but it’s on the ballot all the same. Kelliher’s effective “ground” campaign across the state shows that she is approachable and very eager to engage the people of Minnesota, not just the power brokers. That skill is critical for today’s leaders and Kelliher has shown that she has the cred and understands its importance. Of course, it’ll be up to us as a people to engage her and make it work, but I think we have the best shot of organizing from the grassroots with Kelliher.
This is the DFL’s year to reclaim the Governorship after 20 years. My Republican friends (and I have many!) know that Tom Emmer is a very weak candidate who has a tendency to keep talking when he shouldn’t. Tom Horner of the Independence Party is a good leader, but his base is nowhere near capable of pulling off a Ventura styled win. DFL voters have to go into the polls expecting that whoever we vote for will, for better or worse, be in charge of the train wreck that Minnesota has become.
I’m going to go with experience and proven ability as a leader. I’m happy to vote for Margaret Anderson Kelliher and I hope that you do, too.