Friday, November 14, 2008

Durenberger goes Country First suggesting Walz for Senate

There’s a growth that can be seen in many politicians that is rarely exhibited while in office. When first elected, it seems to be Party First but after they are out of office, or face a defeat, the spirit of compromise and bipartisanship produces a Country First veiwpoint. Nationally, look at John McCain after his 2000 Presidential defeat or Trent Lott after losing his Majority Leader position.

In Minnesota, former U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger has been an underappreciated Country First voice of reason. In a 2006 commentary, Durenberger’s efforts on behalf of Minnesota Citizens Forum on Health Care Costs was cited. Durenberger continues to nudge our state’s elected leaders on health care writing recently “Governor Tim Pawlenty, like most Republican legislators, believed the key to improving value was getting working families to "put more financial skin in the game" by making them buy high deductible indemnity insurance outside the employer market. What he has apparently come to understand is that is putting the cart before the horse - making people pay for stuff they don't really understand. That may work in cosmetic surgery, or lasik surgery for your golf game, or to create markets for retail clinics and urgi-centers. It doesn't for the 15% of the chronic or potentially terminally ill cases that currently generate 82% of the healthcare costs in Minnesota.

Durenberger expressed his support of Barack Obama for President and suggested that Coleman is pushing health care reform that we need - and can pass in giving his endorsement in this year’s Senate race.

Today, Amy Klobuchar and Durenberger discussed the 2008 election results and their implications, at an event sponsored by the Minneapolis Club and the Minneapolis Foundation.

Durenberger praised Klobuchar for her first 22 months in office which wasn’t a surprise since he written in his e-newsletter that “she has a record of performance both with Democrats and Republicans which make her a most successful and influential Democrat from Minnesota. He stated that Norm Coleman shared his assessment.

Durenberger was not as kind to candidate Al Franken who he describes as a totally committed liberal Democrat that we don’t know how he would perform in the US Senate. Durenberger went on to state that the DFL had not offered their strongest challenger and suggested First District Congressman Tim Walz.
That’s an assessment that I shared after hearing Walz in a debate and realized that he would be a more effective voice in the Senate than Senator Coleman. For the record, this election was too important for me to “waste my vote” on someone who couldn’t win … so Mr. Franken got my vote, but it was certainly reinforcing to hear that somebody that puts Country First recognizes Congressman Walz’s potential.
After all, with Country First people, we don’t ask about political party.
Minnesota and the country need more people like Dave Durenberger.

1 comment:

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