"We missed a golden, and I mean golden, opportunity prior to session. For a change, we could have used the media for us rather than against us."
In all my years as a professional negotiator, I was always amused by what some people thought I did. Many thought that a professional negotiator was no more than a poker player. Who ever was the best bluffer, the best liar, would often best the others at the table. If fact, one year when I took my oldest daughter to work on a "Take your daughter to work day", she got bored very quickly. Finally she could take it no longer. Being very bored, she looked at me and said, "Could you please negotiate something?" She was looking for fireworks.
Here is the plain truth. Is there some slight of hand and craftiness in negotiation? Some, but not much. In fact, very little. It is painstaking detail work. Know more about the case of the person on the other side of the table than he or she knows about yours. And trust me, for a good negotiator, it does not take long before if become evident (sometimes painfully) the strength of the other person's hand. In other words, it is not a game of liar's poker. A weak case is soon discovered and you will get taken to the cleaners.
I have been thinking quite a bit the past couple of days on how I would handle the Speaker's job. Ouch. I really hate to get into the coulda, woulda, shoulda - but I will anyhow. We missed a golden, and I mean golden, opportunity prior to session. For a change, we could have used the media for us rather than against us. The absolute best, handed to us on a platter, issue is the Social Security fix. And that is followed closely by the veteran's retirement fix.
The Social Security fix is not Republican, nor partisan. It is a demographic issue. It affects just about everyone. If it is you, your parents, or your grandparents. It is so patently unfair, that 43 out of the 50 states have remedied it either completely or partially.
MNGOP should have bought tons of media time and blanketed the airwaves with the FACTS on how this unfair tax disadvantages people in this state. How it is forcing seniors to move elsewhere, leaving loved ones behind. I mean, I don't know spit about putting an ad together. However, if I did, I would have made not only a doozy, but also a tear jerker.
But we didn't. And now the special session might be looming. So, what is our leverage? Beats me. Going along with the Governor? Giving him his choo-choo? If they did, then maybe, just maybe, can we keep the House? Take the Senate? I will be amazed if we take the Senate. And if we don't get our poop in a group over the next two years, Tina the PP Queen, will our next Governor.
In summary, we might be going into the final hand of this very important poker game holding no wild cards, no face cards, and no pairs. In fact, our hand is so weak that not only Houdini could pull a rabbit out of this hat. So good luck Mr. Speaker. If you can fix this mess, I will be way beyond impressed. And greatly relieved.