November 9, 2012

Bill Nemitz: LePage reach out to Dems?! That's quite a stretch

An open letter to the governor about life at the top after Election 2012.

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ALL

AIRING IT OUT

Tune in to NewsRadio 560 WGAN at 8:08 a.m. today to hear columnist Bill Nemitz talk about this column and other issues.

All of which you can keep on doing -- except it won't get you anywhere.

But here's what you can do, Governor. Even now, as the 2010 Conservative Rapture gives way to the 2012 Reality Check, you can still govern.

That means no more stomping down to the nearest committee room to glare at legislators who aren't marching in lockstep with your agenda. Keep that up and a few soon-to-be committee chairs might just send you out for coffee.

It means watching where you point that veto pen. With your re-election to a second term now a very open question, more than a few moderate Republican lawmakers may view the occasional veto override as short-term political liability insurance.

But more than anything -- and I know I've said this before, Governor -- it means becoming a better communicator.

Yeah, I've seen the videos you've been posting lately on YouTube about education, welfare and whatever else gets your dander up.

And while I'm thrilled you finally discovered the video button on your smartphone, the rigid scripting and clumsy camera work leave me wondering if you're being held hostage on some faraway sound stage designed to look like the governor's office.

Put more simply, Governor, stop hiding behind prepared texts that sound about as much like you as Honey Boo Boo doing Shakespeare. And when you do come out and speak without a teleprompter, see if you can go a full minute, or two, or three without calling someone a nasty name.

Now I know you've got fences to mend, so let me close on a conciliatory note.

Late last month, when most of your fellow Republicans were treating you like you'd just climbed out of the spent-fuel casks at Maine Yankee, you put out a weekend address that was -- and I mean this, Governor -- nothing short of statesmanlike.

You talked about how you'd been reading Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln" and how Gen. George McLellan once called Lincoln a "baboon." You lamented that, with the election just days away, we were once again mired in "the mean season."

Then you said this: "We have two basic political philosophies -- liberal and conservative -- but regardless of our views, we must learn to debate the issues with civility and integrity."

So go ahead, Big Guy. Painful as this week's election fallout surely must be, there's no time like the present.

Surprise us.

 

Columnist Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at:

bnemitz@mainetoday.com

 

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