Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lugging Towards Competence

This time next year Iowa will be in the middle of election season. Among the races that will attract attention, the one getting the most will be Governor Chet Culver's attempt to win a second term. The Des Moines Register featured an article on Sunday assessing Culver's performance.

The gist of the article is that Culver had done a good job dealing with crisis situations like the floods and tornados of last sumer. However, Culver's ability to manage the government and his agenda are mixed. He did well his first year but the past couple of legislative saw tensions between Culver and Democratic legislators that stalled much of Culver's agenda over the past couple of years.

I don't really know if Culver can do anything to improve his chances for reelection. The state's economy is in the tank and as a result the state budget is facing a serious shortfall. There is no way to address that and earn political capital. A more harmonious legislative session will not make the budget cutting any easier to swallow.

As an Iowan I feel like Culver has sort of stumbled along and he has not given me any reason to feel excited about his stewardship of the state. However, I think the state is in as good a shape as it can be given the circumstances. One of my history professors in college said that a credible interpretation of Napoleon is that he "bumbled towards greatness." In watching Culver, known as the "Big Lug", I feel like I am watching someone lug toward competence. Lugging toward competence is far more deserving of winning an election then Republican efficient gutting of state government.

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