Duluth News Tribune, Nov. 7
Our view: A big day for Democrats
In northern Minnesota, Tuesday's election could go down as a DFL drubbing. In D.C., the White House was retained. And in Minnesota, the Legislature and the 8th Congressional District both were reclaimed.
And so swung the political pendulum one more time: two years ago to the right and on Tuesday back to the left. Checks and balances. Our representative democracy at work.
Those whose bids for public office fell short on Tuesday can be enthusiastically thanked for their participation in the elective process. By courageously putting themselves out there they brought attention to important issues and engaged voters, prospective voters and their communities in the sorts of conversations and considerations that can lead to the best ideas and to real solutions. May they continue to stay involved — and for all the right reasons.
Congratulations to the winners, all of whom can be reminded that with great victory comes great responsibility, that with the granting of leadership comes the expectation of stepping up, truly leading and advocating, always, for constituents and community first and for party and politics later (much later).
Voters have every reason to expect to be proud of their representatives, both new and re-elected, and whether at the local, state or national level. They can ask the people they've picked to always search for, find and build on common ground; to reject what divides; to embrace what works, regardless of who gets the credit; and to work across the aisle, with dignity and character, and in whatever other way is necessary to achieve great results.
May our new batch of leaders — led by President Obama, U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others — find the support, respect and cooperation they deserve.
And may they lead effectively, remembering that the political pendulum keeps on swinging.
St. Cloud Times, Nov. 7
Voters offer answers, raise new questions
Election results serve both as the last answer to one test and the first question on the next test. Election Day 2012 is no different.
On the federal level, America's cumulative answer to the past four years equates to support for divided government.
Yes, Democratic President Obama won re-election despite a weak economy, huge debt issues and partisan gridlock. Similarly, though, Republicans are on track to retain control of the House, and Democrats held the Senate — despite a weak economy, huge debt issues and partisan gridlock.
This divided government already knows the first test: Deciding how (or even if) they should work together to navigate the looming federal "fiscal cliff," a budgetary combination of $400 billion in higher taxes and $100 billion in automatic cuts in military and domestic spending set to hit in January.
It must be noted that this same divided government created this cliff because of its partisan politics and budgetary ineptitude. Cliff or not, the questions and challenges only get more difficult for all of them heading toward 2014.
Minnesota voters provided several answers Tuesday that speak loudly about impatience and distaste for legislators and legislation driven largely by partisan politics.
Just look at the Legislature. Voters tossed Republican majorities in the House and Senate after two years of GOP leadership hallmarked by shuttering government and pushing constitutional amendments with no bipartisan support.