Race to the Blaine House
“Words are the small change of thought.” — Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910).
Politics and common sense often collide and as our gubernatorial contest heats up this might be more of a battle of “common sense vs. pragmatism” than politics.
In January 2014, Dan Dunkle of Courier Publications sat down with Independent candidate for governor, Eliot Cutler. They talked politics of course, but the opening salvo was Dan asking Cutler his thoughts on whether he felt he was splitting the liberal vote and creating a clear pathway to reelection for Gov. Paul LePage.
Cutler categorically denied that was the case, citing a hypothesis that I just can’t buy.
As an Independent myself, I do lean to the center and perhaps teeter on left and right side of center depending on the issue. Certainly consider myself moderate and have supported Independent Sen. Angus King in both of his statewide runs for office.
In this case, I have decided (at least for now) to align myself with Michael Michaud primarily because the polls suggest that he has the support to take on our governor.
I would like to have had a chance to decide, and I think Maine would have been better off in this particular election, if Cutler and Michaud had squared off in the primary process. Cutler’s call for debate before the primaries seemed odd to me. If you’re not running in the primary, why are you debating and what does Michaud have to gain by it?
I understand that Cutler is “his own man” and does not support things along party lines but anyone with eyeballs and ears can tell which side of the fence he resides most of the time. I like that he is not beholden, but let that fact be the talking point in the primaries.
If the two of them were running against each other in the primary, I’m not sure what direction I would have gone as I think they do have enough differences that it would have been interesting to look more closely at each of them. I also believe the winner would have had a clearer path to Augusta and a concentrated effort against the current governor would have resulted in a much easier battlefield.
At this point, the pragmatic decision is to support Michaud because common sense does tell me that they are sharing the moderate Democratic and Independent “stage” and that simply means sharing the votes from those looking for alternatives to the Republican choice for governor in 2014.
Happy belated Father’s Day to all the dads in the land. Fatherhood and being a good husband are two of the most important jobs for most men. I say that and then step back and, with humility, tell you that I have failed on many an occasion to fulfill these important roles.
There was the “lost decade” from 1985 to 1995 that remains a blur, and other times before and after that when work and other life occurrences have altered my perspective. But, in general, I try to look at where I am at now and how I got there, while being kind to myself, fully understanding that I am a “work in progress."
As Father’s Day has recently passed, I got the chance to spend the day with my wife and my three sons in Portland at a 5K road race, and then lunch on the DiMillo’s tugboat restaurant. As my role as a parent has changed from the manager to the consultant, my 27-, 25- and 23-year-old sons are all finding their own way and walking their own paths.
At a recent charity golf tournament, I purposely left my cellphone in the car so that I could be present and enjoy the afternoon of hooky. My golf partner for the day, another publisher, was excellent at being present but with a sick child and a more “hands-on” job than me, fielded some calls and sent some emails throughout the day.
After the banquet, I returned to my car and my smartphone. There on the missed call list were calls from all three sons, not a one pertaining to my business or other personal matters. On call backs to each of them, I found that there was no disasters; rather just a check in, a request for advice, and an information exchange.
I feel fortunate to have made the transition to consultant and confidant and proud that these boys call me their father.
Reade Brower can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.