After an election year as nasty, polarizing and all-consuming as any in recent memory, Minnesota politicos on all sides are still feeling a little raw.
So, before the partisan combat starts anew in 2017, we offered a chance for reflection, light and levity in the form of Christmas wishes and New Year’s resolutions.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar remains in the Democratic minority, where she will continue to try to strike deals with GOP colleagues on everything from hops research to telecom mergers.
Klobuchar’s Christmas wish is for “more kindness and positive action” in Washington.
Her New Year’s resolution: “To count to 10 before I react to anything anyone says or does in Washington, D.C. That means I will be doing a lot of counting,” she says.
State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, wants to wake up Christmas morning and “Find that the entire 2016 presidential election was one big practical joke, and Sen. Marco Rubio is actually the new president.” Garofalo was in the #NeverTrump camp of Republicans and appears happy to stay there.
His New Year’s resolution is hardly any sunnier: “To not allow myself even a sliver of hope that the Vikings will ever win the Super Bowl.” (The 2018 Super Bowl will be at U.S. Bank Stadium, of course.)
State Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, was just another rank-and-file GOP member of the minority when he woke up on Nov. 8. Then his party took the majority while their presumptive leader lost his race, which vaulted Gazelka into the job of majority leader.
His Christmas wish: Renewal of faith and reconciliation of families during this season. Given his razor-thin 34-33 majority, he should be wishing for the good health of his Republican members.
His New Year’s resolution is to make the legislative process “civil, productive and good for all of Minnesota.”
State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, says her New Year’s resolution is to remember what life was like in the minority and treat DFL colleagues according to the Golden Rule to “do unto others as you would have them do unto to you.”
Gov. Mark Dayton had a rough year, with his DFL Party losing the election.
His New Year’s resolution is the same as last year, he said ruefully: To lose weight.
State Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, did not have a Hanukkah wish but shared one of its blessings: “Blessed are you, Adonai our God, who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors ...” He cited his immigrant parents who survived the Holocaust and came to America in 1952, where they taught Hornstein to “stand up against oppression,” he says.
His resolution: “To act in accordance with the wondrous deeds of my ancestors and the organizers and activists on whose shoulders I stand. I resolve to fight for a better world and ... civil and human rights for all.”