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Democrats control the agenda from Washington to St. Paul

After Tuesday’s national election it is clear that Democrats control the White House, the U.S. Senate and both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.

That reversal in Minnesota gives Gov. Mark Dayton and the Democrats control of state government, something governor did not have prior to Tuesday’s outcome.

President Barack Obama won a race for a second stint as occupant of the White House over moderate Republican Mitt Romney, by sweeping key swing states.

It’s been a while since we were able to retire for the evening knowing that one of the candidates had been declared the victor. It was shortly after 10:20 p.m. CST that the word from CBS anchor Scott Pelley declared incumbent Democrat Obama was the victor, when it was determined that Ohio was firmly in the president’s column.

In Minnesota, the House of Representatives and the Senate swung to the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) Party, giving Gov. Dayton a solid lock on promoting his agenda in the next legislative session.

Republicans had held both state houses when Dayton was swept into the governor’s mansion in 2010. He defeated Republican challenger Tom Emmer. However, the DFL governor had his hands full when dealing with a Republican Legislature that ran into snags of its own making.

“I was asked many times what would happen with a DFL governor and a DFL Legislature, and I said, ‘Progress,’” Dayton replied following a meeting with DFL leadership.

Obama and Dayton now have the luxury of pushing their own agenda. Obama has a strong Senate and a weakened Republican House of Representatives to deal with. It would seem the president holds most of the cards and will be able to force the House into more compromising and less stonewalling. The message in Washington is clear: the Democrats won and the opposition party is in a much weaker position to ward off the president’s agenda.

One thing is certain: As quickly as the political weather changed this year, it can change again in the 2014 mid-term election. There is no Bush administration to blame for circumstances in Washington. And, there’s no Republican controlled Legislature to block efforts to lead Minnesotans forward.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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