23 May 2007

Having it all ways

At some point, Sarah Palin is going to have to make a decision. It'll be hard but she's going to have to make somebody upset. I think the issue is going to be aid to seniors.

Here's why:

House Democrats had a press conference today urging Palin to add Senior Care to the special session call in the fall. They're disappointed that their attempts to get a vote on the measure failed on party line votes this year. Les Gara said he's confident the measure can pass if they can get the governor on side and have her start exerting some pressure on lawmakers. It's reasonable to expect - after all, she did make the longevity bonus a center-piece of her campaign.

Meanwhile, Republicans are no doubt stewing about all this. If you ask them, they took care of seniors this year by continuing funding for several programs.

So what's a governor supposed to? So far Governor Palin has responded with a perfectly-timed press release that promises to extend the program for a month while "state searches for long-term solution." She also challenges the Democrats - without mentioning them - by saying the issue can't wait for a fall special session. Essentially, this is kicking the issue down the road a bit. Notice it's the "state" searching for the solution, not the "governor" or the "governor's office." Gotta put a little distance between the office and the starving seniors.

Governor Palin has thus far been touting how her accomplishments have been bipartisan and inclusive. But at some point she needs to do something here. Either, it's going to be to offend the Republican leadership and include Senior Care in the call (to which they would no doubt say, "we have already taken care of them"), not include Senior Care in the call (and offend Democrats), or implement sort of solution by regulation (which might please Democrats but offend the Republican leadership who've already "taken care" of the issue).

Which will it be?

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