Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Dinner with Paul

Senate President Justin Alfond can’t seem to get a meeting with Governor Paul LePage despite the current critical budget concerns afflicting the state. So with all good intent, Senator Alfond has extended an invitation to the Governor and his wife to break bread. It’s a start to building a relationship that the people of Maine need to have for the wheels of governance and political cooperation, consensus, and compromise to turn in the direction of solutions and progress.

Now Senator Alfond has basically said that the dinner can be anywhere the Governor chooses to dine. My suggestion is that ought to be at a private residence or even the Blaine House which belongs to the people of Maine. While some might think it would be best to serve a large helping of crow and a fat slice of humble pie to Paul LePage, I’ll risk proposing a menu.

First there ought to be no neckties and formalities along with a comfortable sit down to a long pre-meal get-to-know-you chat with simple hors d'oeuvres and a couple craft beers from Bayside Bowl. Dinner probably ought to be of the meat/seafood and Maine potatoes kind but the talk-no-politics-at-dinner rule should be shucked. After all that is precisely why we need you guys to get together. Dessert hopefully will be a lingering affair with maybe coffee or an after dinner nightcap occurring because it’s hard to end the conversation.

Dinner invitations can always present the tricky little problem of how you return the favor once the meal has been concluded. Do you extend an invite to dine again or what? I’d offer that if Governor LePage followed up by inviting Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Laura Eves to dinner or even a good hearty breakfast that Maine people would breath a sigh of relief and gain some confidence that the wheels of governance have not ground to a halt because of any one person.

Let’s hope the dinner offer is not spurned and pushed aside with other excuses. Without doubt, Governor LePage, the people of Maine do expect you to accept President Alfond’s courteous invitation. There’s really no downside to dinner. It will be private, you can be you, and we all have to nourish ourselves and our important relationships.

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