Promises Made

We've been talking a lot here on the 13th Floor about what we expect the new governors to do once they take office. There will ...
by | November 7, 2006

Governor_1 We've been talking a lot here on the 13th Floor about what we expect the new governors to do once they take office. There will be at least 10 new governors -- probably more -- with a tilt toward more Democrats. But what will that mean?

It's hard to tell. Even if you read coverage of the various races fairly closely, you can't find out that much. As per the usual complaint, most political news seems to be about the horse race, with little information about what the candidates want to accomplish when holding the proverbial reins of power.

The candidates don't make it much easier. They're all for education. And security. And health care. It's hard to tell the talking points apart, let alone gain much sense of who has crafted a truly innovative policy. (Our friends at Stateside Associates have put together a handy cheat sheet about where gubernatorial candidates stand on a variety of issues, mainly those having some effect on the business sector.)

It occurs to me that only candidates who are confident of winning talk up their governing agenda. That way, when they win, they can claim a mandate on their issues. I think of Haley Barbour in Mississippi campaigning on tort reform in 2003, which helped him overcome objections from some legislative leaders, or Eliot Spitzer, who is promising to clean up Albany.

Any other examples or exceptions to this theory?