Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Governor Daniels' Bold Start

I have to give the new governor a nod of admiration for his self-confidence. Either his self-confidence is at an astronomical level, or he is ignorant of Governing In Your First Week 101.

That latter course was most brilliantly taught by Professor William Jefferson Clinton, who, upon his inauguration, launched headlong into two controversial policy items- nationalized health care, and gays in the military- without first building political capital by executing some easy, popular tasks.

Daniels is following Prof. Clinton's example. Just two days into his term, Daniels has already made changing to Daylight Savings Time his top priority, and has ended the collective bargaining agreement with unionized government workers. Indy Star story on DST priority. Indy Star story on the CBA.

The latter was unavoidable. It had to either be renewed or let to lapse immediately upon the new term.

The clocks issue is just a political nightmare. If Indiana adopts DST, there are those who will wail just because a change has occurred. Since one corner of the state aligns with Chicago, and another side with Ohio, any change will leave one side grumbling. This is a policy that should have been put off for at least two months.

Still, a nod to his courage or boldness, or whatever it is. Just not A-1 strategy. It only bothers me in that I would rather have seen the governor spend political capital on cutting spending than on Daylight Savings Time.

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