Friday, January 22, 2010

State of the State

Governor John Baldacci gave his last SOTS in Augusta last night. It seemed like a pretty good speech (I read it, didn't hear it, as I'm in MA this week and no MA media carries any ME story unless it concerns moose, lobster or gay marriage), with the usual punter's clutch of political cliches about challenges and opportunities balanced by enough stats and programs to please the wonks. I suppose I'm asking too much for imagination in these things (Carolyn Chute telling us what it's really like to have no money, Patrick Dempsey talking about health care, Stephen King on the deep dark Great Maine Forest Initiative, Don McClean singing the praises of the coast, George H. Bush on fishing quotas from cigarette boats, George Mitchell trouble-shooting in Canada).

The SOTS is not good these days, but the future is bright, Baldacci says. Not sure I believe that, well, maybe in the long-term given the state's exquisite features and sturdy people. Short-term? Pain still to come. Maine is so often called a state of mind, but the body also needs to be fed. Just getting through the winter is the state of mind for many as the Bush recession drags on.

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