Friday, December 04, 2009

Holden on Nixon

Former Gov. Bob Holden said he sees parallels between the budget problems Gov. Jay Nixon faces and the cuts that unraveled his own administration more than five years ago, but also warned that Nixon's ultimate success will primarily be driven by factors beyond his control.

In a wide-ranging interview Friday, Holden told The Notebook Nixon's political position won't matter much until July or August of 2012 and noted that Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has done an "effective job" at rehabilitating his image to prepare for a potential challenge.


On Nixon's Ability To Fulfill Campaign Promises:
"Like every candidate, there's what you say during the campaign and when you get to office, it's a sobering experience. I think you see the parallels with my administration. I made the decision to try to raise revenues and it wasn't popular. I don't see any indication (he'll take the same route)."

On Whether Nixon Will Be Able To Expand Medicaid:
"If Jay articulates why he's going to do what he's doing effectively, I hope he can. In the short run, it doesn't look pretty for the state of Missouri for the next few years."

On Whether Nixon Will Be Judged By Healthcare Expansion:
"No. That's just part of it. At the end of the day, it will be whether Missourians have jobs, or will have a job, or jobs are being created. That'll be primarily what he's judged on."

On Where He'd Like To See State Dollars Flow:
"This is self-serving, but I'd invest more dollars in plant and life sciences and, of course, education, with more accountability. I think sometimes Democrats are good at asking for more money for education, but not demanding results."

On The Impact of E.Coli-Gate:
"Time will tell. I haven't seen an administration yet that never had any problems. But I think people will look at the larger picture."

On Whether Nixon Can Control the State's Economic Climate:
"Not really. He can control it to an extent. But so much of it is dictated by national policy and global economics. You try to put as many pieces in place as you can. But many times the jobs don't come back until 6 to 12 months after the recovery. What Jay's got to hope is that early 2012, probably by July or August, people have the sense that things are starting to grow. I think there's a chance of that. I hope there's a good chance of that. He's going to be defined by what's happening in the economy at that time and how he's managed it."

On Nixon's Declining Poll Position:
"Part of that is built on the initial good feeling people have of a new Governor taking the job. The second part is having to deal with the budget situation they've been handed. When you are in turbulent economic times, you are going to see those numbers fluctuate. They will only begin to matter once your opponent is defined. Then, we'll see how solid the numbers are."

On Nixon's Potential 2012 Challenger:
"Peter (Kinder) has done a more effective job rehabilitating an image as I've seen in this state. He spends a lot of time in St. Louis. Just take a look at his record as a State Senator from Cape Girardeau. He's moved from a very conservative social agenda to a broader economic agenda. He's been every helpful to me on things. And give him credit for his positioning."

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