Heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Gov. Dayton might need a neck brace by the time summer rolls around.
If there is one person I would not want to be right now, it's Dayton.
Our governor is fresh off signing a tax bill that is expected to provide tax relief to many Minnesotans. I can only assume he was riding pretty high last week afterwards, knowing that he was in nearly a no-lose situation. And in an election year, that's a pretty good place to be.
Fast-forward a week. Now, Dayton's getting ganged up on by a group of Republican gubernatorial candidates looking to put him out of a job. No surprise, really, that's part of the game. But Dayton's also looking bad in the court of public opinion because of the medical marijuana issue.
Rock. Dayton. Hard place.
On one side we have parents of sick and hurting kids and families and friends who want their loved ones to find some kind of relief for what ails them. That relief, they say, is out there in the form of medical pot.
On the other side, we have our state's finest - the law enforcement community - whom Dayton doesn't want to alienate by getting behind the push to legalize pot in Minnesota.
Dayton has found himself in a horrible situation. An unwinnable situation.
He was slammed at a news conference Wednesday for obstructing HF1818 - a bill that would allow people with debilitating conditions to access marijuana. He was criticized for trying to placate law enforcement. He has defended himself, saying it's unfair to target him as the only roadblock to the legalization of the drug.
What's he to do? Look into the eyes of the mother of a kid with epilepsy and tell her to move to Colorado? He's already denied a claim that he privately told the mother of a sick child to buy pot on the street.
A governor on the defense is nothing new, but this could just be getting started for Dayton and the timing couldn't be worse for him. This no-win situation will linger throughout the rest of the session and into summer and the campaigns that come with it during an election year. And as for those aforementioned Republican candidates, you can bet they'll take Dayton to task. And the scary part for the governor is, no matter what side of the pot fence he comes down on, that target will remain on his back.
I can see Marty Seifert, Kurt Zellers and the rest of the Republican gang rubbing their hands together now. Sure, they will spend some time beating each other up this summer, but by the end, when only one is left standing, it will be game on with Dayton.
Heck, the Republicans are already in the lead.