Chris Sununu was sworn in as our new Governor this morning. I attended the ceremonies as a State Representative, which were held in Representative Hall.
At 42, he is the youngest Governor in New Hampshire history, and took the oath of office 34 years to the day since his father, John H. Sununu was sworn in for his first term. An older brother, also named John, who served one term as the US Senate was also in attendance.
In his first speech as Governor, Sununu stressed the need to leave political partisanship behind. Unfortunately, his policy prescriptions are straight out of the GOP playbook, including Right to Work legislation, business tax cuts, and a 90 day moratorium on new regulations.
Everyone wants bi-partisan relations. But throwing down several partisan points of view not shared by Democrats, was probably not the best way to go about convincing Democrats he is sincere.
It probably would have been better to highlight areas where Sununu thinks Democrats can work together with Republicans. Outside of listing problems the state faces, which always sounds bipartisan because there is no disagreement about what’s wrong, I’d give Sununu a C and leave it at that.
I worked hard helping elect John H. Sununu 34 years ago. I’m proud of that effort, although my political viewpoints have changed significantly since then. But back then the Republican party was far less right wing. Back then there were many moderate Republicans. I was one of them. And so was Sununu, in my opinion.
Sununu needs to work with Democrats. Throwing out a right to work policy that suppresses the wages of working men and women–something no Democrat will support–is not going to help him gain Democrat support on other issues.
Chris Herbert is a Democratic state representative representing Manchester Wards 4,5,6 and 7 in District 43, New Hampshire. He was at one time a committed Republican. He wrote the political column for the Union Leader for many years and was a stock broker. Chris also has a show on economics on the local access cable station, past shows can be found on youtube.