North Dakota’s Newspapers Reject Heidi Heitkamp’s Central Campaign Argument
In a clear indication of which way the state’s newspaper editorial boards think North Dakota’s Senate race will break, Rick Berg has now received the endorsement of every newspaper in the state that does an endorsement.
And what’s interesting is that, in the endorsements, each newspaper specifically rejects what has been one of Heitkamp’s chief campaign tenets, which is the idea that she’ll break with her party’s bias for big-government solutions and be a small-government Democrat.
From the Fargo Forum (which also endorses for the Grand Forks Herald, the Dickinson Press, the Jamestown Sun and the West Fargo Pioneer):
Berg is an advocate of smaller government, which translates into less government intrusion into private lives and private businesses. It’s a philosophy nurtured during his years as a state legislator. It has worked for North Dakota, and Berg believes he can use his state’s success as an example for the U.S. Senate.
Heitkamp’s view is different. She sincerely believes in a more activist role for government in everything from environmental regulation to health care. Her beliefs about how government should interact with states and the governed are increasingly out of step with her state.
From the Minot Daily News:
Berg has a long history in state politics, and has been a supporter of less government regulation in both the personal lives and business dealings of North Dakotans. He carried that philosophy with him to Washington, D.C., after he beat incumbent Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy two years ago. Berg believes he can continue to use that philosophy in the Senate, where he would join Sen. John Hoeven to form a strong team for North Dakota.
Heitkamp, too, has a clear vision for North Dakota and the rest of the country. But Heitkamp’s view of a better America is rooted in an increasingly larger role for government, leading to her support of Obama’s health care overhaul and Wall Street bailouts. Heitkamp’s acceptance of campaign contributions from anti-fracking and anti-nuclear groups shows a lack of sound judgment on her part.
From the Bismarck Tribune:
Berg believes that the American economy would be unleashed by reducing the size and reach of the federal government, which would increase the number of jobs and solve most of the nation’s problems. He calls for largely unfettered free markets.
Heitkamp represents a view that working together with government, the nation can solve its problems. She sees a constructive role for certain government regulation.
The Tribune has consistently supported candidates who espouse smaller federal government, less federal regulation and reducing the federal deficit and national debt. In keeping with those criteria, we endorse Rick Berg for the U.S. Senate.
It’s a little odd to read some of these editorial boards, which consistently endorse a larger role for government, basing their decisions on a preference for limited government. But that aside, this is a pretty devastating revelation of how little traction Heitkamp has gotten in convincing North Dakotans that she’s not another big-government Democrat.
Heitkamp has spent this entire cycle running from President Obama, running from her party and its platform and running from her past, enthusiastic support for big-government policies like Obamacare. And it doesn’t seem to have convinced many.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg