DAN YORKE – We deserved more respect

DAN YORKE – We deserved more respect

“Rhode Island may be small, but our economy is mighty on the strength of our small businesses and innovative technologies. As secretary of commerce, I will harness that same American ingenuity to create good-paying union jobs and build our economy back better than ever before.”

That was Gov. Gina Raimondo’s notice to her constituents, via twitter, that she was leaving her job.

What an insult.

Next time you decide to leave your current job, the one you repeatedly refer to as your “exclusive 24/7 obsession,” try it Gina’s way.

“Boss, got a minute?”

“Sure.”

“Just wanted you to know that in my next opportunity I’m going to do great things.”

“That’s nice. And what opportunity is that?”

“The one I just took. Read my tweet.”

Look, like it or not, politics at this level is a profession. No one should harbor any ill will for the governor for taking her shot in the majors. It’s kind of cool that our Gina (sorry, Nellie) will sit around the president’s cabinet table. And through the nomination process, the Biden transition team will control her every move.

Still, she’s in the middle of COVID and she has practically dressed down any reporter who has dared to ask about a move. Unlike a retired CEO or current Washington player, she’s a governor with a relationship and responsibility reporting to a million-plus people.

She owed it to all of us to make a traditional announcement explaining her perspective and motive. Not because we’re all going to therapy over her leaving, but because we deserve respect. She could have bargained that arrangement with Biden.

At Monday’s deadline for this column, there was talk that the governor would hold her COVID press conference this week. She likely will be carefully tight-lipped about most things Washington. The Biden team doesn’t want any sound bites disrupting the post inauguration Senate approval.

Worse, and more importantly, she won’t be able to tell us much about the preparation for her successor either. Disgracefully, until this week she hadn’t availed herself for a personal conversation with Lt. Gov. Dan McKee in more than a year.

New Speaker of the House Joe Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio and their respective teams have practically no proprietary knowledge of her COVID operation, including vaccine distribution, federal expenditures, and everything else under the government sun.

While she’s worked hard, her own professional interests have been priority number one. She has shared her intel and the stage with nobody.

Meanwhile, we get a new governor in Dan McKee whose political ambition ends here. As a mayor he, along with his peers, elevated the municipal level of government. He visualized and built the team that brought us the now popular and successful mayoral academies charter schools. As lieutenant governor, he played utility watchdog and saved taxpayers millions. And, he has relentlessly trolled the governor for small business cash infusion during the COVID crisis despite her absolute refusal to recognize his effort or mere existence.

He could be the right person at the right time, but the pressure is on and his time is short.

For us, these next few months are not going to be easy. Winter doesn’t feel like a friend in COVID. Vaccine distribution is scattered and behind schedule. Washington is in chaos and crisis. We will have a new president under extreme duress. And we will have mercenary arm’s length transition on Smith Hill.

Strap in.

Dan Yorke is the PM Drive Host on 99.7/AM 630 WPRO, Dan Yorke State of Mind weekends on MyRITV/Fox Providence and owns communications/crisis consulting firm DYCOMM LLC

Comments

Dan McKee is known throughout the state as a measured and intelligent man and I wish him well. I'm very proud of the mayoral academy and am hoping for good things from him. I believe he will reach across the aisle and reach out to all, unlike the divisive Raimondo. Good luck, Governor McKee!

Excellent article, Mr. Yorke! "RESPECT" is the Key word, but I believe that it's been 'removed' from the Dictionary!

I do not always agree with your perspectives on various issue; however, on this subject, out of ten you get a twenty and perhaps a noticeable thirty stars. It is everything I was thinking regarding this situation. Gina is "getting out of town" before the shoot out at the OK Corral(The Budget) is addressed. Gina was adamant she would not leave RI with the current crisis and the difficult budget at hand. Anyone else noticing how her nose has grown a bit!