Being governor is as good as it gets, politically.
So said Theodore Roosevelt, governor of New York from his election in 1898…
…to his election as vice president and then ascension to the presidency in 1901 when William McKinley was assassinated.
Roosevelt, the youngest man to assume the American presidency, once said: “I am more than contented to be governor and shall not care if I never hold another office.”
President Barack Obama, among the younger men elected president (after John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Ulysses S. Grant) — and never a governor — reminded the nation’s governors of this tonight.
“So I guess plans change,” Obama said to laughter at the White House dinner for the National Governors Association.
Like Chris Christie’s plans.
The Republican governor of New Jersey was not planning to make the dinner this evening — having had enough exposure with Obama before re-election for his own political good. The chairman of the Republican Governors Association has his own challenges, raising money for the party’s many governor’s races this year, while climbing out of his own “Bridgegate” controversy.
The governors are where the action is, the president suggested — having already declared this a “year of action.”
“When we’ve got a Congress that sometimes seems to have a difficult time acting,” the president told the governors dining at the White House tonight, “I want to make sure that I have the opportunity to partner with each of you in any way that I can to help more Americans work and study and strive, and make sure that they see their efforts and their faith in this country rewarded.”
One of the actions governors — or in some cases their legislatures — are taking which Congress is not is in raising the minimum wage.
On Friday, Obama alluded to the resistance from some, including a certain potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, during a White House meeting with Democratic governors.
“Many of the governors in this room are pushing to raise their state minimum wages to benefit more working families and help to grow their economies,” Obama said. ”Where we’ve seen some of these issues going to referendum, for example, in New Jersey, even though the Republican governor opposed it, it passed by 60 percent.”
Dinner might have been awkward tonight.