Report from St. Paul: A Dollop of Sensible Bipartisanship

By September 3, 2008Policy Experts

(NAM Executive Vice President Jay Timmons is blogging from the Republican National Convention this week in St. Paul, Minn., following up on his reports from the Democratic Convention last week in Denver.)

The NAM crew visited the Bipartisan Policy Center event, of which we were a sponsor. Just as in Denver, this event was evidence that those on different sides of the political aisle can work together to achieve positive results.

Respect goes a long way in Washington, and it’s something that is lacking in the nation’s capital these days. But two former political opponents attending the reception were reminders that it is possible to regain that spirit of cooperation.

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) and former House Agriculture Chairman Dan Glickman (D-KS) were both on hand. Glickman is now CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America and we talked about how difficult it has become to get things done in DC now because of the partisan tenor. He noted that wasn’t always so, and that he believed in days past there was much more honor in the political process. “The Democrats always wanted me to run against Bob Dole,” he told me. “But I just couldn’t do it. He was a friend, I respected him, and he was just really good for the state.”

The ability to work with both sides of the political aisle and help educate Republicans and Democrats alike of the impact of their legislative initiatives on real people in the real world separates the NAM from some other organizations. Because in reality, no one who seeks public office intends to do harm to the economy or lose American jobs. But sometimes they just don’t realize the unintended consequences their actions might create.

Jay Timmons

Jay Timmons

Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector.
Jay Timmons

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