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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Running for Governor

Guv Mentions Olympian Sunder Nix in State of the State

A Fort Wayne City Council member has chided me that I can make everything relate back to running. Well, Mr. Smith, even the Governor does it.

Governor Daniels closed the State of the State address by mentioning Hoosier Olympian Sunder Nix (pictured at right):
The first steps of any race are critical. Our first steps have been fast ones, strong and straight. But the ground we must cover to catch up to accumulated problems, and overtake other states of this country, will be a long and demanding one.

At the gym I frequent, I sometimes run with – or, more accurately, run far behind – a friend named Sunder Nix. If the name is familiar, it is because Mr. Nix is an Indiana sports hero, a gold medalist at the ’84 Olympics and a 400-meter specialist.

Sunder tells me that, although the first or “drive” phase of a race is key, the second stage is likewise. In this “transition” segment, his goal is to maintain the speed he has attained through a fast start. “Whatever you do,” he teaches, “don’t lose your momentum.”

Momentum for change has been established in Indiana. We have already taken steps people said were not possible. This is no time to rest, let alone pull up lame. We must gather confidence and courage from the fast start behind us and head straight for the next set of goals: more money in our classrooms, the exchange of 19th Century institutions for 21st Century models, and brave, bold moves to build a backbone for a new generation of great jobs.
The Governor then seemed to mix metaphors a bit:
To this Assembly, I say “Lap One, well done.” But the second phase is all-important. We don’t have a single day, let alone a legislative session, to rest, or cruise, or hesitate. Let’s move, let’s act, let’s play the ball aggressively...
Since Mr. Nix won his medal by being part of a 1600 meter relay team perhaps the Governor, with a nod to the legislature, could have referred to passing the baton to the legislators rather than "playing the ball".

Of course, it might be dangerous for Republicans to start mentioning Hoosier Olympic track & field stars in this election year. After all, Democratic Marion County Prosecutor candidate Melina Kennedy is married to one.

More: Leo Morris, live-blogging over at Opening Arguments during the State of the State had a negative view of this part of the Governor's remarks.

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