With both sides conceding earlier this week that some fence mending was required to get the governor and the two Republican leader’s relationship back on track, no one was quite sure what Thursday’s quadrant meeting would produce, if anything.
One source wondered if the Senate Majority leader and the House Speaker would “need their guard up?”
And someone quipped last night, “the meeting is scheduled for a half hour. Wonder how long it will last?”
Well, nobody walked out in a huff and, in fact, one source with knowledge of the exchange described the tenor as “very very cordial (and) the work of restoring the relationship” saw some progress.
It was anticipated that the governor would spend the majority of her time pushing on the budget/veto issue but while she made some points and asked for some help in restoring some of her veto budget cuts, that did not dominate the exchange.
As the Senate leader Mike Shirkey told the press corps yesterday, he was ready to move onto other issues.
And it turns out the governor was reportedly on the same page, as Speaker Lee Chatfield and Democrats Sen. Jim Ananich and House Democratic leader Christine Graig focused on policy questions that they could agree on such as sports gaming that is not as contentious as the road fix.
“It was an effort for everyone to get back on the horse,” suggested one source adding, the governor and leaders realize they have to work together for the next three years and maybe eight years to move the state forward.