• U.S.

AMERICAN SCENE: Minnesota: A State That Works

26 minute read

On an August Saturday afternoon, the scene is a slice of America’s Norman Rockwell past. Barefoot children play one old cat and race their wagons down gently sloping sidewalks. Under the overhanging oaks, their fathers labor with hand mowers and rakes. On one lawn up the street, a rummage sale is in progress. Station wagons, laden with children, groceries, dogs and camping equipment, and trailing boats, slide out of driveways, heading north for a week or two at the lake.

It could as well be Little Rock, Ark., or Great Harrington, Mass., or Portland, Ore., for the nation is in its easier summer rhythms. But the setting is the north side of Minneapolis, in Minnesota, a state where the Rockwell vision pertains with a special consistency. If the American good life has anywhere survived in some intelligent equilibrium, it may be in Minnesota.

It is a state where a residual American secret still seems to operate. Some of the nation’s more agreeable qualities are evident there: courtesy and fairness, honesty, a capacity for innovation, hard work, intellectual adventure and responsibility. The land is large (84,068 sq. mi.), the population small (just under 4,000,000). Nature is close (20 minutes from a downtown Minneapolis office building to a country lake) and generally well protected.

Politics is almost unnaturally clean—no patronage, virtually no corruption. The citizens are well educated; the high school dropout rate, 7.6%, is the nation’s lowest. Minnesotans are remarkably civil; their crime rate is the third lowest in the nation (after Iowa and Maine). By a combination of political and cultural tradition, geography and sheer luck, Minnesota nurtures an extraordinarily successful society.

The state harbors some of the nation’s fastest-growing computer companies—Honeywell Inc., Control Data Corp., Univac—along with a diversity of such other corporations as 3M Co., General Mills Inc., Geo. A. Hormel & Co., Pillsbury Co., and Investors Diversified Services Inc., one of the world’s largest mutual fund conglomerates. The University of Minnesota, whose alumni and faculty have included seven Nobel laureates, ranks among the nation’s best. It helped to develop the Salk vaccine, open-heart surgery, blight-resistant wheat. The Mayo Clinic remains America’s secular Lourdes. Minneapolis’ Tyrone Guthrie Theater displays some of the most distinguished drama west of Broadway. The Minnesota Orchestra under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is one of the finest in the country. The Twins, the North Stars and the Vikings have brought a state of natural participant sportsmen into the big leagues.

“I have traveled this world over thoroughly,” says Harry Heltzer, chairman and chief executive of the St. Paul-based 3M Co., “but I’ve never seen a place I would rather live. I can be home in 20 minutes and feed deer, ducks and geese in my yard.” Indeed, one personnel problem in the large corporations is that executives transferred to Minnesota are so reluctant to leave that they would often rather quit and find other work there than accept a retransfer. Steve Scarborough, a young Honeywell engineer who turned down a promotion two years ago because it would have meant moving to Florida, says flatly: “Many places are nice, but none is better than Minnesota.”

A lot of Minnesotans concur:

>Orthodontist Richard Paulson, 39, lives with his wife Betty Ann and two daughters in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley. In the woods behind his large rambling house, Paulson likes to take his children walking to see woodchucks, mallards, chipmunks and an occasional fox. They feed pheasant on their lawn. The Paulsons attend church ten minutes away in downtown Minneapolis, and in the summers vacation on the thickly wooded shores of sparkling, uncrowded Gull Lake, 2½ hours north of the Twin Cities. “I feel fortunate,” says Paulson, “that we can still taste the things that 50 years ago people took for granted.”

Theater buffs, the Paulsons have not missed a show at the Guthrie Theater since it opened in 1963. They occasionally attend the Minnesota Orchestra and frequently visit art shows at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center. “There is a certain peace in our existence,” says Paulson, who admits, “You can lose yourself in this Utopia. It’s so easy not to be confronted by the needs of others.” For that reason, the Paulsons have become social activists—working in local politics and serving as youth volunteers.

>Chuck Ruhr, 36, owner of a Minneapolis ad agency, lives a long commute—by Minneapolis standards—from his office. But he can make the 25 miles of freeway in 30 or 40 minutes, likes to point out that within an hour after leaving work, he can be sitting on his pontoon boat in the middle of White Bear Lake, enjoying a drink and watching the sun go down. He and his wife and two children live in a 1912-vintage five-bedroom house on the shores of the lake, with their own beach and dock. His wife’s optometry business is three blocks away; stores and schools are just as close. Says Ruhr: “There is a little less of the bad things here—drugs, pollution. Being way up here, people have had a chance to see the crest of the wave coming and react to it. There’s an attitude, too, that we’ve got a nice little thing and let’s keep it that way.”

>Arleen Kulis, 24, migrated to Minneapolis from Chicago seven years ago. At first, she did not like it: the winters were formidable; the people seemed a bit provincial. But then she began savoring the lack of traffic, the safety of the streets, the camping weekends. “No one ever bothers you on the streets,” she says. “You listen to the news in the morning, and there aren’t 20 million murders.”

>Blaine Harstad, 44, a Minneapolis lawyer, has never forgotten his farm upbringing. Like other Minnesotans, he remains drawn to the land. Three times a year, he returns to the family farm near Harmony in the southeast part of the state. He loves to listen to the school-closing notices on snowy mornings to see if Harmony is mentioned. The small-town flavor of the Twin Cities appeals to him. As Harstad points out, he knows just about every one of the 2,500 lawyers there, either directly or indirectly. “I can walk two blocks,” he says, “and meet five people I know.”

Minnesota has its drawbacks. Its winters are as hard as the Ice Age, and in the summers, mosquitoes often seem half the size of dive bombers. Unemployment outside the Twin Cities area is troublesome, and personal income taxes are the highest in the nation. Duluth residents worry about possible carcinogenic asbestos particles in their drinking water. At the same time, the Reserve Mining Co. is dumping thousands of tons of taconite tailings into Lake Superior every day, polluting the once limpid waters. Contentment can sometimes amount to middle-class complacency. Once, in its years in the cultural wilderness, Sauk Centre, Minn., was Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street, his symbol for a kind of porcine American self-satisfaction: “The contentment of the quiet dead . . . dullness made God.”

Some argue that Minnesota works a bit too well and too blandly, that its comparatively open and serene population is a decade or two behind the rest of the U.S. The place lacks the fire, urgency and self-accusation of states with massive urban centers and problems. Minnesota’s people are overwhelmingly white (98%), most of them solidly rooted in the middle class. Blacks rioted in Minneapolis in 1966 and 1967, but with only 1% of the state’s population, they have not yet forced Minnesotans into any serious racial confrontation. Or at least, not an apocalyptic confrontation.

Minnesotans are proud of that. After the 1967 riots, in the intelligently direct style of most Minnesota politics, businessmen, civil rights leaders and educators met to organize the first Urban Coalition chapter in the country. Today blacks are often among the state’s more enthusiastic boosters. Says Gleason Glover, executive director of the Minneapolis Urban League: “For a black, Minneapolis is one of the truly outstanding cities in the U.S. to live in. The problems here—housing, education, discrimination, unemployment—are manageable … There just isn’t the real, deep-seated hatred here that blacks often encounter in other cities.” Two black state legislators were elected last fall from predominantly white middle-class suburban districts.

The state’s other significant minority, its 23,000 Indians, most of them Chippewa, are clearly the most poverty-stricken residents. About half of them live in the Twin Cities, mainly in Minneapolis, in a tight ghetto that is the only really shabby area of town. The other half live on seven reservations, also in poverty, but with considerably more dignity. The Red Lake Chippewa are developing a logging industry, a sawmill and a small fish cannery. At Grand Portage Reservation in Northeastern Minnesota, the tribe is planning a resort complex. Says Ernie Landgren, 38: “Now we’ve got more opportunities. Sure, unemployment is high on the reservations, but things are improving.”

Minnesota’s economy is a fairly well-balanced mix of manufacturing, agriculture and services. Fur, northern pine, wheat and iron ore once were the dominant forces. Manufacturing displaced farming as the major source of income in 1952. Though farm and forest products remain a vital part of the economy, the gap has been widening. Over the past ten years, Minnesota has become one of the nation’s leading “brain-industry” centers—more than 170 electronic and related technical businesses now employ more than 70,000 people. Food companies, however, still lead the state in employment. Minneapolis-based companies produce more than half the cakes in the nation, for example. Minnesota leads the U.S. in butter production, is second in dry milk, third in meat production.

The state’s per capita income of $4,032 ranks 19th among the 50 states. For all that, Minnesota has been attracting new population, notably from the neighboring Dakotas. Between 1960 and 1970, the population increased by 11.5%—slightly less than the overall national increase of 13.3%.

Minnesotans sometimes point to themselves as the reason for the state’s success. “You just don’t have people barking at you when you’re walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant,” says Jim Johnson, a former Princeton instructor and Muskie campaign worker who recently moved back home. At the Minneapolis Club, where corporation executives and political leaders gather, the waitresses are so friendly and informal that a guest almost expects one to sit down and share the meal she has just served.

Wayne E. Thompson, a transplanted Californian, is now a senior vice president of Dayton Hudson Corp., one of the Midwest’s largest retailers. Says his wife Ann: “People are so nice here that for a while I thought they were putting me on. I would call the plumber or the electrician, and my problem became his problem. I found that hard to believe.” Sometimes the slower Minnesota pace irritates Thompson: “When I get frustrated because a project isn’t moving fast enough, I am tempted to bring in someone from the outside, a heavy.” But he’s never done so because “you just can’t get mad at anybody here.”

The Land. Informality permeates business dealings as well as private life. Says Stephen Keating, president of Honeywell: “The nature of this community—its size, its cohesiveness, its informality—means that you can accomplish things at lunch, in the street, or your friends come by on the way home.” A young lawyer raised in New York City observes, “In New York, when you wanted a deposition from the other side in a lawsuit, you had to go through a heavy exchange of letters. Here I just pick up the phone and say, ‘George, I need your client’s deposition. Can we get together Wednesday?’ So we do it then. No correspondence. No hassle.” As Keating says, “There is a hell of a lot of mutual trust.”

Much of the mood in Minnesota has to do with the comparatively unspoiled land. Southern Minnesota is an expanse of rolling countryside, a patchwork of rectangular fields, the loam that has made Minnesota the country’s third largest corn producer (after Iowa and Nebraska), the soil that yields 100 bushels of corn and 40 bushels of soybeans to the acre. To the north and west, the land flattens into prairies that merge going eastward, with hills of nearly primeval forest. The northwestern lands are more sandy, but rich enough to produce ample crops of wheat.

Northeastern Minnesota, sometimes called the Arrowhead Country because of its shape, begins at the rugged Misquah Hills and Giants Range, a sharp granite ridge as high as 500 ft. To the southeast rises the Mesabi Range, a rocky belt that used to produce 82% of the nation’s iron ore and still yields 63% in iron and taconite, the iron pellets sifted magnetically from huge loads of earth. Below the Canadian border stretch vast expanses of forests and lakes, a region of shaggy and pristine beauty. Timber wolves roam there. Moose can be seen feeding in the clearings. Sometimes a bald eagle is spotted atop an enormous pine.

Such an abundance and accessibility of nature has much to do with the Minnesotans’ sense of place and roots. More than almost any other Americans, they are outdoor people, and at least 50% of them customarily vacation within their own state. The seasons have their own sporting rhythms. On summer weekends, the traffic moves bumper-to-propeller out of the Twin Cities toward what has become a Minnesotan index of the good life—the “lake up north.” The state’s license plates advertise it as “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but that is an understatement. Actually, there are 15,291 lakes of ten acres or more, as well as 25,000 miles of rivers, including the Mississippi, which begins at Itasca State Park near the center of Minnesota. The lakes cover 5% of the state, remnants of the glaciers’ departure a million years ago. Few Minnesotans are more than minutes from water. Minneapolis residents have 21 lovely quiet lakes within the city itself.

In the fall, Minnesota is a hunting society: 253,668 deer licenses are issued annually. But for all the gunfire, the deer population now numbers about 450,000, and seems stable. Other game includes duck and pheasant, moose, black bear and timber wolf.

Winter, which brings down ferocious cold from the polar icecap, used to be a comparatively closed-down season, a deep hibernation. Snowmobiles, for better and for worse, have changed that. Many Minnesotans now worry about the ubiquitous high-pitched snarls of snowmobiles churning across the winter landscapes. Still, snowmobiling is the state’s fastest-growing sport. Some 340,000 vehicles are licensed now.

As a winter alternative, thousands of Minnesotans are rediscovering cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing, or ice-boating. Ice hockey is also something like an obsession in the state. Since the land was settled, Minnesotans have enjoyed ice fishing, sometimes in opulent style. In the Twin Cities’ expensive suburban community around Lake Minnetonka, while their children skate, executives sit in their carpeted cabins on the lake ice, drinking bourbon, playing poker, occasionally pulling in a pike from one of the holes drilled in the ice.

Winters are hard but bracing: “Our best time of year,” according to a Duluth mine worker. “They build character,” says Frank Barth, a transplanted Chicagoan. “They are a great blessing to us. You don’t get the weak-kneed beachboys here. They can take it for one winter, then leave.” Dr. Ronald J. Glasser, a Minneapolis kidney specialist and author (365 Days, Ward 402) who grew up in Chicago, argues that Minnesota winters account for a lot of the social solidity and character of the state. Says he: “You have to be strong and productive to survive here.”

Part of Minnesota’s secret lies in people’s extraordinary civic interest. The business community’s social conscience, for example, is a reflection of the fact that so many companies have their headquarters in the state. The Mayo Foundation has offered to invest $1,000,000 in face-lifting the downtown district of Rochester. The IBM plant there has given employees leaves of absence, with pay, to work on public interest projects. At the Mayo medical complex itself, now in the midst of its largest expansion in history, Honeywell, 3M Co. and other big state-based corporations have been major contributors to a $100 million fund drive. The companies’ concerns are reflected in their annual reports; most of them carry a section called “Social Concerns,” or some such.

Even more important than corporate giving is personal fund raising. Fund drives currently under way or about to begin in the Twin Cities amount to a staggering $300 million, of which $136 million has already been raised. The business effort is twofold—one for cultural activities, one for social and civic affairs. The leading family in both is the Daytons, five brothers who are dominant stockholders in the Dayton Hudson Corp., which last year rang up $1.4 billion in retail sales.

As downtown Minneapolis was deteriorating in the 1950s, the Daytons elected to keep their huge department store there rather than move it to the suburbs. Cooperating with the city, they turned Nicollet Avenue into a shopping mall and built a system of skyways linking the buildings along the street. The project, spearheaded by Donald C. Dayton, 58, has stimulated more than $200 million in new downtown construction, reversing the familiar urban pattern of decay and turning the area into a bright and active commercial district. The new 51-story IDS tower, designed by Philip Johnson, is the tallest and most distinguished building between Chicago and San Francisco. Other adornments: Minoru Yamasaki’s gracefully pillared Northwestern National Life Insurance Co. Building, and Gunnar Birkerts’ Federal Reserve Bank, built along the sweeping lines of a suspension bridge.

The Daytons are best known as patrons of the arts. Kenneth Dayton, 51, is deeply involved in fund raising for a new $18.5 million music-center complex, which he hopes will rival Washington’s Kennedy Center in architecture and acoustics. Bruce B. Dayton, 55, is raising $26 million for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, with a new wing designed by Yamasaki. The Guthrie Theater is primarily the contribution of John Cowles Jr., head of the Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. But the list of big business contributors and fund raisers is much longer.

Migrations. Minnesotans tend to be participants in their communities, perhaps because for so long they were comparatively isolated and developed traditions of mutual reliance. Citizens’ lobbies are a real force. The most no table is the Twin Cities Citizens League. Funded by membership fees, foundation and business grants, it includes lawyers, bankers, laborers and company vice presidents. Each fall, the league settles on a variety of projects to study. Committees are formed and meet once a week to hear an expert on the subject under scrutiny. Among the league’s pioneering recommendations that became law: the Twin Cities metropolitan council creating an urban regional government and also a tax-sharing program in the seven-county metropolitan area. Through the tax reforms, the effects of new development in one part of the area are shared by all, thus eliminating the pockets of poverty and boom that characterize other urban sprawls. Quite aside from its other accomplishments, the council signals the end of a long and frequently childish rivalry between St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Some of Minnesota’s success can be traced to its ethnic traditions. The earliest pioneers were American Yankees. Then came the migrations—Germans after the Revolution of 1848, then waves of Irish and Scandinavians, later an admixture of Poles and Slavs and other groups. In many respects, the Scandinavians, long the largest single group in the state, have shaped Minnesota’s character. They, together with its large Anglo-Saxon and German strain, account for a deep grain of sobriety and hard work, a near-worship for education and a high civic tradition in Minnesota life. Such qualities helped to produce the intelligent calm—and the stolidity—that characterize the efficient Minnesota atmosphere. It is telling that the University of Minnesota is probably the dominant and most prestigious institution in the state. Its president, Malcolm Moos, sees Minnesota as a felicitous mixture of the New England in fluence and the spirit of the frontier.

Arthur Naftalin, a brilliant mayor of Minneapolis during the ’60s, points out that no single group—ethnic, religious or business—has ever been able to take control of the state. There were no Tammany machines to greet the immigrants. “With our great variety,” says Naftalin, “we have always had to form coalitions.”

The most notable was the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party that Hubert Humphrey helped nail together in 1944 just before he became mayor of Minneapolis. The Farmer-Labor Party was radical in its origins, with mostly rural, Scandinavian Protestant members and roots in the antimonopolist, Greenback and Populist movements. The Democrats were mostly urban and more conservative, with strong Irish, German and Catholic elements. Within a decade of the merger, the D.F.L. emerged as the dominant force in Minnesota politics, breeding a remarkable collection of national figures like Humphrey, Orville Freeman, Eugene McCarthy and Walter (“Fritz”) Mondale.

The Minnesota Republicans, once intensely conservative, have supported the liberal wing of the G.O.P. for more than a generation. The shift started with Harold E. Stassen, who took over as Governor in 1938, when he was 31. He later became a figure of fun as a perennial presidential candidate, but one of Stassen’s many state reforms accounts for much of the honesty of Minnesota politics today. Stassen pushed through a comprehensive civil service law that abolished patronage. “By taking politics out of the back room and engaging thousands in political activity, from women to college students,” observes Author Neal R. Peirce in The Great Plains States of America, “Stassen made the governmental process in Minnesota a superior instrument of the people’s will.” Says David Lebedoff, a Minneapolis lawyer and author: “Politics is an honorable profession in this state. In other states, people don’t gamble away their best years in politics. Here it’s expected, because we feel it is important enough.”

Among the state’s young citizen-politicians:

>Martin Olav Sabo, 35, the son of Norwegian immigrants, worked his way through Augsburg College. In 1960, as he was preparing to go on to graduate school, a friend encouraged him to run for the state legislature. He did and won, several times. By 1969, at the age of 30, he was the youngest returning member of the house. But he had accumulated enough experience and respect from his colleagues to be elected minority leader. In 1972, he became speaker of the house. The job entitles him to a $700-a-year raise, but in order to support his wife and two daughters, he sells life insurance on the side. “My philosophy is to do your best wherever you can,” says Sabo. Despite his prominence, he still campaigns by going round his district and knocking on doors.

>Steve Keefe, 27, a Honeywell chemist, won a state senate seat from his south Minneapolis district last year, now spends more than half his time away from his job, politicking. “The company has been really good about it,” says Keefe. “I come and go as I please and they reduce my salary accordingly. Frankly, I go more than I come.” If he is sacrificing a promising and lucrative career for the vagaries of politics, Keefe has no regrets. “People in politics,” he says, “are in it either for the power or they are idealistic. Most of the people I have met are the latter.”

>Al Hofstede, 32, grew up in the working class, ethnic neighborhoods of northeast Minneapolis. He worked his way through Saint Thomas College in St. Paul, eventually won a seat as a Minneapolis city alderman at the age of 26. Appointed chairman of the metropolitan council in 1971, Hofstede two weeks ago announced his candidacy for mayor of Minneapolis in a bid to unseat Charles S. Stenvig. “I would like to make politics my life,” says Hofstede. “There is a purpose here.”

A man who embodies the state’s virtues as much as any other Minnesotan is the state’s young D.F.L. Governor, Wendell (“Wendy”) Richard Anderson, 40. The grandson of Swedish immigrants, a handsome former Olympic hockey player from a predominantly lower-middle-class Scandinavian neighborhood in East St. Paul, Anderson was elected in 1970 by 116,000 votes—nearly a landslide in Minnesota.

Like the state itself, Anderson can sometimes seem almost too good to be true. The son of a meat packer, he is something of a populist, an anti-elitist and egalitarian. He has athletic dash and youthful charm that make many of his constituents think of a Midwestern Kennedy. But Harry S. Truman, not J.F.K., is Anderson’s hero. He is uncomfortable with great wealth. Says he: “I identify with Truman, Humphrey and Mondale. All of them were poor, close to working people and came from rural backgrounds. It’s tougher for me to identify with F.D.R. and J.F.K.”

After two terms in the state house of representatives, Anderson was elected to the senate and marked as a comer. In 1968, Hubert Humphrey chose him to be his Minnesota chairman in the presidential race. He began thinking about the governorship and accepting speaking invitations all over the state. In June 1969, when the legislature adjourned, Anderson started a full-time campaign for the D.F.L. gubernatorial endorsement. For months he crisscrossed the state, appearing wherever he could gather an audience. He would drive miles to some small town, make his pitch, have dinner and return home at 2 or 3 in the morning.

Tax-Reform. It was a bold personal gamble. He had no money of his own; the campaign cost more than $100,000 and left him more than $30,000 in debt. Says his wife Mary, a bright and gregarious former Bemidji High School homecoming queen whom he married in 1963: “If we had lost, I think we would have had to sell the house, and I would be scrubbing floors today.” Anderson was nominated on the sixth ballot. David Lebedoff, who served as his campaign manager, says, “This is a state in which a young guy without means or connections knows the sky is the limit if he runs for public office—and this is why so many do.”

In the general elections, Anderson faced an attractive liberal Republican, Douglas M. Head, the incumbent attorney general. There were two pivotal points in the campaign. One was Anderson’s appearance in TV spots. He is a startlingly effective TV performer, one of the best since John Kennedy. His frank blue eyes, framed by a rugged, rectangular face, came across and reversed the polls that had favored Head. The second crucial point was his endorsement of a tax-reform program suggested by the Citizens League, a plan calling for the state to take over a large share of the school-financing burden from local districts, mandating a huge increase in the state budget.

The Republicans thought that Anderson had blundered fatally. That they were wrong is an excellent example of the sophistication of the Minnesota voters. They were willing to elect a man who promised to raise some of their taxes in return for larger overall gains. When he took office, Anderson proposed a $762 million boost in state taxes—roughly a 30% increase in the biennial budget. Eventually, he got through a $588 million compromise package, with substantial increases in the taxes on liquor and cigarettes, and in corporate and personal income taxes, along with a 1¢ rise in the sales tax. With such state revenues he increased state aid for education from 43% to 63% in the first year, and now to 70%, thereby decreasing the real estate tax burden by an average of 11.5%.

It was a major piece of social legislation, for within a six-year period, it will virtually equalize the per-pupil spending for education throughout the state and thus go a long way toward equalizing education in the cities, suburbs and rural areas. Anderson has had other victories. All legislative meetings of any kind must now be open to the public—no more private executive sessions in the legislature. A full-time ombudsman has been established in the corrections department. The magnificent St. Croix River has been added to the National Scenic River System. Voter registration has in effect been abolished. Anderson has also started a massive reorganization of the executive branch in Minnesota, establishing a department of state planning designed to decentralize and coordinate management of the state’s various agencies.

Astonishingly, the huge tax increases did little to diminish Anderson’s popularity. Though detractors call him “Spendy Wendy,” a recent Minnesota poll showed his level of approval at 50%—with 22% unfavorable.

Anderson’s personal habits are conservative. His strongest expletives are “Sugar!” and “Son of a biscuit!” and the most damning thing he generally says—this time about a Democratic Senator—is that “he is a weak tinkler.” Anderson still plays hockey in an oldtimers’ league, jogs daily, packs golf clubs for his out-of-town trips and likes to open the fishing season, although he has had little time for the sport otherwise. He is a staunch civil libertarian, and while he would not think of going to see Deep Throat, or even Last Tango in Paris, he would never consider trying to shut them down either. Throat, in fact, has been playing for weeks in Minneapolis. When working, Anderson likes to have Chopin on the hifi. When relaxing, he likes to stretch out on the floor in his shorts, drink beer and watch television. His wife admits, “It is hard to think of him as the Governor then.”

Some think that Anderson’s future may be larger than Minnesota. Both of the state’s Senators, Humphrey and Mondale, have sidelong presidential ambitions for 1976. If neither tries, then Anderson’s path to the U.S. Senate is blocked—Humphrey, then 65, would be sure to run again in 1976, and Mondale is not due to run until 1978. Anderson himself faces re-election next year. If he wins well, he could become a serious contender for Vice President on the ’76 national ticket—with anyone, of course, except a fellow Minnesotan. Being young, Midwestern, Protestant and a Governor, he might elegantly complement a Ted Kennedy candidacy, although some might think it entirely too youthful a package. Or he might fit in well with a Muskie candidacy. Anderson insists, with a conviction he can afford at such an early age, that “I intend to do the best job I can for the state.” It would be understandable of course if Wendy Anderson wanted never to leave Minnesota. Washington would not be half so pleasant.

Other states have more dramatic attractions, of course. To be in Ely or St. Cloud or even Minneapolis on a Saturday night and looking for excitement is to be conscious that nights are for sleeping. But there is something in the verdict of Chuck Ruhr: “California is the flashy blonde you like to take out once or twice. Minnesota is the girl you want to marry.”

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