Daily Digest: Stadium drama and the State of the Union

by Kyle Potter

Here’s your Daily Digest for Jan. 24:


Gov. Mark Dayton told Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf last night that the current Metrodome site is the only viable option for a new stadium if a deal is to be done this year.

The news comes less than a week after Dayton held a press conference on the stadium, during which he suggested that the Linden Avenue site near the Basilica of St. Mary was the best bet.

Dayton’s spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci told the Daily that the Wilf family will be in town Wednesday to talk with the governor.

According to the Star Tribune, the Vikings aren’t too tickled about the prospect of sticking around the Dome area. Compared to other sites like Linden Avenue and the now dead-in-the-water site in Arden Hills, it wouldn’t offer the same “game day” experience.

It would also force the team to play at TCF Bank Stadium on campus during construction, which could mean millions in extra spending.

The 2012 legislative session convenes today, and planning for a new Vikings stadium is sure to be a hot topic until it adjourns sometime in the spring.

Credit to the Star Tribune’s @RachelSB for the excellent Twitter hashtag.


President Barack Obama will give his State of the Union address at 8 p.m. CST tonight before a joint session of Congress.

While Republicans frontrunners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich battle for the party nomination to challenge the incumbent Obama, the president’s speech is likely to be part update and part campaign.

It’s been a strange year for Obama, marked by falling approval ratings, a stalemate in Congress and the death of Osama Bin Laden.

The New Yorker published an excellent and exhaustive review of Obama’s three years in office using memos from some of his top advisers to chronicle and explain some of his decisions during his first term – health care overhaul, the stimulus package, bailing out banks and auto companies and more.

Ryan Lizza’s story provides a unique insight into how things have changed for the president since his election in November 2008: Namely, how “Change we can believe in” somehow morphed into a moderate and, at times, a relatively powerless president.

“Obama promised to transcend forty years of demographic and ideological trends and reshape Washington politics,” Lizza writes. “In the past three years, though, he has learned that the Presidency is an office uniquely ill-suited for enacting sweeping change. Presidents are buffeted and constrained by the currents of political change. They don’t control them.”

Jan. 24 in history

-1935: The first canned beer, made by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company, is sold in stores

-1984: The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the very first Macintosh computer

-2003: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation