Here's what Mayo and Rochester pols are up against -- cheap shots such as this one in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, posted Monday on their website. It's what you'd expect: the customary jabs at Rochester as the home of 1-percenters who also happen to be boring, and now we want $6 billion in state aid. None of it's true, but it's pretty easy to make it funny.
Unless Mayo and Rochester promoters get out front of this kind of thing, Twin Cities media and politicians will have a field day driving the stereotype. It's too easy, and much easier than trying to figure out how Destination Medical Center would work, and why it's important and worth considering.
The headline, "Behind the $6B Mayo Project: Nobody Likes Rochester," doesn't even match the column, but here's the lead:
When most businesses talk about improvements needed to support new expansions, they're often referring to a location's lack of parking ramps or overloaded roads. In the Mayo Clinic's case, it's a lack of decent Szechuan restaurants and hotels with pillow mints.
It goes downhill from there, with a quote from a Minnesota Public Radio story on the "satisfaction gap," a snarky tweet by Twin Cities media blogger David Brauer, and a droll comment from DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski, who's positioning herself as a DMC dragon-slayer.
If this perception takes hold in the Capitol press room and upstairs as well, it'll be lights out for DMC before the Legislature even gets down to business -- and there won't be mints on the pillows when it's over.