Good news for Neel Kashkari, the 2014 California GOP gubernatorial nominee: He got a job, and a big one. He’ll be the new president of a Federal Reserve Bank.
The bad news? It’s the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.
Where it’s cold. Stunningly, shockingly, hideously cold. No-molecular-motion cold. Backside-of-Saturn cold. Jerry-Brown-in-a-debate cold.
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Now, Kashkari lives in Southern California, where he has been plotting his next big move. Presumably, since he is now going to move to Minneapolis, this will rule out a bid for governor here in 2018.
Kashkari has lived in other colder cities: Champaign-Urbana, Ill., for one. But I can tell you that city is the Champaign-Banana Belt compared to Minneapolis.
My street cred: I am a Minnesotan who eventually found his way out to California to seek fame, fortune and occasional corgi contact. Kashkari came out here in 1997 and got used to The California Lifestyle©, as have I. But now Kashkari has to leave.
Without getting into whether or not Kashkari is a good choice to go to the Fed (other than his Goldman Sachs connection, and the last two Fed president appointments have also been from GS, as well as Paul Krugman having an aneurysm about his appointment), he’s going to need a serious meteorological re-education camp experience.
Oh, and Minnesota culture is not The California Lifestyle© culture, either. For example, put the phrases “joie de vivre” and “Norwegian” together and see if that works.
I was just back in Minnesota, and people addressed me like I was Matt Damon in “The Martian,” a stranger from a faraway planet. They brought lots of drought humor to the lutefisk table. “So. You gize wanna borrow a lake from us?”
Here are my California-to-Minnesota tips for Kashkari:
You said the Cleveland Browns are your favorite team, and you named your dogs after two Browns players. From now on, your dogs are named Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson.
You have been tooling around California in what appears to be a Porsche. You will no longer drive a Porsche. You will drive an Arctic Cat snowmobile. Your choice of color? It doesn’t matter; it’s always covered in snow, anyway. In the summer (five weeks, more or less), you may drive a front-wheel-drive Subaru Outback.
In your new vehicle, you will keep a headbolt heater, a heavy set of jumper cables, three months worth of MREs and oxygen, along with detailed instructions about what to do with your body when it’s found.
Al Franken is now one of your U.S. senators. He’s terribly amusing. Way funnier than Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
You have a shaved head. That has to go. I don’t care what you’ve got left up there, but go with it. You need every thermal advantage you can muster.
You have been eating in California restaurants that are judged by the quality of the food. In Minnesota, you will judge restaurants by how warm they are in January.
If you want to make some Federal Reserve economic point, do not pretend to be homeless in Minneapolis in the winter. Ever. Unless you just want to make that point as your last act on earth.
In California, you are probably used to talking about things like “surfing,” “sunbathing” and “heading over to Venice Beach.” In Minnesota, you will discuss “ice fishing,” “sauna” and “heading up to the lake.”
California and Minnesota do share one thing: a large number of loons.
So, Neel, good luck at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, and more importantly, your asset is going to be more than troubled.
It’s going to be frozen.