Mark Dayton, a dead fish and three Republicans: Photo of the Day

Mark Dayton and the dead northern pike.

Mark Dayton and the dead northern pike.

The annual floating photo op otherwise known as the Governor's Fishing Opener is over, Mark Dayton now gets to have his mug splashed all over the papers while holding a dead fish, and assorted political foes get to pretend for a few hours that they really like the guy and want to figure out a responsible way to tackle the state's legislative agenda.

Thus we have Majority Leader Matt Dean, Speaker Kurt Zellers and Rep. Joe Hoppe posing next to Dayton on the shores of Pokegama Lake with big smiles.


It's all an act. They're at loggerheads with seven days left to craft a budget deal, they still haven't agreed whether to back the Viking's stadium proposal, and the Republicans are passing a raft of social issue measures -- on abortion, gun rights and gay marriage -- destined either for a veto, or a place on the 2012 budget.

But here they are, smiling for the cameras.

And here's Dayton with the Great Northern Pike he bagged on Saturday. Compared to the problems the state is facing, this seems like pretty small fish.