Man, that tweet gives me all kinds of creepy, mixed feelings.
On the one hand, calling the line "suburban" may be a political ploy to make the project more appealing to <whomever>.
On the other hand, it's very insensitive, almost to the point of being outright racist. Opat is completely dismissing the importance of transit (and I would argue, this project) to North Minneapolis. "This project is only important because of the suburban component," he's saying. It furthers the narrative of the urban/suburban divide and the only winner there is those against transit.
And really, <whomever> Opat may or may not be trying to convince doesn't really change the fact that the railroad is blocking it. I suppose FRA could lean on BNSF but I just don't see a junior backbencher from Minnesota having the pull, much less a county commissioner with delusions of grandeur.
While the loss of job access to the Target campus for people on the Northside would be unfortunate, getting it completed at least to Robbinsdale should be a high priority. We can always extend it later. I would not mind seeing a re-route along W. Broadway (assuming the neighborhoods generally approve) but I don't really see that as realistic. It would set the project back at least another decade.
It would be a really bad look to go all-out to get SWLRT done (which I still very much approve of) and not do the same for Bottineau.
I think you're over-analyzing a politician calling it suburban LRT, and saying his term for it is racist is really stretching it. Politicians aren't the best at using the correct terms for transit services. Some call Northstar light rail, some call Southwest commuter rail, and then there was someone on the Transportation Finance and Policy Division who's against light rail but spelled it "lite" in a tweet. I forget who, but I believe he's from Hutchinson. Also I think Jon Koznick referred to Route 467 as express BRT, which is just flat out wrong. Frequent service during rush hour but only during rush hour doesn't make your bus service BRT.
I would just call the Blue Line Extension light rail, but it's not right or wrong to call it suburban LRT since it will mostly serve suburban areas.