Was Schuette's Bid Just 'Bad' Or 'Bad' In Epic Proportions?
Editor's note: MIRS asked a panel of political pundits that question, as well as whether reminding voters of tough times under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm has any further political shelf-life and if Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer should be secretly cheering for Gov. Rick SNYDER to get his way regarding Line Five.
Q. Would the GOP-controlled Legislature actually be doing Governor Elect Gretchen Whitmer a favor by getting the Line Five issue as settled as possible prior to her taking office?
According to Jen Eyer, Enbridge will be smiling if the tunnel deal takes place, not the incoming governor. “The GOP-controlled Legislature will be doing no one but their corporate donor Enbridge a favor by ‘settling’ the Line 5 issue before Whitmer takes office,” Eyer said. “Michiganders do not want oil running through the Great Lakes - period. This issue will never be settled until the oil is rerouted on land.”
Q. Would you expect Gov. Rick Snyder to veto or go along with GOP legislation that would strengthen the Legislature’s position vis a vis Attorney General-elect Dana NESSEL and Secretary of State – elect Jocelyn BENSON?
Eyer said, if Snyder cares at all about his legacy, he won’t sign any such legislation. “Snyder has absolutely nothing to gain by signing legislation that subverts the separation of powers as outlined under the Michigan Constitution on his way out of office,” Eyer said. “He, of course, is thinking about his legacy right now, which is overshadowed by Flint, as well as going back on his word on Right to Work and blowing a $2 billion hole in the annual budget in order to fund corporate tax giveaways. It’s not pretty. He needs to avoid any further instances of approving craven partisan policies in his remaining days in office if he wants to have any hope of being well regarded by Michiganders and historians who look back on his tenure.”
Q. Did the November election results finally put the ‘bad old days under Granholm’ slogan to rest as being considered useful campaign rhetoric?
Eyer said it probably won’t be used again, and she’s sorry about that. “As a Democrat, part of me hopes Republicans will blindly continue that line of argument,” Eyer asserted. “It was fun to watch because, having seen polling way back in early 2017 showing how popular Granholm remains among Democrats and even Independents, it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere. What’s surprising is how they stuck to it, even after it clearly wasn’t making a dent against Gretchen Whitmer, and then even as Schuette became a laughingstock for his robotic ‘lost decade’ rhetoric. In particular, Schuette’s ham-handed ‘mistake’ of calling Gretchen ‘Jennifer’ during not one but two debates was a cringe-worthy failure that reinforced his insincere career politician image.”
Q. Which, if any, gubernatorial campaigns over the past 40 years do you consider having been as bad or worse than this year’s Bill Schuette campaign?
“There are ample nominees for that award, ranging from Richard HEADLEE shooting himself in the foot with his attitude towards women’s rights, to Geoffrey FIEGER’s frequently offensive rhetoric and lack of a coherent strategy,” said Jen EYER, Senior Vice President of Vanguard Public Affairs. “But ultimately, I’d point to Dick DeVOS, who despite having nearly limitless resources, ran a lackluster campaign that just couldn’t connect with voters. He never shook the Richie RICH caricature that his opponents painted of him, just as Bill Schuette never found a way to shake his image of being an insincere career politician who’s just looking for his next taxpayer-funded gig.”
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