SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
I was in the area, so I stopped in at Mike Cox's campaign headquarters. Mike [photo with family at right] is running for the Republican nomination for Michigan Governor. Because he is presently busy as Michigan's Attorney General, Mike was not at the HQ, but I did get to meet with his PR chairman, Nick DeLeeuw [photo at left from his Facebook page].
Nick showed me around the cavernous and empty offices, but it is obvious that they are planning to gear up fairly rapidly. Nick was active at RightMichigan.com for quite awhile and I had established a casual email relationship with him and Jack McHugh of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. I met Jack for the first time a couple of weeks ago, so I took a chance that Nick might be hanging around the campaign offices.
Nick had sent out a link to Mike's 92-point plan for Michigan which I scanned. My reaction was that it reminded me of Obama's plan for everyone and everything on the presidential campaign website. I wanted to have a clear statement of Cox's goals, priorities and strategies before wading through the details. This could have come from Obama's website, but it didn't:
Today I am releasing the first steps on changing Michigan. The time for small changes and timid acts is past; we must make bold and revolutionary changes.I understand perfectly that Mike's positions are quite different from President Obama's, but the point was that a lot of "things to do" around the theme of change just doesn't excite me like it should... for some odd reason. I want a businesslike approach ... something that Alan Mulally might do if he were running the state... not more slogans. That's not to say that the individual 92 points don't have merit. It is to say that if you are going to "make bold and revolutionary changes" you damn well better have a clear vision of what that is and where it is going to take you... something akin to Mulally's One Ford.
How about a One Michigan approach? That might be asking too much of any politician in this state. The residents probably are not ready for that much unity... red, blue, upper, lower. Fragmentation is the law of this political jungle with the promise of more favors to the winners.
I didn't grill him too hard, but said that I hope that the primary battle with Peter Hoekstra, whose district is centered around Muskegon and Ludington along the eastern Lake Michigan shores, would be gentlemanly. Don't blow up your bridges tossing grenades back and forth in the primary. Nick assured me that although the primary would be hotly contested, the real target is the Democratic party and both Mike and Pete know that. That's presuming that Pete will opt out of Congress for a chance at being Michigan's governor. The odds are quite high.
It ought to be an interesting battle. These are two heavyweights in Michigan, despite this being a big union state. There is a very strong possibility that whoever of these two wins the Republican primary will ultimately be Michigan's next governor. There simply isn't enough pork coming out of Washington to salvage the governor's office for the Democratic Party given the horrendous job the current governor has done and the general anger of the residents over the perceived sleazy dealings in Washington.
2010 is here... and