Friday, July 28, 2006

Handicapping the Michigan Governor's Race

In the lazy days of August, Republican challenger Dick DeVos has a 4-5 percentage point lead against incumbant governor Jennifer Granholm. Generally, I would be excited about the idea of a Republican challenger defeating a Democratic incumbent for the governorship of the state of the Michigan, but I'm rather ambivalent.

The reason for my ambivalence is my gut feeling that Dick DeVos is an empty suit, or as conservatives would say, a "country-club" Republican. He talks about being a "successful businessman" (heir of AmWay - take that for what it's worth) and a "problem-solver", but he has not given anything on a substantive or a philisophical basis on how he sees the problems ailing Michigan or how he would govern. No talk anywhere about how he would reduce the size of government or even an outline of how he sees the structural issues that have led to Michigan's economy lagging the rest of the country. Based on this, I would have to say DeVos is closer to Bob Taft than John Engler.

As for Granholm, she hasn't done that bad of a job. With a Republican house tempering her liberal impulses, she has been OK, and her poor poll results are more due to events surrounding the auto industry than anything that the government has done or not done under her stewardship.

I think DeVos has peaked if he continues the campaign on a policy free, persona based image. If he sticks to that, I think Granholm will be able to clobber him on being an empty suit and sqeak in a win.

Here are my "keys to victory" as of today
For DeVos to win, he must:
1. Outline a substantive, conservative based platform to address Michigan's problems
2. Make the case for change by highlighting the economic record of the state under Granholm
3. Energize turnout in the Western half of the state
For Granholm to win, she must:
1. Highlight many of her accomplishments as governor
2. Show her plan to address the anxieties of the populace
3. Paint Dick DeVos as a silver-spoon "empty suit" who is running for governor as a hobby
4. Make up with Kwamme Fitzpatrick as the Detroit turnout will be critical for her to win.


At 9:10 PM, Blogger Taxbeaner said...

Interesting that you should mention energizing the vote in Western Michigan. I haven't been keeping up with the polls but the last one I saw showed DeVos leading everywhere except Grand Rapids, his home base. The reason is, they know him there. He has a plan. His ads are touting his 65 page plan on
I started to try to read it but after a few pages I sought the collected works of the uni-bomber in search of more rational thought. Example: we are the lowest state for job development! (True). We must cut taxes because we are in the middle on income taxes and that's not good enough. He will cut income taxes on the lower income families. My guess is that the upper income families may become collateral damage in the war against taxes on low income people and will have their taxes cut at the same time, possibly by larger amounts. My question: If taxes are the cause, shouldn't we be near the middle on job development.
Of course we must eliminate the SBT and "replace it with a broad-based business tax." Details please? He will reduce the cost of health care for "job providers" while improving health-care for Michigan's citizens. Details please? He will increase spending on roads and education. And the source of the money is. . .? He talks about Granholm supporting 65 tax increases amounting to $2.65 billion. Uh, who controls, by a wide margin, the Michigan legislature? Is he recommending that we throw those bastards out, too? I couldn't find that bit in his plan but I'm sure it's in there someplace. I could go on but the uni-bomber chronicles seem a much better use of my time.

At 6:12 AM, Blogger The Salmon of Knowledge said...

Dick Devos is for children and against crime. He's also against terrorism.

Vote for Dick Devos.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger The Salmon of Knowledge said...

seriously though, Devos is running one of those intellectually void, "I'm a uniter" type campaigns. If Im Jennifer Granholm, my strategy would be to debate Devos as often as possible in an public a manner as possible. his platitudes play well in 30 second ads, but I havent seen anything to make me believe that he's got anything close to 30 minutes in him/

At 8:11 AM, Blogger WM_pundit said...

I don't entirely disagree about DeVos, afterall those are my very concerns.

However, to say that Granholm hasn't been a bad governor is a complete understatement.

She is beholden to the Detroit political machine controlled by Kwame Kilpatrick even though it was the women voters in West Michigan that delivered the governorship to her. She is a corrupt as Kwame Kilpatrick.

She has recently had a rash of road construction project funding during this year when in the past she squelched it, why is that to say she accomplished things like new roads and high paying construction job creation. That really seems to be her only bragging points.

Michigan can do alot better than Jennifer Granholm.

I just fear DeVos is nothing more than a conservative "Kennedy", meaning someone who has had their destiny handed to them and only needs to superficially try to get what they were born for.


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