Saturday, January 26, 2008
Tuesday Jan 29 Blog
Gov. Jennifer Granholm wades into the Michigan House later today (Tuesday) to deliver her sixth State of the State assessment. (See it on WTVS-TV at 7 p.m.) Traditionally the sitting governor always makes a declaration that the State of the State is (fill in the blank.) But in recent years she has avoided the tradition for obvious reasons, the State of the State stinks, and the always rosy-eyed governor just can't bring herself to admit it. She should. Even though she is not John McCain, citizens deserve a little straight talk on the economy. In a pre-emptive strike the senate republicans, lead by Oakland County's own native son Mike Bishop, trotted out the senate GOP agenda for 2008 last Thursday. It was pretty much a rehash of what they've wanted for years including more alternative energy, less government, more jobs, bla, bla, bla. The real story however had nothing to do with content in the news conference. The fascinating twist, unreported by the MSM, was who was not there i.e. Rep. Craig DeRoche a fellow Oakland Countian and leader of the GOP caucus in the Michigan House. There's another tradition in this town that when the governor does his or her thing, the party not in power is always given a chance to stand united and offer the loyal opposition's assessment on where the state is headed. But Bishop and company were standing without DeRoche. Maybe his invite got lost in the mail? Baloney. He was left out on purpose. DeRoche is politically out of step with Bishop and frankly Mr. B. wants very little to do with Mr. D. right now. Ever since DeRoche and his fellow R's lost control of the Michigan House last year, he has been on a mission to regain control and has framed virtually all of his legislative moves with that in mind. Give him credit from a crass political standpoint, Roche is relentless in his pursuit but many folks in town believe he has marginalized himself by focusing on his political agenda all the time while giving only lip service to doing the people's business first. He would staunchly disagree with the observation, but others would whisper it's true but never to his face. Of course, nobody in the Bishop inner circle will publicly admit this for fear of bursting the myth that republicans are all on the same page. So when it came time for the GOP news conference on the New Year agenda, there was Bishop while DeRoche was off doing something else. And when it came time for the GOP to put together a video statement that will follow the governor's SOS tonight on public TV, DeRoche was left out of that, too. Bishop will do the honors all by his lonesome. Both of these guys have aspirations for higher office, but have obviously reached different conclusions on how to get there. For the time being, the Bishop camp is sending every signal that it is willing to work with the democratic governor to move the state forward. "I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts," Bishop confided the other day as he basked in a new atmosphere of bi-partisan camaraderie with the front office. DeRoche, who by the way was not invited to a private sit down dinner with the governor, Speaker Andy Dillon and Bishop recently, is on a different path and apparently the phrase bi-partisan cooperation is not part of his lexicon.