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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How'd You Get In This Game?

  How'd You Get In This Game?
       He's been in the Congress, served eight years in the governor's seat, and made his mark as Ambassador to Canada, but if it was not for his old high school basketball coach, Jim Blanchard's resume might look a lot different today.
        Far as we can tell this marks the first time Blanchard has revealed how he got into politics.  It was not his first choice.  Being a starter on the Ferndale High School basketball team was.
        F.H.S. was on a roll having nailed down two state championships and Jamie Blanchard wanted to be part of the action.
        "I went out for basketball," the 5' 9" ex-jock recalls.
         It didn't take very long for both him and his coach to reached the not so flattering conclusion:  He was not going to make the team.
         Sensing a hidden talent in his reject, the coach told him, "Jamie.  Everybody likes you.  Why don't you be the team manager?"
         As his hopes of making the squad faded like a three point shot that turns into an air ball, Blanchard accepted the post.
         "But then I got interested in girls and being team manager with a bunch of smelly towels was not the way to attract them."
          So as he prepared to hang-up the manager's job, the coach urged Blanchard to run for student council.  He did.  He won.  And as they say the rest is history.
          Blanchard, whose dad was not around, spent a lot of time at the coach's home with his pal the coach's son.  "If it had not been for him pointing me in that direction…" and then the former Congressman, former Governor, and former Ambassador's voice trails off….
         Funny how failing at one thing can lead to success in another.


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