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.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
It is called the power of the incumbency and even though he is not the top banana in the Granholm administration, Lt. Gov. John Cherry knows how to exploit that power even as the second banana. While the governor was over on Lake Michigan last week taking credit for "saving the Great Lakes", Cherry was in Port Huron doing some water promoting of his own. "This morning, I'm beginning a tour of several communities on the shores of the Great Lakes…" he began an email blast to interested parties. Before he is done he'll hit Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, Muskegon and Traverse City and while he's talking about the water as Chair of the Great Lakes Commission, he'll also have time to meet with "local democrats, local leaders, residents and the media." So what's really going on? In case you missed it, Cherry is running for governor and this amounts to his first statewide foray of the 2010 campaign. One of the powers of the incumbency is to use your office to gobble up oodles and oodles of free media. When Cherry hits each of those water towns, rest assured the local media types will be there asking penetrating questions such as, "What do you think of the Great Lakes?" Cherry will hit it out of the park, get his mug on the evening news and hope that somebody remembers him when he formally runs for Granholm's job next year. Last weekend, the governor passed along another perk to her second in command. Since she was out of state, for the second year in a row Cherry got to march in the parade named after him, The T.C. Cherry festival. While most had no idea who he was, he got TV exposure, shook some hands, and got something none of the other contenders could get, exposure to half a million citizens/voters along the parade route. Nothin' like the power of the incumbency.