Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Cockrel Visits Lansing
Day one of Ken Cockrel in Lansing: Honeymoon in full bloom. There was not one lousy review in the bunch after the new Mayor of Detroit spent seven hours rubbing elbows with democrats and republicans trying to reassemble a battered working relationship between city and state. "My job is to be open and available," he suggested. Then he walked to his first meeting on Wednesday morning in the bright sunshine, which matched the optimism in the capitol concerning this new mayor on the block. By the time he split at 3:15, folks knew this was no Kwame Kilpatrick. Cockrel was low-keyed, humble, didn't dodge any questions and set a much-welcomed new tone. House Speaker Andy Dillon opined that the new mayor has the right personality and temperament20to bring the city back. Oakland County GOP leader Mike Bishop exchanged phone numbers with the new mayor and told him to call at anytime and Bishop says he means it. The governor chimed in that the mayor was "terrific and no nonsense." She likes that. Cockrel seemed pleased as he reemerged into the sunshine after his hours under the dome. He concluded that everyone, both R's and D's, did want to see the city come back. "We've got a clean slate," he reported. But many didn't catch the symbolism as he jumped in the back seat of his ride. Gone was the flashy Cadillac Escalade of the former mayor. In its place, a very unflashy Chevy Suburban. Message sent and received.