Thursday, January 8, 2009
Brooks: One More Time?
What is it about guys 70 years of age running for office? First there was John "Call Me Maverick" McCain; now there could be L. Brooks Patterson dusting off his 1982 bumper stickers for governor. "We'll take a look at it," the jovial Oakland County executive announces and that's the kind of response this may provoke…jovial. Is he really serious will be the collective thought in this town as he trots out the possibility of another bid for governor. He couched his comments in terms of, "I've not made a final decision" but just to be safe he explains he wants to make sure his supporters are not aligned with any of the other two thousand republicans running for Jennifer Granholm's job if he does jump in. So me, present company not included, may argue Patterson tried this once before and couldn't even get the GOP nomination in 1982. Suffice it to say the 1982 version of Patterson is not the same model who contemplates running this time. Instead of a bomb-throwing persona closely aligned with the anti-cross-district busing controversy of the 1970's, Patterson is still tossing grenades but has a gravitas he didn't have before: He has an impressive record of creating jobs in his county. The 2010 race for governor will be all about the economy and jobs. But he also has baggage. His age will be one thing. Ask the aforementioned Mr. McCain if that cost him votes last November. Patterson is also an unknown quantity with voters once you leave his home turf. He can buy name ID however. And on another front voters are crying for bi-partisan cooperation in Lansing and Patterson does not exactly bring a sterling record to the table. Some say he is the reason Southeast Michigan doesn't yet have a transportation system to rival New York, Chicago and L.A. But first things first. He has to decide to run and he's clearly not there yet and chances are he won't be when push comes to shove.