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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, February 1, 2009

SOS Memories

         After covering 40 State of the State addresses the obvious question is what do you remember the most about them?
         Sorry to report most are memorable for not being memorable.  It's not quite, "You heard one, you've heard them all" but there is a certain sameness to each message.
         Bill Milliken, Jim Blanchard, John Engler and now Gov. Jennifer Granholm have each promised to "diversity Michigan's economy."  40 years and counting and we ain't there yet.
         Each embraced bi-partisan cooperation, which is standard boilerplate for the SOS.  It's a feel good notion that resonates with folks at home, but once the applause dies, its back to partisan politics as usual.
         There is always a laundry list of "to-do" stuff including improving education for our kids, creating more jobs, fighting crime and don't forget about protecting the environment.
          But there are certain aspects from each governor that still reside in the ole memory bank.
          In the midst of the 1970 energy crisis, then Gov. Milliken called for everyone to turn off his or her Christmas lights.  Who every heard of such a thing?  Wait a minute he did do that but it wasn't in the SOS.  Oh well.
           The Gov. Blanchard speech that re-echoes was the one in which he called for an income tax hike and in the back of the chambers you could hear one lonely person applauding.  That turned out to be the erasable Sen. Basil Brown from Highland Park.  Blan chard acknowledged the applause with some trepidation.
           John Engler's final SOS was the most emotional as he almost cried when he talked about how important is family was to him.
           Which brings us to the current governor.  She regrets ever saying it, but the phrase, "In five years you will be blown away" still gets tossed back at her as the economy has not blown anyone away during her six, now going on, seven years in office.
           So Tuesday night at 7 p.m., she gets another shot at delivering that memorable phrase that will appear in another blog years down the road.


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