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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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Capitol Is Over There

      When the newly elected Mayor of Detroit makes his eventual trek to visit state lawmakers here, Mr. Bing, the capitol is the building with the huge white dome.
     Which is to say, the former NBA star will be a new comer to the Lansing scene and that may be both a plus and a minus.
     A self-professed non-politician, Bing enters a world of professional politicians where he is basically an unknown quantity and professional pols are uncomfortable with that.
     Oh sure many in this town know that Bing has great ties to the business community and they know about his sports prowess, but that's about it.
     No one even knows if Bing has bounced into the capitol building before.  If he did he sneaked in the back door and left the same way.
     Lawmakers like to have a "comfort" level with the folks they deal with. Can the person be trusted? Does he or she have an ego that surpasses everyone else?  Do they know how to work a deal?
     Mr. Bing is smart enough to know he has to nature that comfort level but it doesn't happen over night.  You don't show up on the capitol steps and announce, "Here I am" and expect lawmakers to give you everything you want..especially if you hail from the Motor Ciy
     On one hand, having a clean slate allows Bing to start from scratch with official Lansing.  He carries none of the political baggage associated with being a part of Detroit city government.  He was not there when all the shenanigans were unfolding which is part of the reason the voters in Motown voted him in.
     On the other , there are certain ways to play the political game and as a rookie, that opens him up to make some mistakes and if those are bad enough, that can hurt him for the rest of his tenure.
    An initial test of his "understanding" of Lansing will be the length of time he waits before entering this court of play.
    Somebody will probably whisper in his ear, sooner is much better than latter.  Let's see if he listens.


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