Blogs > Skoop's Blog

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, September 27, 2009

They Call That A Debate

It was the kind of debate, candidates dream about. Lots of time
for long-winded answers and no gnarly follow-up questions from
reporters or opponents. Hence the GOP "debate" for governor at the
Republican Mackinac Island leadership conference was a stroll up the
walk to the Grand Hotel.
If debates are designed to point out differences between
candidates, in this one you would need a telescope to find them.
Here's what we learned. Attorney General Mike Cox has a plan and a
web sight. Congressman Pete Hoekstra thinks Washington should not tell
Michigan what to do. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard has a gun
and lots of experience in the legislative trenches. State Senator Tom
George thinks if he could just get everyone physically healthy, all our
fiscal problems would be solved. And Ann Arbor business guy Rick
Snyder, who's spent $340,000 and has a whopping 2% in the polls
($!70,000 for each point) wants you to know he's not Cox, Hoekstra,
Bouchard, or George…professional politicians one and all.
In fact he lectured the republican faithful in the audience not to
pick the one you like or have known the longest, "pick the most
qualified" and that would be him so he says.
Buried within the 75-minute exchange on WJR radio, there we some
differences of opinion. Cox wants to slash taxes by $2 billion an
d he
supports higher education. Bouchard pointed out you can't have it both
George did not agree with the rest of the pack when they called for
the phasing out of state tax credits to lure business here including
the much Bally-hoed Hollywood film tax credit.
And that was about it.
With a format that allowed for no back and forth, each contender
was free to roam the stage with all their finely honed one liners as
they attacked government, taxes, and state employee benefits.
Surprisingly Gov. Jennifer Granholm got only a few knocks and the
odds on favorite to replace her for the democratic nomination, John
Cherry, got no mention at all. And Barack Obama was all but ignored.
How the heck did that happen?
Maybe next time in a real debate, some hard news and real
differences will emerge. One can hope.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home