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.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Years ago when some upstart wanted to run for governor, the first drill was to raise some money, raise your name ID with the voters and start a buzz with the media.
Apparently the rules have changed. Now the first assignment is to get your butt into the White House..even if it is just to visit the janitor. You've seen the headlines recently: Ilitch visits White House followed by Speaker Andy Dillon noting, "I've been to the White House, too." Finishing third is Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero who can only boast that he has "talked" to folks at the White House. (Call the operator there and you can claim the same thing.) Frankly, while all this W.H. stuff sounds wonderful and adds a certain air of legitimacy to a person's candidacy, state Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer admits, it doesn't mean much at all. Nailing down a meeting with some second tier flunky is like cotton candy..tastes good but much substance.. However, give Ilitch credit, she was able to "leak" to the media that President Obama stuck his head in for a moment. Nobody knows if he said, "Hey, anybody in here see our dog Beau?" Ordinary folks are wondering what is the White House doing sticking its nose into the Michigan governor's contest in the first place. Doesn't it have more important fish to fry? It was reported here last October that operatives there are worried about losing the state in this year's race for governor. Well when Mr. President runs again in 2012, he'd like a blue governor in the chair and not some anti-Obama conservative republican who would not lift a finger to help Mr. Obama win. There's also the matter of redistricting. A Democrat governor has a critical role to play in composing the legislative and congressional voting districts. He or she who controls the redistricting process can increase the chances that his or her party will control both bodies. With that it mind, look for other headlines to surface as Dan Kildee, Bob Bowman, Bart Stupak, and Gawd only knows how many others will try to get into a "meeting" in the White House. Maybe they just try crashing a reception…apparently that might be easier to pull off.