Monday, February 15, 2010
All in the Family
Bob Bowman's dream of being Michigan governor ran into an obstacle not even the whiz kid could over come. No it was not money, no it was not the carpetbagger charge and no it was not for lack of passion to run for the job. If former Gov. Jim Blanchard is correct, it came down to family. Bowman, who was Blanchard's right hand man for eight years, could not move quickly enough to relocate his wife and two young children back to Michigan to make the run. So Bowman surprised the political know-it-alls in this town by bowing out before he even got in. The Bowman-is-running needle bounced last week when the Connecticut resident filed exploratory papers with the state. But that was more for legal and technical reasons and not an indication that he was poised to run which was the conclusion the same know-it-alls reached last Thursday.
Bowman was spending money to think about running for governor and did not want to break the law, but even as he filed the papers, the reality of running and the impact on his family was taking hold thus trumping his personal desire to run.
Gov. Blanchard reports there was "overwhelming" support for Bowman which overwhelmed the would be candidate. "He was pleasantly surprised," Blanchard recounts, but when Bowman called his former boss over the weekend, Blanchard did not try to change his protégé's decision. "You have to have your family behind you," Blanchard correctly reports "and he had to get back to the state right away" before the Republicans defined him as the Wall Street, carpetbagger, who has not lived here for twenty years. "Getting the family relocated quickly became the big issue," Blanchard reveals. One daughter was still in high school and you know how tough it can be to leave all those friends behind. Relocating everyone is not a "switch you can flip quickly," Blanchard continues to explain while suggesting Bowman could have overcome the GOP broadsides. But in the end instead of jumping on a plane to Michigan, Bowman got on the big bird to Vancouver where he and the family will enjoy the Winter Olympics while Bowman and his pal Blanchard ponder what might have been.