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.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Dillon's Bouncy Launch
He looks the part, but his campaign does not..at least not yet. Democratic candidate for governor Andy Dillon does look like a governor. All he needs is the votes to be one. However his campaign for governor designed to deliver those votes is not exactly hitting on all eight cylinders…more like four. Dillon needed to make a good impression in Lansing where the political press corps thrives on politics and is capable of picking apart even the smallest flub. He might get away with this stuff in Grand Rapids or even in Detroit, but the Lansing visit should have been a flawless performance. Scheduled for 11 a.m., the appointed hour came and went as the press secretary told everyone it would be 11:15 instead. No sweat there. Former Gov. Jim Blanchard was always late but he had the job. Dillon was auditioning for it. Huge difference. At around 11:20 or so, still no Dillon and his worker bees finally showed up with the sound system and the big Dillon for Michigan backdrop. They scrambled to get it all set up. Good thing the star was late. "He's in the building," a flustered yet relieved media secretary Ken Coleman was able to tell all the scribes. But instead of heading to the news conference, Dillon took a side trip to a meeting of business executives who happened to be in the building at the same time. He dropped in to say hi, said he was running for governor and left for the news conference. It is now approaching 11:40. En route a local reporter stopped him in the hallway. At this point, a seasoned campaign machine would have told her politely to get lost and go up stairs with the other reporters. But Team Dillon just stood there with the clock ticking off even more time while she asked some inane questions about something or other. Finally after five minutes or so, Coleman intervened, "Last question." Dillon, now some 45 minutes tardy, made his way to the news conference. After wards asked about the delay, Dillon said the 11 a.m. time was when the media was supposed to be in place. Nobody said that before and Dillon protested that he had been on time. Symbolism is everything in politics. His Lansing launch was not very pretty and some of his inside circle knew it. Dillon has time, despite this pratfall, to whip these folks into shape. If he doesn't, he can forget about being late like Gov. Blanchard.