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, March 3, 2010
Finger on the Trigger
He has cocked the gun, but not pulled the trigger. Yet this is the closest Joe Schwarz has come to running for governor as an independent candidate. When we last visited the former state senator/GOP congressman, he was in the midst of deciding what to do about this bid as the state on Sunday watched the U.S. lose in O.T. to the folks north of us. "I'm inclined to run," he revealed on Monday morning and lo and behold by Tuesday afternoon he cocked the gun by forming an exploratory committee. He won't actually pull the trigger unless the exploration produces money, supporters and his guts to take a risk…all of these are unanswered questions at this read. Yet a possible independent bid for governor has the town talking. Schwarz actually followed the advice of what passes as his kitchen cabinet. A majority of them told him, "You'll never know unless you try." A Schwarz candidacy potentially hurts Democrat Andy Dillon and Republican Pete Hoekstra the most. Schwarz no longer considers himself a republican because he is way too moderate for those who own the party. He's out of step with Right to Life; he's willing to work with Democrats to get things done which puts him at odds with the Tea Party crowd which loathes any compromising of their principles; and he's open to a tax hike if elected. In other words, Schwarz has appeal to the sensible center of both the GOP and Democratic Parties which is the very same voters both Hoesktra and Dillon need to win their party nominations. Schwarz has seen recent "fresh data" suggesting he would siphon more votes from his former party while at the same time attracting some democrats, too. That's why he has a shot, albeit a long shot, at winning this thing. He says the time has never been better for an independent party candidate to tap into an electorate that is fed-up with incumbents and career politicians. Dr. Schwarz is a career politician but maybe with the "I" for indpendent after his name, voters will not automatically rule him out.