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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.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Save Those Bumper Stickers

   Hang onto those Dan Kildee for Governor bumper stickers.  They are about to become a collectors item as Kildee is expected, barring an 11th hour change of heart, to remove himself from the Democratic primary on Friday.
   In reality, nobody can hang onto the bumpers stickers because the Genesee County democrat's bid never got that far.
   Kildee said two weeks ago, "I intend to run."  But when the UAW sent word that it was going with Lansing Mayor Virg Benero, a certain fear gripped what there was of the Kildee for Governor campaign.  There was certain to be a domino effect, one insider put it.  First the UAW defected and other unions were sure to follow.
   Despite his years of carrying the water for labor in Genesee County, it was labor that rewarded Kildee by hanging him out to dry.
   There were fears in some democratic circles that if Kildee remained in the hunt with Bernero, those two would divided up the mainstream democratic vote leaving another 30% or so of the more conservative labor folks to side with Speaker Andy Dillon.  Theory was Dillon could then win and some factions in labor did not want that to happen.
   Part of Kildee's problem was he got a lot start once Lt. Gov. John Cherry dropped out. Bernero did not hesitate and pulled the trigger while Kildee was still looking for the trigger to pull.
   Kildee had second thoughts about this all along because he kept hearing that labor needed to find a consensus candidate.  But he still figured if he formed an exploratory committee, he could once and for all prove that he could cobble together a winning effort.
   In the end, he could not prove it and now it looks like Mr. Bernero has emerged the front runner.
   Ironically Kildee lamented weeks ago when he got the sense that he would be odd man out:  Does organized labor want somebody who is a good campaigner or someone who would be a good governor?
   It was a good question and turns out Kildee was not the answer.


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