Stay or Go: That Was the Question
a decision: Stay seated or walk out?
Roll the tape back to last week in Holland, the place Hoekstra
calls home. He was in the audience near the front with about 300
persons behind him. On stage stood the POTUS better known as the
President of the United States.
Mr. Obama was on Hoekstra's turf to cut a ribbon at a new car
battery plant and the President wanted to show case how his new energy
policies were paying off with new jobs and new hope for Michigan's
As a veteran Congressman of 18 years, Republican Hoekstra knew the
drill: When the boss shows up in your backyard, you show up "out of
respect for the office." It's called protocol and even though Hoekstra
took some flak from the anti-Obama wing of his own party, he knew he
had to be there.
What he didn't expect, was what had him thinking: Stay or walk out?
The White House Press Corps had been tipped off that there would be
something in the President's speech dealing with Hoekstra. Hoekstra
got wind of it but had no idea would it would be. He was pretty sure
Obama would not endorse him for governor.
What the president did do was to criticize those in Congress who
had not supported his policies but yet still find time to "show up at a
Bam. There it was. The moment Hoekstra had been wondering about.
Had he had any hair on the back of his neck, it would have stood
up. The question was, would Hoekstra?
In that split second the choice was made: He sucked it in and sat
still, while he wondered what everyone behind him was thinking or
The President never mentioned Hoekstra's name. That would have
been bad form. He left it to the media and the audience to read
between the lines.
After the speech, everyone grabbed a shovel for the ground breaker
and just after the first blade of dirt was tossed, the national and
state media swarmed all over Hoekstra.
"It was un presidential and a cheap shot," he retorted.
In showing you how clumsy this White House can be, it managed to
hand reporters a new lead for their story that night and it was not
about the President embracing new energy in Holland.
Instead Hoekstra gained a ton of free media all over the state
just when he needed it most.
Frankly he owes the President a thank you note.
And while Hoekstra is at it, he should take a second to thank
that little voice in his head which said, "Don't leave!!"