Fancy Meeting You Here
when it reported Virg Bernero "crashed" a town hall meeting called by
his opponent for governor Rick Snyder. The usage of an inflammatory
word was a disservice to both gentleman and distorted what actually
Let's begin with a commonly held definition of the term crashed.
When somebody crashes a wedding, they barge in, drink all your beer,
knock over the cake and all the chairs and don't leave a gift.
In this media story, the "crasher" was actually welcomed with open
arms, much to the shock of Mr. Benero.
Here's what really happened.
Since last Friday the democratic nominee has been on defense after
the GOP candidate unilaterally ended discussions about TV debates. For
three days Bernero blasted Snyder for "ducking" the debates.
So Monday night, Bernero took matters into his own hands; his team
will describe this as real leadership. He showed up in the hallway,
with TV cameras rolling, of the town hall event in Westland where
Snyder was fixin to go on stage to do his thing.
Instead of heading for the stage, Snyder, to his credit, went to
the hallway and invited Bernero to join him.
Bernero's only agenda was to find Snyder and hand him a letter
suggesting the two of them get rid of the handlers and sit down one on
one to thrash out the debate issue. Bernero even said he was not there
to disrupt anything and "I want you to do your thing," he advised his
After Snyder made it clear that he was cool with sharing the stage,
they did just that. They both gave a mini version of their stump
speech and then remarkably alternated taking questions from the
pro-Snyder crowd. It was grand theater.
There was no bickering and no attacks, and when one audience member
cried out he came to "hear Rick", Snyder advised him to back off and
asserted that Bernero had the stage. It was so civil that the two even
At the end the two shook hands and Bernero told the media they
would meet to work on debates.
The Snyder folks, however, explained that the only thing their guy
would do is meet but not discuss the debate question.
O.K. That's not even a half of loaf for all you debate lovers, but
it was progress and if there was any "crashing" going on, it was in the
backroom where all the handlers were tossing dishes wondering if they
were about to be fired by the candidates.
Not to worry. That will never happen.