No regrets, no desire to be Democratic Party chair and no desire
to run for elective office again. Count Lt. Governor John Cherry as
ready to leave state government and to prove it, he turned in his
trusty Blackberry two weeks ago...thank you very much.
Left with his cell phone and thoughts of what might have been,
Cherry appeared in his final statewide public TV broadcast and tells
the Off the Record panel it is "not in my nature to focus on regrets"
so if he had any as he ends 35 years in this town, they will remain a
A relaxed and jovial Cherry made a strong defense of the
governor's performance in office saying, "The governor didn't go out
and bankrupt General Motors." Asked if the administration was a
failure, he countered that she had balanced the budget eight years in a
row and left the new governor will no deficit.
"I call that a success...she was a victim of bad breaks...she
diversified the economy," he went on.
He did concede the administration did not conquer the structural
deficit challenge but he quickly added that those who citizen her for
that "didn't meet that test when they were in charge." He did not name
Cherry believes it is time for the Michigan Democratic party to
redefine itself to bring in more groups based on geography and "get
more professions into the process." In so doing he concludes that
"some of the influence of labor would be diluted."
He chided House Speaker Andy Dillon for not being a team player
and for not including the governor in the discussion of health care
reform which Cherry says Dillon crafted by himself.
"He was not helpful; he was not part of the administration; he
had his own role" to play Cherry observes while at the same time he
called Dillon a "bright" person who wanted to advance his own agenda.
Cherry also citizend President Barack Obama for "negotiating
with himself" on the package of jobless benefits and tax cuts for the
wealthy. Cherry, unlike the governor, concludes, "You don't surrender
at the beginning" of the process.
As for his own failed bid to become governor, he says the
problem was money. He reports the UAW made financial promises that
were fulfilled, but others who pledged their support did not.
In the future he pledges to return to Flint and work for a
variety of groups to help the city recover from its economic challenges.
View the exit interview at wkar.org.