When Johnny Comes Marching Home
down from the new governor at his swearing-in ceremony was an old
governor. John Engler, sitting quietly in the background.
Mr. Engler quiet?
Mr. Engler in the background?
Wrong on both counts.
Despite his declarations that he is no longer involved in
Michigan politics, the facts betray his fainting of non-interest. Look
this guy loves this stuff; it's in his DNA and his finger prints are
everywhere these days.
Dick Posthumus who was Engler's Lt. Governor shows up out of
nowhere as Gov. Rick Snyder's right hand man to push his agenda through
Doug and Sharon Rothwell, former Chiefs of Staff for Mr. E.
magically get tapped to run the Snyder transition operation putting
their stamp of approval on each and everyone of the new gov's
Tim Ward, former Engler campaign manager, comes within a whisker
of becoming the Chief of Staff for the new governor but at the 11th
hour Mr. Snyder is persuaded to go with someone else.
And when word came down that Gov. Snyder wanted to swipe an
Engler appointee now on the State Supreme Court to be state welfare
director, Engler sent word he opposed the move.
No boys and girls, John Engler is not on the daily news but his
influence is still being felt. There is even a low murmuring about how
the new Snyder administration is beginning to look like an Engler
The criticism is bit of a stretch, but in this town, persons
perked up at even that faintest notion that Engler may still be tossing
his influence around under the heading of "gone but not forgotten."
Adding to the mystic that is John Engler, he bought a house in
Laingsburg a.k.a. the GOP Retirement Villa where he rubs elbows with
his former legal advisor and her hubby the "Sleeping Judge" Cliff
Taylor. And the former head of the Michigan Chamber has a joint there,
So now everyone assumes that Mr. Engler is plotting to run for
the U.S. Senate in 2012. He probably won't but in vintage Engler
fashion he does nothing to kill the chatter…just in case it turns out
to be right.