Traverse City Record-Eagle


January 12, 2014

Jack Lessenberry: Gov. Rick Snyder re-election possible

History would seem to indicate Gov. Rick Snyder should have a fairly easy romp to re-election this fall.

For one thing, no Michigan governor has failed to win a second term since the current state constitution was adopted more than half a century ago. For another, history also suggests that this should be a good year for the governor’s Republican Party.

This will be the second “off-year” election since President Obama took office. He is, of course, a Democrat, and incumbent presidents normally see their parties lose badly in their sixth year.

But precedents are made to be broken - and this governor has taken some steps and made some blunders that seem certain to hurt him at the polls. The only question is: How much?

Though the administration stubbornly refuses to admit it, the governor made a howling public relations blunder last month when several hundred thousand residents lost power at Christmas.

Other governors might have appeared on TV, shown up at warming centers, called for more crews to be brought in from other states. Snyder did none of that. Spokesmen refused for “security reasons” during the crisis to say where he was or if he had lost power. (Later, they said the governor, a computer business millionaire, had gone to one of his homes, north of Kalamazoo, and that he had in fact been without power for a couple days.)

Last week, after I discussed this in this column, Dave Murray, a spokesman, called and wrote me to say he was surprised by comments that the governor was invisible during the storm. “He put out a couple of press releases,” he said.

That may be so, but it isn’t likely that they had the impact the governor’s appearance in person and on TV, might have had.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands