Monday, November 10, 2008

Watch out, America!

Here's a picture from Barack Obama's first press conference:

That woman to the left of Obama is our own governor, Jennifer Granholm. I don't know what she's doing there, or what she's done to earn such prominence with the popular incoming president, but she has been tapped to be one of Obama's advisors and is strongly rumored to be one of his picks for cabinet or other prominent public office. (This possibility is causing a lot of excitement here in Michigan, for varied reasons.)

Here's a warning to the rest of the nation: you'd better watch out if this happens. Granholm plays well to the media, but she's run Michigan's economy into the ground over the past six years. She blames the auto industry, and the prior governor, and the other party, but the essence is that Michigan has been in a one-state recession during her entire term. It's true that the auto industry has been struggling, and that has caused a ripple effect through the auto parts suppliers, and Michigan's economy is joined at the hip to all of that. But where other governors might have recognized the severity of the situation and worked with the Legislature to take radical steps to deal with the crisis, Granholm clung to her pet ideologies and took orders from the political supporters who put her in office. Any steps she considered had to be signed off by the unions, and the green lobby, and the radical feminists, and any one of a number of liberal groups. Needless to say, nothing was ever done while our state has slid into a deeper economic slough - the surest measure of which has been our severe population loss

I have a good friend who is a state legislator and has had to work closely with the Granholm administration on several issues, particularly the explosive and high-profile issue of tax policy. I trust his judgment (after all, he's friends with me, isn't he? :D ), and his take on Granholm's character is that she's no leader. She knows how to put on a press conference, issue press releases, and give speeches that others write, but when it comes to envisioning or suggesting new direction, she leaves it to her subordinates. This is probably why the special interests put her in office - they knew she'd be safely malleable, a tool to implement their policies rather than a leader who would make actual decisions.

So America - be careful if this woman is chosen. She'll be a figurehead, a mouthpiece - but no true leader. Like Jules in Lewis' That Hideous Strength, she'll be there for public consumption while others run the show behind the scenes.

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