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Mich. Gov.: Democrats Fight Back

After ceding the airwaves to candidate for governor and wealthy businessman Dick DeVos for much of the last three months, Michigan Democrats are finally fighting back on behalf of Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The state party has started a television ad campaign that seeks to place the blame for the state's struggling economy on President Bush rather than Granholm.

The first ad, which went up June 8, blames "Bush economics" for the economic problems in the state and touts Granholm's jobs plan, which includes forcing the state to buy Michigan products and investing heavily in Michigan business. "If they can't count on their state government, who can they count one?" asks the ad's narrator. "With Jennifer Granholm, Michigan comes first."

The second spot -- launched June 22 -- sounds a similar theme, telling of how Granholm convinced Chrysler to build a plant in Michigan that has created 300 "high-paying" jobs. "Jennifer Granholm took action, made Michigan's case and won," says the ad's narrator. "George Bush's trade policies are hurting Michigan but they can't stop Jennifer Granholm."

Looking at a slew of recent polling in the race, the state party's strategy seems sound. In an EPIC/MRA poll released in mid June, 40 percent of the sample said "Bush/national economic policies" were to blame for Michigan's economic problems while 24 percent said "Granholm/state policies." Seventeen percent said both Bush and Granholm deserved blame. (Those numbers were largely unchanged from a June 9 EPIC/MRA poll that showed 44 percent blaming Bush and 21 percent blaming Granholm.)

Despite the fact that voters see Bush as more responsible for the troubled economy, Granholm's re-election bid still faces major hurdles. In the EPIC/MRA poll DeVos had climbed in a 46 percent to 44 lead. A Strategic Vision (R) poll in the field at roughly the same time showed DeVos with a wider 48 percent to 41 percent edge while a Marketing Resource Group poll (conducted June 7-13) showed DeVos ahead 42 percent to 41 percent.

"As we can see from the public polling this is going to be a hotly contested race," said Penny Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Assocaition. "Granholm is in good position to tell the story of what exactly it is she has done for Michigan."

Phil Musser, Lee's counterpart at the Republican Governors Association, dismissed the efficacy of simply laying Michigan's economic problems on the president. "It's one thing to blame George Bush, it's another thing to lead a state," said Musser.

He also noted that Devos went on television last Friday with an ad touting his "turnaround plan" for the state, which includes work force training and a overhaul of tax and regulatory programs. "Michigan can do better," says DeVos. "Let's get it done."

Michigan will be a fascinating test case in how voters see the problems that affect their every day lives. Do they blame the state's chief executive or the nation's chief executive for the loss of jobs and opportunity in the state? Republicans are hoping to ride the economic message to victories over incumbents in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as the open seat in Ohio, hoping these state concerns will trump the national wind in their face.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 26, 2006; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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I wish I could get a job in Michigan that pays 177,000 per year with a 60,000 dollar expense account and a free 6000 square foot home and not have to do a damn thing to earn it.
No wonder Granholm wants to get re-elected thats a sweet gig.

Posted by: Patrick Thomas | September 24, 2006 4:28 PM | Report abuse

The democratic party needs to come up with stances on 4 issues

immigration, the war, the defecit, and national security

abortion, flag burning, gay marriage, and other topics like this are all scare tactics brought on by both parties but mostly the republican party.

I can't help but laugh at how badly the republicans hurt themselves today by debating a constitutional amendment on flag burning when we have important issues to pound out like immigration and an exit strategy.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 27, 2006 8:09 PM | Report abuse

George Roberts wrote:
"I don't take kindly to public officials betraying the trust we put in them through the ballot. It is time for Democrats to live up to their name - or relinquish it. Is it too much to expect the Democrats to act Democratic?"

Join the disgust. In GA the same game is being played with the Dem Govenor candidate Cox, with her kowtowing to Republicans.

This inbreeding results some monsters, much worse than DINOs (real Republicans behind the "D").

But as long as the radicals hijack the Democratic party, don't be surprised you'll get some fat wooden nickles (because Dems have either two choices now: kowtowing to the San Francisco Left [no chance of winning elections in the South or Midwest that way]; or kowtowing to the Neo-Confederate Good o' Boy Right [and be another Zig Zag Miller].


Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Granholm is shady. She blames all the economic problems in MI on the Republican legislature and George Bush. Is this an admission that she is so incompetent that she can't work with the other party in order to get anything done? How weak is that? There is no reason to re-elect her. She does nothing but waves her arms around like she is in some theater production or maybe she is in distress. If her whole campaign is about how the Republicans are terrible and she is being blocked by all the Republicans, why did she run for Governor in the first place? SHe knew then that the legislature was controlled by Republicans. Maybe she should run for Democratic Party chairman. She is the most ineffective Governor of all time.

Posted by: Denise | June 27, 2006 3:00 PM | Report abuse

RBK, echoing a number of tragically misguided Michigan Dems, cites Jennifer Granholm's much ballyhooed "Cool Cities" initiative as reason enough to return her to office.

RBK writes, "Granholm understands the fundamental need to restructure the economy and attract post-industrial [jobs]... if you want to attract creative, entrepreneurial people and innovative businesses to Michigan, you should help invest in making Michigan's cities (of all sizes) attractive places where people want to live."

This is undoubtedly the correct sentiment. Unfortunately, as is so often the case with the Granholm administration, the execution is horribly and fundamentally flawed. A representative example of how Cool Cities funds are used: Portland, MI (population 3,800) used grant money to refurbish "art deco features" on its downtown theater.

This is not exactly the type of improvement that will attract and retain our bright young college graduates - creating high paying jobs will. If the goal is to attract entrepreneurs and innovative business to Michigan, we need to eliminate the stifling Single Business Tax. If the people of Michigan want to see this happen, we need to elect Dick DeVos.

Posted by: Republikaz | June 27, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Colin: Don't have time to discuss this at length, unfortunately. My opinion is that I am much more comfortable with a military designed timetable than a congressional one. I know Bush is using this as a political tool, though, and I am not happy about that.

The "cut and run" hyperbole has been an effective method for Bush et al in their attempts to paint the democrats as weak on defense. Eventually I think the "Murtha" doctrine will be enacted in some form or another. It only seems logical that eventually our forces will need to fade into the background. It's really just a matter of timing.

Posted by: FH | June 27, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Granholm can do nothing but blame our woes on DC. She has no viable plan to offer MI - we tried her policies and they don't work. A leader must lead, and all she has done is make excuses. Dick DeVos on the other hand has just released the most comprehensive economic plan by a challenger in MI statewide history Dick knows how to run an enterprise in troubled waters. He has the experience and the know-how to make things work. The people of MI have given Granholm a chance; she should run on her record - not point fingers. A famous president from Granholm's party had a sign on his desk that said "the buck stops here". If only we had that kind of leadership in MI now.

Finally, there is one other reason to turn Granholm out in November. She and the rest of the MI Democrat party have abused the power of their offices to lend credence to a series of untruths about a ballot proposal to end racial and other preferences in MI public hiring, contracting and university admission. This amounts to a cheap attempt to disenfranchise the supporters of this proposition. I don't take kindly to public officials betraying the trust we put in them through the ballot. It is time for Democrats to live up to their name - or relinquish it. Is it too much to expect the Democrats to act Democratic?

Posted by: George Roberts | June 27, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it pure coincidence that the ads on Radio and TV by the MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) touting Michigan as the greatest place to do business come right on the heels of the DeVos ads? Basically what you have is an ineffective incumbent Governor using a taxpayer funded government agency (MEDC) as a campaign tool. Ever wonder why these "feel good" ads did not get on the air till DeVos put his ads out? But then, Governor Granholm is a press release governor with no discernable accomplishments besides issuing press releases! Michigan cannot afford another minute of her incompetence!

Posted by: Gotham City | June 27, 2006 11:37 AM | Report abuse

FH -- It's been the worst kept secret in Washington for quite awhile that the Bush administration was going to miraculously find a way to draw down troops prior to the elections - why by my way of thinking tends to debunk the idea that the administration is simply following the advice of the generals (and in one sense, it's good their not. You know, the whole civilian control of the army thing.) Moreover, Dems have been coalescing around the plan Levin and Reed put out for quite awhile. In light of all that, I guess I'm curious as to how you view Republicans in Congress nonetheless labeling the Democratic plan as "cutting and running."

Posted by: Colin | June 27, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I live in Michigan. Granholm's entire record as governor is "cool cities", "It's Bush's Fault", and "It's Engler's fault"

She has been the worst governor in my lifetime, and when that includes Jim Blanchard, that takes work. Governors need to lead and stop blaming others for their poor records.

Posted by: Republican Michigander | June 27, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to take a moment to refute many of the grossly inaccurate blanket statements that the Michigan Democratic Party has put forth in its recent ads in support of Governor Granholm.

The June 8th ad claims that "Bush economics" are to blame for Michigan's economy. How is it that "Bush's economics" are only affecting Michigan? From May 2005 to May 2006 Michigan was the only state to NOT hit by a hurricane to lose jobs. Meanwhile, during this same timeframe, other manufacturing-centric states saw job growth. Does this mean Bush has it out for Michigan, or is Granholm just looking to blame others for her own inadequacies?

The ad also states that "...with Jennifer Granholm, Michigan comes first." Yes, it's true -- Michigan is now first in all of the categories where we should be last, and last where we should be first.

Meanwhile, Penny Lee (executive director of the Democratic Governors Association) says how "Granholm is in a good position to tell the story of exactly what she has done for Michigan." Will she tell the story of how she didn't even announce her "Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow" plan to diversify Michigan's economy until she had already been in office for two years? Maybe she'll tell us that her new Merit Scholarship Program proposal will actually bankrupt the program by the year 2011 (after it has been funded by tax increases of course). I personally would love to hear this story, because what exactly HAS Granholm done for Michigan?

Posted by: Allison | June 27, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Colin: "It shouldn't be a political decision, but it is going to be with this administration," Levin said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's as clear as your face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, there's going to be troop reductions in Iraq, and the president will then claim some kind of progress or victory."

I think the dems planned this vote, knowing that troop levels were going to be reduced sometime before the elections. They are trying to blunt the positive effect those reductions might have on Bush's poll numbers.

Drindl: C'mon...are you telling me that Chris Matthews wouldn't give Harry Ried the entire show to discuss his party's platform? The bottom line is that the dems are going to be intentionally vague on specifics until after the 06 election. Why give Republicans something to run against when you can make them run on their own dismal record. At least that's the way I see it...but I'm a cynic!!!

Posted by: FH | June 27, 2006 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The problem with Granholm's strategy is that winning hard-fought battles for 300 jobs (like she cites in the Chrysler ad) is not the way to bring back the state's economy. It would take far too long and the state would still continue to experience a net job loss. For all Granholm's posturing about how everything is Bush's fault, much of the rest of the nation is doing quite well. Economic growth has been strong in every other region (save parts of the Katrina-devestated coast), but Michigan has been unable to improve. Why is that?

Michigan is not in a good spot right now. DeVos has proposed some fairly radical changes - tax structural changes, school vouchers, a more streamlined bureaucratic process, etc. He's thinking about results while Granholm continues to reject any notion of change, despite the fact that her policies have failed again and again. She's unwilling to take any risks, and without risk-taking, Michigan will never turn around.

Granholm has refusen to take responsibility for anything poor that has occurred under her watch. It's Bush's fault for doing the right thing and supporting free trade. It's the Wall Street Journal's fault for publishing editorials criticizing the state's poorly-designed tax structure (because shh...we don't want people to know!). It's never been her fault, if you ask her.

Give me a break, Jen.

Posted by: Keith, Grand Rapids, MI | June 27, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

One other note - if the state's sorry economic state is George Bush's fault, does that make it George Bush's fault that the rest of the nation has experienced something like 33 straight months of economic growth?

Posted by: sparky | June 27, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

it's interesting to me that the best claim that Granholm can make in her ads in response to DeVos is that she's going to bring Michigan back by.... well, by having the state purchase it's office supplies and whatnot from Michigan companies.

Wow. Spectacular.

All the folks commenting here on how DeVo's plan lacks specifics might just take some time to look at their own candidate's pathetic "plan" to bring Michigan back. At least DeVos knows how to run a business and has actually created real jobs.

Posted by: sparky | June 27, 2006 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Sandy - I'm sorry I got under your skin so much with my joke. I didn't realize I had hurt your feelings so bad that you would start ranting that I am a woman. I didn't realize you were so desperate. I'll guess I'll just lay off so you can continue your cute little jihad against anything Democratic and Daily Kos. I guess that silly little blog must be having some kind of impact if it is making wingnut screamers like yourself spend whole days writing about it. Democrats don't spend time bothering with conservative blogs - because none of them are of any importance.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 27, 2006 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Ohio Guy suffered from foot and mouth disease with:
"Sorry Sandy, but you and Tina don't qaulify as "every woman on this blog""

I'm sorry, didn't know you're a woman.

Do Ohio Guys wear nylons too?


Blogging for Dollars - Hang Daily Kos...

Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 1:57 AM | Report abuse


Tina and yourself? Wow - now there's two women I would pay to never see in real life. Sorry Sandy, but you and Tina don't qaulify as "every woman on this blog" as you so idiotically put it - you two may the only women wingnut screamers on the blog maybe, but not the only women.

Oh, and I get it now - by saying I should kiss your feet "to win in '06 and '08" you mean to say you are one of those moderate voters that he Dems need to win over. Again, sorry to break it to you Sandy, but about the only person in the country that you are not to the right of is Ann Coulter, although that Hitler comment might just do it. The Democratic Party has no interest in courting morons like yourself who compare the party to Hitler, while praising Bush as God. We will stick to adding independents and moderate repubs to our ranks - not liars and hypocrites. People like yourself deserve to be institutionalized, not pandered to.

Quick question Sandy - if you had the choice of President between Bill Clinton and George Bush, who would you pick? Since you would pick Shrub, that puts you in the extreme minority of the 30% of the country that answered that question the same way you did. We'll stick with the 70% that picked Clinton in a recent poll and leave the wingnut screamers like yourself to the republicans.

In short, you have made far too many idiotic statements on this blog to be considered a moderate and there is an electronic trail of your qoutes a mile long to prove it Sandy, so you're not fooling anybody.

Oh, and I suggest you go find a massage parlor that has a male employee. It's the only way you will ever get a man within 10 yards of your calloused feet. Oh yeh, and be prepared to pay extra. A Lot extra - I hear they have an "ugly" charge at those places.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 27, 2006 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Granholm and her people are phony and they are a bunch of hypocrites. Consider:

- Granholm attacks Bush's trade policies such as NAFTA, yet she campaigned for Clinton, Gore, and Kerry, who not only voted for NAFTA - it was all initiated under their watch. Gore even debated Ross Perot on NAFTA in 1993, begging everyone to support it! What a joke! Maybe Kerry was against NAFTA, after he voted for it? How does that work again?

- Granholm's minions criticize DeVos for leaving the state board of education just two years into an eight-year term. But then Granholm and her people recruit Scott Bowen to run for state attorney general - a man who quit his six-year term as a district judge just 18 months into the job - so he would be eligible to run for attorney general!

- Granholm and her people criticize DeVos for being pro-life and not supporting a so-called "woman's right to choose." But DeVos's position is the exact same position as her own candidate for Attorney General, Scott Bowen! Is Bowen a dangerous right-wing extremist who would take away a woman's right to choose? What about Michigan Congressmen Dale Kildee and Bart Stupak, both elected Democrats whose position is the exact same as DeVos' on that issue?

- Granholm says she is a Catholic, yet the Catholic Church wants to deny women the right to choose! Why would anyone want to be a member of such a dangerous right-wing extremist institution if you support a "woman's right to choose?" Granholm should leave the Catholic Church and join one where you can pick and choose your beliefs as you please or just make up whatever feels good at the time, maybe taking a vote on the truth or something like that.

- Granholm says she is in favor of public education, but she sends her children to private schools! DeVos attended public schools his entire life!

The fact is that none of these issues really matter compared to the economy, which Granholm is not responsible for, but she has done nothing to help either. She's a totally ineffective career politician who has never spent a day in the private sector and who couldn't find her way out of a paper bag! TOTALLY CLUELESS!!!

Posted by: Fran | June 27, 2006 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Colin wrote:
"I gather that your main objection to the Democratic party is that it's NOT the Republican party"

No, they're two peas in the pod.

This is an example by how much...

And they supported gay marriage to the extent of trying to push it, at the state level. No discussion, no debate, just ramrod it through like it was designed to hand over the 2004 election to their so-called rivals.

They're too busy trying to out do the Republicans at their own game, that they're but just a Twiddle Dee to Twiddle Dum.


Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 12:49 AM | Report abuse


Nice try at a insult, but your problem seems to be with *every* woman on this blog. Be it Debbie, Tina or myself.

BTW, my feet still need cleaning. You want to win in 2006 and 2008, right? So start licking.......




Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 12:43 AM | Report abuse

SandyK -- Above and beyond the hitler comparisons, which I think it's fair to say EVERYONE should stay away from, I gather that your main objection to the Democratic party is that it's NOT the Republican party. Quick, name me a prominent Democrat that favors gay marriage? Sadly, the answer is that there isn't one. For better or for worse (worse in my book), Democrats are right where the rest of the country is on gay marriage: comfortable supporting civil unions but not marriage. Iraq? Again, the Democratic plan (now also endorsed by General Casey, apparently) is not an immediate pull-out. It's a phased withdrawal that simply recognizes that what we're doing now isn't working. As for Taxes, I suppose you probably shouldn't vote for the Democrat if you think that tax cuts for the super rich while the tax burden is shifted to the middle class are a good idea. However, if you support a FAIR tax policy, under which the middle class doesn't get squeezed, I think today's Democratic party ought to win on that issue too.

In short, I don't imagine there are a lot of Democrats whose views you're going to agree with SandyK. And that's fine, but let's not pretend it's b/c the Democratic party has somehow moved left. I think it's b/c you're clearly looking at all these issues from the right bank of the river.

Posted by: Colin | June 27, 2006 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Sandy, I don't touch women who are over 60, overweight, and have beards like yourself with a 20-foot pole. Let alone REPUBLICAN women who are 60, overweight and bearded. Gross.

I hear there are dating servies solely for lonely wingnut screamers such as yourself - look em up.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Robert Chapman (wouldn't be THAT Chapman would you??) wrote:
"IS this serious? SandyK advocates voting for Hitler over the instability of Democrats, who in their last administration, grew the economy, balanced the budget, decreased crime and social anomie and won a war against ethnic cleansing?"

Actually they didn't grow the economy, it grew on it's own accord. The invention of the graphical browser in 1996 brought a net revolution. This brought the tech boom. All things the Democratic party had little to do with (and continue to have little to do with even today).

And I was sure you Godwin's Law types would've went after the Hitler remark as usual. And falling for it means this "netroots" seems to be a very n00b coalition, indeed.


Posted by: SandyK | June 26, 2006 10:28 PM | Report abuse


My feet are ready for your tongue anytime, sweetie. :)

Remember, long short strokes, dear. And don't miss between the toes. :D


Posted by: SandyK | June 26, 2006 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Robert - yeh this Sandy person is for real. Sad thing is the Hitler comment is actually NOT the most outrageously stupid thing she has ever said. Stick around for a day, she will top herself in the stupidity department tomorrow.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Compared to what Dems have to offer right now, the general public may even prefer Hitler " - SandyK

I think this is the dumbest, most ignorant statement I have ever read on this post. SandyK yet again proves herself to be nothing more than a wingnut screamer.

Sandy, what are the Democrats proposing that is anything like Hitler or worse for that matter??

Are you saying Americans would prefer Nazi death camps, burning of books, experimenting on Jews, and totalitarian governemnt over implementing the 9/11 Commission reccomendations (checking 100% of incoming cargo, etc.), raising the minimum wage, having a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, rolling back the Bush tax breaks for Big Oil and the wealthiest 1%, pay-as-you-go fiscal policies, and securing our borders and ports? Because those are a few of things Democrats are proposing, and I doubt any sane person (which does not include you) would choose Hitler over these proposals.

The above is just more evidence of how much a loon SandyK is, as if her comments from above are'nt evidence enough. Which makes it even more hilarious how she claims to be an inependent. The entire blog should ignore wingnut screamers like SandyK b/c she makes even less sense than our other resident lunatics such as KOZ and Viva.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Until they grow a backbone, until they get in touch with the voting base, Republicans will win these elections. More radical, more liberal Dems become the more voters vote for more secure and less scary candidates (Hitler was much more pleasant than anarchy, for example).


IS this serious? SandyK advocates voting for Hitler over the instability of Democrats, who in their last administration, grew the economy, balanced the budget, decreased crime and social anomie and won a war against ethnic cleansing?

Posted by: robert chapman | June 26, 2006 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the political parties in Michigan are not responding to the needs of the people in the state. Both parties have failed to bring businesses in to the state, retain existing companies and lure in technical companies. They have been moving toward a "tourist" economy for a number of years and sacrificing manufacturing and technical production to do that. Northwestern and Northern Michigan are low wage regions that trap most of their residents in a catch 22 of poverty and lack of career level work. Most jobs in this region are service industry and agricultural. The public education system is full of huge disparities between moneyed districts and ones that are strapped for cash. Most of the rural school districts have fallen into the cycle of passing students without educating them. Many do not get the actual benefit of the education they are supposed to receive. Again, this is the fault of both political parties in teh state and not just any one group. I am certainly glad I left and moved to Maryland where at least there are jobs and stability.

Posted by: hank K | June 26, 2006 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Colin wrote:
"I'd be curious to hear what issues the Party is pushing that are so extreme."

A prime one was gay marriages. That's but one issue that handed the Republicans a victory in 2004 (it not only angered and disgusted the WASP conservative vote, it also disgusted the WASP Democratic voters, and the ever important church going Black vote). Dems seriously misread the landscape, then pushed it to beyond legal reasons (like the San Francisco mayor granting gay marriages against the Law). That rallies every law abeiting citizen to take a distain to the tactics (even if they may concede on civil unions).

Another problem is the complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq. That's an extreme stance that's yet another knee-jerk reaction that plays into the old Dem stereotypes (totally against the military, and even the USA). Folks learned from Vietnam that an abrupt withdrawal is worse than an orderly one, and the majority would favor ONLY an orderly pullback. No more losing face, either do it orderly or not at all.

Here's another one that more local: taxes. The #1 thing that gets voters in the South and the Midwest riled is an increase in property and state/federal income taxes. Quickest way to rally Republicans to outslaught Dems in an election is a whiff of raising taxes. Even Dem controlled districts will face an uphill battle on tax increases (like in my district, voters be it Democrat or Republican voted NO against another sales tax, no matter how it was pleaded or worded).

Yet another issue is environmentalist extremes. Locals may care about the environment but they have to eat too. If their town has a polluting industry, any whiff that jobs will be reduced to pay for upgrades would cause the community to vote against such a candidate (especially in mill towns that depend on hundreds to thousands of jobs that industry offers). Push folks to make such choices and they'll chose eating, pure and simple. Guilt complex doesn't work.

There's plenty more issues that Dems are out of touch with (especially urban Dems), let alone too extreme for the average Joe to vote for. The above is a good cross example, though.


Posted by: SandyK | June 26, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Drindl wrote:
"This woman Sandy is a lunatic. She really loves Hitler."

This is how you guys lose the debate via your own hari kari remarks -- by invoking Godwin's law.

[And Colin, the above is exactly what I mean by the Democratic party isn't ready for prime time. They're like vipers, and arguing over anything --personally to boot-- and not focused on any issue, then kill what they are arguing via their own fat mouths. Such rhetoric polarizes and drives folks away from supporting their POVs and any candidate they endorse.

They rather waste their time arguing over someone online (and wasting resources in the process) than actually making a difference locally, where the votes count. Online it doesn't matter as those in Timbuktu don't care about issues in your backyard. Republicans win because they understand all politics are local, and they stick with the local issues hand and glove. Everything else on the national level is gravy.

Until Dems learn to get back in touch with voters and reality, they'll still be tail chasing and ending short. There shouldn't be very close races this November, but it's showing it's the same 5+/- spread, as the undecided/independent/moderate voters who swing elections vote for the lesser of two evils. Since if they clearly liked a candidate the numbers would be more lopsided, like when Reagan was elected in 1980. Every candidate so far mentioned in the races don't excite voters, as they see them as Twiddle Dees and Twiddle Dums].


Posted by: SandyK | June 26, 2006 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Andy R -

Yeh I saw that Durbin had said that, and I can't say that I'm surprised. Infuriated? Absolutely. Surprised? No way. While I do agree with Durbin on a lot of issues sometimes he says some things that are so far out they make me cringe and he is such an establishment-type DC Dem it makes me sick, and this latest statement only reinforces my view of him. What is it that Durbin and Schumer don't understand that Lieberman is NOT entitled to his seat no matter how much of a sell-out he has become and if the voters of Connecticut want to throw him out then they have every right to do so? It is their job, especially Schumer's, to elect Democrats to the Senate, not independents.

What I'm HOPING is that when Schumer and Durbin say that they will support Lieberman no matter what, they are just saying so in case Liberman somehow pulls out a win in the primary, he will not be mad at Senate Dems and become indie or worse, caucus with the republicans. But I fear that these two are actually so out-of-touch that they actually MEAN it when they say they will support Lieberman no matter what.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Ohio guy,
I did see the post you had and you answered my question. I didn't comment on it cause I was on my way out. I think you have made me a beleiver in Lamont.
Also I after your post I checked out his webpage and his ideas are pretty dead on with mine. Did you happen to see Durbin say that he would support Liebermann no matter what? This guy is our minority whip and he might support an independent over a democrat. But then again Mitch McConell threw Chafee under the bus so I guess it goes both ways.

Posted by: Andy R | June 26, 2006 7:39 PM | Report abuse

If the Dem's were really smart, they would go straight after Bush, the Republicans and outsourcing. Promise to end it or make it so expensive and so cumbersome that it is economically untenable, and promise to flat out end any sort of guest worker permits that allow them to replace American workers and you will simply blow the globalization fanatics and the Republicans away. Then, point out the national security breaches and dangers presented by work visa programs, accuse Bush and the Republican and anyone supporting these programs of treason and greed, and ride this to victory.

Posted by: Mike Brooks | June 26, 2006 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Andy R -

A few days back you asked this question on the thread about Lieberman:

"Ohio Guy and Drindl, I am genuinly asking what are these issues? I just don't know and if you guys can give me three other issues that Lamont differs with Liebermann that would be great."

I did not see your request until two days after and I responded with a long post and nearly a dozen big differences between Lamont and Lieberman. I also cross-posted it on The Friday Line thread. I didn't see a response from you so I figured you have not read it. I would urge you to go read it so you can see that the war is not the only reason Democrats hate Lieberman and that Lamont is not a a one-issue candidate.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse

FH and Colin, The 'liberal' media is not just part of the problem --it's most of the problem. They refuse to discuss Democratic iniatitives, preferring instead to portray them exactly as Rove's talking points dictate -- 'in disarray' 'divided' 'no new ideas'. They even all use the same language, straight from Frank Luntz's notebook.

No matter how creative Dem's ideas area, the Beltway is driven by a conventional wisdom that refuses to acknowledge them. As you say, the Dem change in direction in Iraq plan is the same as Maliki's and General Casey's. And Republicans don't have a plan, except to stay in Iraq permanently, which is what they intended all along.

Posted by: Drindl | June 26, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

And the 'liberal' media is where on this guy?

DeVos and his....well, 'weird'...fortune come to the political arena with more baggage than Samsonite, yet the debate is about Jennifer Granholm.... a true political moderate and the beta version of the 21st Century Democrat.

48, 46 percent support...whatever. I have to think at least a portion of Michgan's GOP leaning voters will come to their senses and realize this guy is just another rich kid who has self-annointed himself with the delusion that democracy functions like business. A well run business is NOT a democracy. Key point.

To the doubters, pay a visit to Grand Rapids, where this guy and his creepy family have named just about everything bolted down after themselves. In fact, fly there....Old Man DeVos is the guy in the huge painted portrait looking down on the airport terminal, like some South American banana republic.

Run for Emperor of Kent County, Dick. Leave the governorship to the humble.

Posted by: Doof | June 26, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

FH -- Yeah, I agree Democrats haven't done a great job thus far in articulating what their ideas are - which is particularly frustrating b/c they DO have ideas. As we move towards the mid-terms, however, I think you are seeing the caucus coalesce around a few important issues: (1) An actual plan for Iraq, which as of yesterday the Generals apparently seem to agree with (I'm referring to the Levin-Reed Bill, not the Kerry "plan"); (2)Implementing ALL of the 9-11 commissions recommendations within 100 days of gaining control of either House; (3) Restoring fiscal sanity by going back to a PayGo budgetary process; (4)Raising the minimum wage; and (5) Working towards energy independence.

It's tough to make yourself heard sometimes when you don't control any branch of government, but you would think every Democrat who goes in front of a camera really ought to be ticking off at least a few of these issues every chance they get. We'll see, I suppose.

Incidentally, I'd be curious to hear your take on General Casey's troop drawdown plan. It really does look almost exactly like what Republicans just assailed as a "cut and run" strategy. Since I know you've been a proponent of seeing things through in Iraq, what's your take on this whole thing?

Posted by: Colin | June 26, 2006 4:55 PM | Report abuse

DeVos' economic plan is shocking in its lack of vision. No one is going to turn around Michigan's economy in only a couple years, but I feel like Granholm understands the fundamental need to restructure the economy and attract post-industrial, if you will, jobs. Her Cool Cities initiative is a great example of this: if you want to attract creative, entrepreneurial people and innovative businesses to Michigan, you should help invest in making Michigan's cities (of all sizes) attractive places where people want to live. Naturally, Cool Cities gets the axe in DeVos's plan. But he does have a plan to link teachers' salary increases to merit evaluations...! Sheesh.

Posted by: rkb | June 26, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Colin: "I'd be curious to hear what issues the Party is pushing that are so extreme."

I'd be interested in what issues the dems. are pushing at all. I've learned more about dem. positions from YOU than I've learned from listening to the party leadership.

Posted by: FH | June 26, 2006 4:23 PM | Report abuse

This woman Sandy is a lunatic. She really loves Hitler. This is what is wrong with a lot of people in America today -- a fascination for the 'good old days' of totalitarianism. More and more, I keep reading how it's okay for the government to lock people up forever, without a trial, on just the president's sayso. How it's okay for government bureaucrats to spy on anything we do or say. How it's okay, in fact for the government to do any damn thing it pleases. And I hear 'people' like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh calling for the murder of judges and Congresspeople they disagee with.

This is a really ugly time, and it's very frightening. And Sandy, I prefer anarchy to gas chambers and 'medical experiments', thanks.

Posted by: Drindl | June 26, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Had Kerry had the .... to fight back the same way as Jennifer things might be different today. Was that jock strap he bought before that skie trip an extra small?

BObby WIghtman-Cervantes

Posted by: BObby Wightman-Cervantes | June 26, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

SandyK -- Who are these extreme liberal Democrats you keep referring to? I asked you this once before, but I have yet to get an answer. Frankly, today's Democratic party is FAAAR more moderate than it used to be, not the opposite. I'd be curious to hear what issues the Party is pushing that are so extreme.

Posted by: Colin | June 26, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The DeVos jobs plan stinks of Bush economics, which has been so beneficial for Michiganders and all Americans so far. Does Michigan need more revenue cuts and increased spending from DeVos or a real substanitive plan to create jobs from Governor Granholm?

TGG, that's a great piece of info, I caught another great DeVos quote from the Detroit News that sums up his economic philosophy,

"I'm running a campaign here, not an economic analysis machine." - Dick DeVos to the Detroit News when questioned about how he would pay for the tax cuts and programs he proposed in his economic handout.

Posted by: BruceR | June 26, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

And since I've been posting here anyway - Chris: Props to you and the Fix for providing a legitimate political forum. In light of all this business about Armstrong and Kos, you might be the next mac daddy of online politics?

Posted by: ratatouille | June 26, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I cannot help but add that DeVos' wife has had to take a "back seat" in the campaign because her politics SUCK. She got in a public fight with Engler after she and her husband tried to buy a voucher initiative to the tune of $10 million which Engler opposed.

Posted by: ratatouille | June 26, 2006 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What are Dick DeVos's bona fides? that he created the largest pyramid scheme in history with Amway? Will Michigan start selling lots of peanut butter? And what "economic message" are the repugs going to run on? deficit reduction?---not, spending restraint?---not. oh wait that's right--tax cuts..that's fantastic--if you own an oil company or a drug company.....

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | June 26, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Whoa Nelly,

Don't lump all these flyover states together without considering the quality of the candidate and the campaign. I agree Andy R about Granholm holding off on tv. And it says a lot that DeVos has spent upwards of $7million already with spots that are full of dubious claims about bringing jobs into the state.

Granholm is a fighter and Dems know that the state needs to stay blue in '08 (not to mention 2010 redistricting).

And Joel - I would rethink laying all the economic woes of the state at Granholm's door. The legislature is Republican and she inherited a mess of problems from Engler.

Posted by: ratatouille | June 26, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, looks like WaPo is too primitive to enable HTML tags. Here's the part that was from the Detroit News:

DeVos' only elected public office was a two-year stint on the State Board of Education. He missed a quarter of the meetings while he was on the board, piling up more absences than any other member.

This part was me:

And he only served a quarter of his term. Why does this guy deserve another shot? And if so, why should it be the governor's mansion?

And here's the link:

Posted by: TGG | June 26, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Joel has it all wrong. I work in Michigan politics, and I know where I speak. Yes, these are hard times for Michigan, but the state would be WORSE OFF if it wasn't for Granholm.

And the alternative is... Dick DeVos? Allow me to share this hilarious insight into DeVos' background from the Detroit News last week:

DeVos' only elected public office was a two-year stint on the State Board of Education. He missed a quarter of the meetings while he was on the board, piling up more absences than any other member.

And he only served a quarter of his term. Why does this guy deserve another shot? And if so, why should it be the governor's mansion?

Posted by: TGG | June 26, 2006 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's some excellent commentary on why Dems loose these governor elections (excellent example of the BS in Georgia)...

Until they grow a backbone, until they get in touch with the voting base, Republicans will win these elections. More radical, more liberal Dems become the more voters vote for more secure and less scary candidates (Hitler was much more pleasant than anarchy, for example).


Posted by: SandyK | June 26, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Not only do I think that the Dems are going to defend their seats in Michigan and Wisconsin, I see Ohio and minnesota falling in that area. Dems will defend Illinios too.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 26, 2006 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris says:

"Republicans are hoping to ride the economic message to victories over incumbents in Michigan and Wisconsin as well as the open seat in Ohio,......."

Ohio?? Are you kidding me? Republicans have been in control of the Ohio governorship and state lesgilature for the past 16 years and they think they are going to ride the "economic message" to victory? This argument at leat makes a little sense in Michigan and Wisconsin where Democrats control the governor's mansion, but it make no sense whatsoever in Ohio. What a ridiculously stupid statement. I hope the National and Ohio GOP are'nt dumb enough to think that voters won't blame THEM for the lackluster state of Ohio's economy, since they are the ones who have controlled it for 16 years.

On second thought, I hope they are that dumb.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 26, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I live in Michigan. Granholm has been a disaster. She is weak, indecisive, and ineffective. She hasn't made any kind of compelling case for her own re-election - probably because there really isn't any. People had high hopes for her when she was elected four years ago, but since that time it's been a bunch of platitudes and dramatic gesturing an cheerleading, but no results.

What a disappointment.

Posted by: Joel | June 26, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If DeVos has been on the air for three months and he is just at 42% on a consistent basis, I wonder if he has peaked a little early?
Granholm in my mind made the right move by holding out until now. She now has four months to push her argument. With no major republican on the national ticket I think the Unions (not to be underestimated in Michigan) and the Democratic machine will pull this one out.

Posted by: Andy R | June 26, 2006 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: RMill | June 26, 2006 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Other current polling data for Michigan Governor:

Survey USA June Approval
Granholm (D)* 42% (down from 43% in May and up from 41% in Feb)

June 7
Granholm (D)* 44%
DeVos (R) 42%

Zogby/Wall Street Journal
June Battleground Poll
Granholm (D)* 48.1%
DeVos (R) 46.2%

Regarding EPIC/MRA

CC stated-
"In the EPIC/MRA poll DeVos had climbed in a 46 percent to 44 lead."

A poll done just June 12 had DevOs up 48%-40%; so the recent 46%-44% is a significant downward shift (not climb) for DeVos in a relatively short time, showing the response ads by the MI Dems may be working.

Posted by: RMill | June 26, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Other current polling data for Michigan Governor:

Survey USA June Approval
Granholm (D)* 42% (down from 43% in May and up from 41% in Feb)

June 7
Granholm (D)* 44%
DeVos (R) 42%

Zogby/Wall Street Journal
June Battleground Poll
Granholm (D)* 48.1%
DeVos (R) 46.2%

Regarding EPIC/MRA

CC stated-
"In the EPIC/MRA poll DeVos had climbed in a 46 percent to 44 lead."

A poll done just June 12 had DeVos up 48%-40%; so the recent 46%-44% is a significant downward shift (not climb) for DeVos in a relatively short time, showing the response ads by the MI Dems may be working.

Posted by: RMill | June 26, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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