John Cherry drops out of Michgan’s race for governor

JCHERRY_MO_C_^_ARTISTSStating that he hadn’t been able to raise the money necessary to wage a winning campaign for Governor, John Cherry, Michigan’s current Lieutenant Governor, announced today that he would no longer be seeking the Democratic nomination. According to the Detroit Free Press, recent polls have shown Cherry, “finishing behind any of the top three Republican candidates for governor this year — Attorney General Mike Cox, U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.” Even so, the move was unexpected. And, now, no doubt, we’ll begin to see a bevy of Democratic contenders scurrying in to fill the void. Early speculation seems to favor House Speaker Andy Dillon. We’ll see…

I don’t have any real insight as to what’s going on here, or what this unanticipated development might mean in terms of the the race, but something did occur to me that I’d like to share. My immediate thought when I heard today’s news was that local businessman Rick Snyder, who announced his candidacy as a Republican several months ago, should have run as a Democrat. If he had, I can’t help but think that, given this move on the part of Cherry, he would have gotten the nomination. Sure, unions may have had a problem with the fiscally conservative former CEO of Gateway, but I think that the Michigan economy is in bad enough shape that people might be a little more agreeable to the idea than they perhaps would have been in years past. And, I think he would have steered clear of what it was that really sunk John Cherry, which is the association with our unpopular current governor, Jennifer Granholm. I may be totally off-base on this, but I really think that Rick could have had a shot as a Democrat, without Cherry in the way. Instead, though, he’s trapped at the back of the Republic field, behind a group of Bushies who aren’t afraid to use fear to motivate their rabid evangelical base. And that, I think, is a shame.

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  1. dragon
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    Good news. Cherry didn’t have a chance. Tough and aggressive wins the day, “the angriest Mayor in America” decides to run. Out teabag the teabaggers, Bernero for Gov.

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    He sure looks like Wilford Brimley.

  3. Edwardo
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Is The Angriest Mayor in America a new reality show?

    If so, I need to get a television.

    And I agree on Snyder. He’s too liberal for the Republicans west of Ann Arbor.

  4. Kim
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I was listening to the radio on the way into work this morning and the consensus seems to be that the Dems need someone from outside of politics, with no tie to Granholm. Preferably this would be a successful leader from the business community. So, it sounds like Snyder might have been a good fit. Word is they’re courting Joe Dumars, though.

  5. Glen S.
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    If Lansing Mayor Virgil Bernero decides to run, he would have my enthusiastic support.

  6. Larry
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I don’t know anything about Bernero. Why do you like him, Glen?

  7. Meta
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    From Firedoglake:

    The role of the Obama administration and its puppet, the Democratic National Committee, cannot be ignored in this situation. President Obama had multiple chances to name Gov. Granholm to different appointments in his administration and didn’t; there have been open seats in the judiciary, for which Granholm is eminently qualified, and even those didn’t come to pass. Had Obama appointed Granholm, Cherry could have stepped up to the governor’s office, knocked some heads together over the state’s disastrous budget and worked on improving job numbers with less obstruction than Granholm has experienced. But the Obama administration (Hello, Rahm, Tim Kaine) wrote off both Granholm and Cherry along with this state’s Democrats.

    Read the rest here:

  8. Posted January 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    You know things are bad on the (D) side of Michigan politics when someone seriously laments that they couldn’t have managed to entice a republican over to their side to run for Governor!

    As for me, I’m disappointed that the Lt. Gov. has dropped out. Now the (R) side will have to work harder, since there will be an actual viable (D) candidate to run against in November!

  9. Telly
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Rick Snyder just came out saying that we should end the Michigan Business Tax. I wonder what people think. Here’s his statement.

    Good afternoon,

    First of all, happy new year to you and your family. I hope 2010 will be a year full of joy, health and economic opportunity for you. Our team concluded 2009 with a celebration for having met our aggressive goal of raising $40,000 in less than 20 days to show that we’re standing up to special interests.

    As we get back to business in 2010, I began the year by releasing my detailed plan to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax (MBT). As someone who actually was a tax partner at Coopers & Lybrand, I know just how horrible the MBT really is.

    The MBT is crippling Michigan’s economic recovery. Our state is in need of more jobs and we can’t afford to continue to tie the hands of our job creators with an unfair and extremely complicated business tax. It’s time for a fair and simple solution that will put Michigan on a long-term path to economic prosperity and help restore our state’s reputation. As Governor, I will eliminate the worst business tax in the country and replace it with a simple and fair solution that reduces the tax burden by 1.5 billion dollars – a flat corporate income tax. We need elected officials that understand that policies shouldn’t be made on behalf of maintaining the status quo or appeasing special interests, they need to be crafted in the best interest of the citizens. My plan to eliminate the MBT is a job creator and puts the ‘open for business’ sign back up.

    I strongly believe we can eliminate the MBT and protect the quality of education and services if state government makes the structural reforms that have been put off for too long. In these tough economic times, government must learn to do more with less. My plan to bring a 21st century performance-based budget process called ‘Value For Money’ budgeting will ensure that state government is tying state funding to real results and gives taxpayers the best return for their investment. With an overall lower tax burden, we can also eliminate or draw down costly incentives. As this campaign continues, I will introduce more common sense solutions to our fiscal challenges and the poorly crafted policies that are holding our state back. With the right leadership in Lansing, we can reinvent Michigan and move into an era of innovation.

  10. Robert
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Democrats will need a miracle to win the Michigan Governor’s race this year. I would like to see Ficano run, but I doubt he’d even consider it.

    Most of all I don’t want to see Mike Cox become the GOP nominee. Does anyone want to join me in establishing a “Block Cox” political action committee?

  11. Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Designated Republican,

    For the record, I didn’t say that Rick would be the best Democratic candidate. I just said that, had he run as a Democrat, I think he probably could have taken the primary. But who could have guessed a few months ago that Cherry would have dropped out? As for Rick, I like him. I like what he’s done in the community. And my sense – and I could be wrong about this – is that he doesn’t really fit in with modern Republican party. (At least I think he believes the earth is more than 6,000 years old.) So, I think that he’s the kind of guy that could pretty easily make the switch. But there’s not much sense in debating it now.

  12. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Coxblockers unite. Are there any cool Republican candidates?

  13. dragon
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Meta , Via FDL

    “Had Obama appointed Granholm, Cherry could have stepped up to the governor’s office, knocked some heads together over the state’s disastrous budget and worked on improving job numbers with less obstruction than Granholm has experienced. But the Obama administration (Hello, Rahm, Tim Kaine) wrote off both Granholm and Cherry along with this state’s Democrats. ”

    You believe this horseshit?

    “Show me on the doll where Rahm touched you.”

  14. Mike Shecket
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    What are the chances of Alma Wheeler Smith, our state representative?

  15. applejack
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to make a plug in support of my uncle, Virg Bernero. He has accomplished a lot in the city of Lansing so far, and I think he could do great things as governor.
    Not sure what his official platform will entail, but I know he’s big on strengthening Michigan’s cities. I’ll push him to eliminate un-annexable charter townships, but it’s not really an issue that the public is aware of…
    Looks like Dillon is the biggest challenge in the primary right now, but he’s pissed off a lot of folks on the left recently. Should be an interesting race

  16. EOS
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t want to see Mike Cox become the GOP nominee either. Ted Nugent would be great if we could lure him back from Texas.

  17. Robert
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans should run Kid Rock and the Democrats should run Eminem.

  18. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    ICP for the Green Party . . . uh.

  19. Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    applejack: I’ve heard good things about Bernero (and as you mentioned, his pro-cities positions), and if he comes out strong against charter townships (if he has already, show me the URL) he’ll get my vote, my support, and probably some money. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the number one state-level issue.

  20. Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Mike: I think Alma has a (slim) chance at the Democratic nomination, and pretty nearly no chance at winning the election. She’s a nice person, I like where she stands, but I just don’t think she has much chance; she strikes me as a weak campaigner.

  21. Ed
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Alma doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to gubernatorial races. I believe she’s run for governor twice before, maybe even three times, and she’s never gotten any traction. My sense is that she wants to get her message out, but that she doesn’t really want the job.

  22. EOS
    Posted January 8, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Michigan has 274 cities, 259 villages, and 1242 townships. But it’s a cold day in Hell today (MI) and your money. Good Luck.

  23. applejack
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    cmadler: i don’t know how much he can/will articulate a position directly opposed to charter townships. Most voters cannot understand a concept that doesn’t fit into a soundbyte. And as EOS dutifully points out charter townships are beloved by morons everywhere just because they live in one.
    I hope/assume he’ll campaign on a Strengthen Michigan Cities message and allow folks who know and care about the issue to read between the lines.

  24. applejack
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    EOS your blind faith in charter townships is like your blind faith in christianity:
    I happen to live in a charter township and I’m happy, therefore charter townships are the greatest form of government ever (even though they exist in no other state in the nation).
    I happen to be christian because my parents or neighbors are christian and I’m happy, therefore christianity is the only correct religion out of the hundreds that have ever existed (even though it’s neither the largest faith, nor the oldest faith, nor in any way more factual than other religions).

    In my mind charter townships are not unlike unions in this state, they might have been great ideas when they were started, but in the many years since then they have become a power structure that exists just to preserve their own power structure and to block the creative destruction necessary for a functioning economic system.

  25. Posted January 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    EOS: Thanks for making my point! We don’t need 1,775 local governments in this state! Besides which, my main beef is with the 131 charter townships. I’m generally opposed to the continuation of townships as an operational unit of government, but 90% of my opposition has to do with the charter townships.

  26. Peter Larson
    Posted January 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I used to live in a Charter Township and it was miserable. A small, local, self-obsessed government, rife with corruption, childish political bickering, fiscal misuse, in addition to the ridiculous taxes I paid for absolutely no services, which were, of course, completely set by Republicans.

    I paid more for my local township taxes in one year than I have in 10 to the feds and state combined. What I get from the feds is huge, what I got from my charter township was zero. It’s my opinion that we need to abolish about 1500 of these useless, small local governments.

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