Why is the National GOP giving Rick Synder’s hilariously awful re-election campaign a pass?



The national media has finally figured out what our Chris Savage has been saying all year — Republicans never wanted Terri Lynn Land as their candidate for U.S. Senate in Michigan.

Avoiding debates, skirting the press, and making no scheduled public appearances isn’t her strategy. It’s a reaction to self-destructing after just a few questions from the press during a rare media availability this May.

But critics may end up regarding Land’s effort as the second worst state-wide campaign run by a Michigan Republican in 2014.

Rick Snyder began his re-election run in scuba gear with a Super Bowl ad from the same team that brought us Pete Hoekstra’s infamously disastrous “Yellow Girl” ad.

The plan was to run on Michigan being the “Comeback Kid,” a dubious move for a 56-year millionaire CEO who is the governor of a state with the nation’s 3rd worst unemployment rate. Since then Snyder has moved on to the slogan of “Michigan’s Road to Recovery.”

Is this meant to remind us that the governor hasn’t been able to get Republican majorities to pass his plan to fix our states cratered roads? Or are we just supposed to think about the recovery that he’s promising we’ll feel someday.

A recent ad of his literally tells Michiganders, “You might not feel it yet, but you will soon.”

Imagine the massive roar President Obama would have generated from the right if he had run for re-election on the promise that you’re going to feel the recovery one day. Just his casual suggestion that the private sector was “doing fine” compared to the public sector, which the right has gutted to prevent a full recovery, became Fox News’ favorite topic for weeks.

Democratic strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg specifically advised the president about waging this kind of campaign in 2012, even though America’s recovery from the financial crisis was nearly the best in the world. Millions were still out of work and no one feels secure that they’re going to feel stability eventually.

Thanks to Democrats like the president and Mark Schauer who helped rescue the auto industry, Michigan has recovered since the crisis with new jobs returning to the state. But uncertainty still reins. Why?

“I’ll tell you why,” said Jim Chase, a Teamsters union organizer, told the New York Times on Friday. “Because most of those jobs don’t pay nothing.”

Rick Snyder entered office in 2010 as the American economy was about to produce record high corporate profits and record low wages for workers. So what did he do?

He cut taxes for corporations and raised them on workers. Then after the public resoundingly re-elected President Obama while rejecting the governor’s heavy-handed takeovers/sell-offs of local governments, Snyder signed an anti-union law that has been shown to reduce wages.

I’m sure Snyder believes the economy will be better off eventually if workers have less power to demand high wages as poor people and seniors pay higher taxes while taxes are lowered for corporations. It’s just a belief that has no evidence, which is why the governor feels to obliged to not take credit for his actual agenda.

Instead, he’s campaigning on roads other people built and things that he has to do because Michigan’s Constitution requires him to do so.

Meanwhile, he ignored his actual efforts — including trying to turn public institutions into profit centers at the expense of communities and kids.

And there are the scandals. Whether he’s helping his cousin while cutting funding for education or being so devoted to privatization that he’s willing to continue doing business with a company that may be feeding people maggots, Snyder’s behavior betrays the embarrassing lack of empathy for the struggles of working people that would allow him to think wearing scuba gear in a political ad is a swell idea.

And whoever told him that his tactic of speaking directly into the camera — possibly altering his voice — would work is obviously a Democrat at heart.

Snyder has the money and national support of Republicans like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie to be re-elected despite his failures as governor — but he’s obviously surrounding himself with the wrong people.

And these concerns aren’t just coming from Schauer supporters like myself.

Right wing yell-leader for the Detroit News, Nolan Finley wrote an article that exactly parroted my sentiment that there’s no GOP wave in Michigan. In it he described Snyder as looking like a “valiumed-up dental patient” in a recent ad.

Last fall, Mark Schauer told Eclectablog how he would introduce himself to the state and take the lead by Election Day. His plan is working out almost exactly. But I bet he never imagined Rick Snyder would become his most invaluable ally.