I’m all for hoping Mitt Romney’s sincere, but almost everything that his campaign has done makes me think otherwise. Now, it is a fact that Mitt Romney actually lived in Michigan. He lived in it, his dad was Governor, and all that stuff is actually true. But now, by claiming status after all these years, it’s questionable. After all, for the past decade, he’s barely acknowledged the state except to bash it in editorials.
He made headlines back in 2008 as Michigan sat on the edge of a cliff, and told us to shove it.
And today, he throws us back under the bus by saying it was all cronyism, and a grand-planned one at that.
That’s why it’s hard for people to accept anything the guy says. And for someone who actually did live in Michigan, seemed to have photos taken of him in Michigan, why is it so hard for people to actually count him as one of their own?
I kinda feel for him on that. I felt the same way, leaving Michigan in the early 80′s to chase tornadoes and climb large rocks. But when I came back as an adult, it felt real. The half-height chained fences, ratty curbs and grass, and the blight of urban pain were blocked out just like Mitt’s memories of the state he left behind.
After all, it’s like coming home and no one remembers you lived there. But then again, if you inherit the estate in Belmont, MA, tried to be Senator of MA, and then become Governor of MA…You’re not exactly MI, are you?
Rick Santorum’s leading in polls here, so Mitt runs his latest ad, “Growing Up“. Apparently, he’s got to run ads to convince people he even lived here.
For someone who couldn’t wait to criticize the entire auto industry, with millions of jobs on the line, he sure loves posing in that Chrysler 200 in the ad. And did he buy a 200? He’ll be the first person I have heard of actually buying the car in Eminem’s ad…
We then see the fly-by of GM’s headquarters, images of finned Caddi, and an unrelated shot of Marian Ilitch’s casino. Mitt even offers proof of life, a photograph of him and what I assume is Ann Romney. And that’s something special, no matter what.
But again, why are we being sold an ad on this?
For the person who isn’t living in Michigan, I can see this ad working. It’s got the feel of a regular guy driving around complaining about President Obama (amazingly accurate), and it sells all the hot-button imagery that a tourist would expect from a scripted version of Detroit in 30 seconds or less.
But the 200. Why did they have to put him in there? It ruins my belief that he’s being a straight-shooter, and is just another spokesperson for a corporate PR firm…for himself.
Is it just me? Am I already biased in the fact that only now does Mitt Romney want to associate with Michigan after that Op-Ed in 2008? And now, in 2012, he’s now mastered David Copperfield’s notorious “managed bankruptcy” trick? He mentions Delphi’s pension losses in his editorial, knowing full-well that corporations unload their pensions on the PBGC, so they can settle for pennies on the dollar in legacy costs. And a default of the nature of GM and Chrysler’s size–even the most stalwart pundit knows the bailout was the only option for the state.
So if you’re not from here, it’s fine to say that Detroit was better off dead. In fact, it’s probably a fair call. If you weren’t from MI, you should say no to bailouts, because that’s the poison pill of picking and choosing winners and losers. For Michigan, it’s a no-brainer. If we wanted 25% U-3 rates, 50% statewide U-6s, we would’ve listened to you.
And that’s why you’re Romney, MA, and not Romney, MI. That might be why you’re losing momentum in polls, and the public is picking some vested-guy out of Pennsylvania over you right now.
And as Clint Eastwood was paid to say, “It’s the second half.”
The last thing we want is someone acting like they were here in the first half. Those who remained in Michigan are brave folks. They also survived the greatest crisis to an industry by settling their differences at the table, ignoring people who wrote Op-Eds telling them to roll over.
It’s not pretty, but nothing real ever is what you dreamed about.
Welcome back to Detroit.