I have no idea if Rick Snyder will be re-elected next year, or if he even wants to be. Media types like MLive’s Jonathan Oosting say he is “widely believed to be positioning himself for another run,” which means little more than that media types “widely believe” that about every politician.
I have no idea if the Democratic-leaning polling firm PPP is accurate when it tells us Snyder’s approval/disapproval numbers are way upside down at 37/54.
But I can tell you this: Snyder has governed from day one like a guy who doesn’t care, which is one of the reasons the Lansing establishment gets so exasperated with him. They have no frame of reference for people who show up to get the job done rather than to further the cause of their own political careers.
It is not always better to elect a businessman over a politician, because lacking the political acumen for government can indeed become an impediment to effective governing.
But in January 2011, after eight years of perennial budget crises and economic morass, Michigan needed a serious individual who would reject everything about how Lansing politicians had been used to doing things. The day Snyder came before the Legislature months early with a plan for a balanced budget, Skubickian media types and substance-starved consultants tried desperately to analyze the political game he was playing. Business people and others who operate in the world of reality quietly clapped, and wondered, “How did this serious adult make his way into that sorry scene?”
So, you and the poll-obsessed pundits demand to know, why are Snyder’s numbers so bad?
Because most people in Michigan don’t know yet the results of Snyder’s work because a) the results are not fully known; and b) even when they are known, the media will mostly obsess over the drama involved with things like the right-to-work fight and who will get the job of Detroit emergency manager, rather than how the job is to be done, which is what really matters.
At this stage in a governor’s term, what people know are not the results so much as what the political atmosphere feels like. And it seems like every time you turn around, Snyder is doing something that has people upset.
Well, yeah. Some people are long overdue for being upset.
Like the unions who were skimming money from home health care workers. Like the Detroit City Council. Like the folks at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality who can no longer just march into businesses and start throwing their weight around because they feel like it.
Snyder has upset a lot of people and that includes the media types who think the gripes of anti-Snyder agitators are worthy of attention. These same media types treat Snyder’s effort to report the results of his work as a political gimmick, since that’s what they think everything is.
Once we’re into a real campaign that deals with the real results, I suspect those poll numbers will change pretty dramatically, because the results are in Snyder’s favor — which is to say, they’re in Michigan’s favor. But you also have to recognize that would not be true if Snyder was the kind of guy who obsesses over his own political future to the exclusion of all else.