I believe there is something big happening in the great state of Michigan that could have ramifications on how some right-wing politicians might say “enough is enough” when it comes to legislation.
Let’s rewind back to the year 2010, soon after Republican Rick Snyder was inaugurated as the 48th Governor of Michigan. Snyder ran on a platform that touted his belief in the 2nd amendment, his stance as a pro-life candidate & his past as a venture capitalist to showcase his business acumen.
While he might be a supporter of civil unions and supports the auto bailout that saved General Motors, he isn’t the quintessential moderate in the mold of Tom Ridge for instance. Still, his primary win had some detraction when it came to the far-right of the Republican Party so it would make sense that he would try to run to the right side of the aisle once he assumed the gubernatorial slot.
But Snyder got into himself in a bit of hot water after he first took office when he essentially liquidated forms of local government in the poorest sections of Detroit. MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, for instance, slammed Snyder for his apparent draconian measures when it came to not just declaring “financial martial law” but also Michigan’s role in voter suppression.
As always when a Governor finds themselves in the limelight for a controversial bill (or at least controversial wording of a bill), they immediately become Public Enemy #1 on the opposite side of the issues. Snyder was no different and a reasonably covered attempt to recall him earned some media attention.
The recall effort has seemed to have stalled, as the link provided has shown and after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s victory in his recall election in June; it seems that “recall fevor” has died down across the country.
So Snyder, who actually still has low approval ratings in the state even though he balanced the budget in his first year, actually made a very interesting choice when it came to a piece of Voter ID legislation that was put in front of him. Given his tepid approval ratings and accusations of being a “RINO”, he didn’t side with the Tea Party-influenced wing of the state’s Republican Party. No, instead he took the sides of Democrats while vetoing bills sponsored and championed by his own party.
The bill required voters to show proof of identification before they cast their ballots, but Snyder offered this quote:
The governor said that while he “appreciates the issue of ensuring voters are eligible and U.S. citizens,” the measures could create “voter confusion among absentee voters.
Yes…the Governor took the side against his own political party…even though he isn’t exactly embraced by the Democratic Party. Now is Snyder’s vote an aberration or is this the new political reality?
Snyder’s stance is a rare one as usually it’s rare to see a GOP Governor completely veto three bills in one-go. Sometimes there is the political equivalent of “throwing the other side a bone”; but I think there is more to this than meets the eye. Snyder is clearly breaking with his part over an issue that the national Republican Party has brought to the forefront.
So what benefit is there to Snyder for this? He’s already disliked amongst both sides of the party and while he might get moderate support; you can expect a primary challenge when his term runs out in 2014. Even though Michigan is a relatively blue state, Snyder’s move instantly invites ammunition from groups such as the Club for Growth & other interest groups.
I would say Snyder is a longshot to be Mitt Romney’s running mate and this wouldn’t help matters as conservatives have enough trouble as it is accepting the former Bain Capital CEO. But with Romney taking a special interest in the Great Lakes State, would it be all that shocking that Romney takes a Michigander as his #2?
Just hear me out more. Rick Snyder’s main claims to fame are a venture capitalist who became Governor in a blue state. Sound familiar? If Mitt Romney wants to make this election a referendum on ballot-budgeting or business acumen, then it would only make sense for Romney to take a fairly uncontroversial #2. In fact, I wouldn’t dismiss it completely.
Now, Snyder isn’t going to crack anyone’s top-5 list at the current time; but let’s not dismiss the future of this man. If the GOP wants to grow, they need an alternative who isn’t a complete fire-breather ideologue for the far-right. Rick Snyder could be the beginning of the new centrist wing of the GOP or he could very well be the next Jon Huntsman who gets ditched at the altar.
But keep your eye out on him and remember this blog if by some miracle, Snyder gets chosen to be Mitt Romney’s #2. I’d love to toot my own horn.
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