President Barack Obama just might cast the decisive vote in the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial race. The Administration’s announcement that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is on the short list of potential Supreme Court Justice Replacements holds significance for the 2010 governors’ race. If Granholm is selected to replace Justice Souter on the nation’s highest court, Lieutenant Governor John Cherry would assume the role of Governor. Given that Lt. Gov. Cherry is the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial candidate, this raises an important question: Would having Lt. Gov. Cherry finish out Granholm’s term help or hinder the Democrats in 2010?
I think it would help them. The promotion of Cherry to Governor would give him the opportunity to make a bigger impression on voters, whether positive or negative. The economy is by far the foremost issue on voters’ minds, especially in the Michigan, which has been suffering an economic downturn for years. If this scenario plays out, the economy would be the deciding factor in public perception.
Economically, if Michigan continued declining, Cherry could somewhat rightfully claim that it is not his fault – and promise a more hopeful future. He might take a slight hit at the polls, but this would be more than offset by the name recognition and higher public profile that the Governor’s Office would bring.
If the economy improved, Gov. Cherry would be seen as part of the administration that crafted the needed policy. Being in the Governor’s Office during a recovery would also serve to better his chances, even if only for a year. An economic upswing in Michigan would probably prove beneficial to the Democrats regardless of whether Granholm is appointed to the Court.
If nothing else, Cherry would almost certainly obtain substantially more recognition among voters. Lt. Governor John Cherry will be tough opponent for Republicans regardless, but a year as Governor could give him enough momentum to hold on to the Governor’s Mansion in 2010.
However, Republicans have a wonderful and well qualified selection of individuals considering a run for the Governor’s office. It will be up to us, the grassroots conservatives, to educate and inform Michigan’s citizens. 2010 is going to be our year to take back the out of control and arrogant leadership we so blindly elected.