It was the old Texan, John Nance Garner, who put his indelible mark on the office of Vice President of these United States. It's not for the weak of stomach.
Being VP, according to Garner---who held the office from 1933-41 under Franklin Roosevelt--- wasn't worth a "warm bucket of piss." A weaker version of the quote substitutes "spit."
He said it, not me.
It was feistiness like that from the man nicknamed "Cactus Jack," that must have prompted my late grandmother to name her youngest child---my late father---Jack Garner Eno.
Garner's rather graphic review of his time spent as FDR's No. 2 man was due to Cactus Jack's frustration with the do-nothingness of the job.
I submit that we have a job right here in the state of Michigan that's not worth a warm bucket of spit, either.
That would be governor.
I don't know who in his (or her) right mind would want the job, but this time, it has nothing to do with do nothing.
Whomever follows Jenny Granholm in the governor's chair on January 1, 2011 should be checked first for sanity.
But this post isn't to provide you with a laundry list of why Michigan is the red-headed stepchild of the USA. If you live here, then you already have that list, somewhere handy.
I suppose if we're going to have another governor---and the law says that when Granholm gets booted out due to term limits (don't get me started) someone has to follow her---then we may as well talk about the best candidate for the job.
Too bad he isn't running.
The Democrats are going to run John Cherry, looks like, the current Lieutenant Governor (talk about warm buckets of spit!).
The Republicans have the usual host of wannabes, which is what happens when the sitting governor is of the other party.
But I sure would like to see the Dems eschew the safe route and draft Bob Ficano.
Wayne County Exec Bob Ficano
I've had my good eye on Ficano, the Wayne County Executive, for quite some time.
I first met him when he was still the "boy sheriff" of the county, rising through the ranks, often under the wing of Ed McNamara, a fellow Livonia guy of mine and only one of the best politicians and administrators we've ever had in Michigan.
I chatted up Ficano on a local talk show I hosted, and was impressed. But that didn't surprise me because I was impressed with Ficano from a distance as his burgeoning career in public service took hold.
I then ran into Bob a few years ago at a pre-Super Bowl event at the Fox Theatre, and we gabbed again for a bit. Once he found out I was a Livonia kid (he's lived there for years) and a born and bred Wayne County-er---revealed the first time we met---I think I got on his good side.
Bob Ficano ought to be the next governor of Michigan because he's fearless and knows what it means to make tough financial decisions.
He's also a superb administrator and has been able to stay above the nonsense that has gone on beneath him in Wayne County politics, not the least of which occur in the county seat of Detroit.
Do I have a bias for Ficano because he and I ran the same streets, so to speak, in western Wayne County? You bet. Doesn't make him any less qualified.
Ficano's counterpart in Oakland County, Brooks Patterson, would have made the GOP's day in Michigan had he agreed to run. But apparently this is one job---governor of sad sack Michigan---that's too rich for his brand of poker.
Instead, Brooks has been relegated to moderating the first official Republican gubernatorial debate, held a short while back at Mackinac.
Brooks, like Cactus Jack, had his own graphic way of describing the proceedings.
"This early, unless you throw up on yourself, it's a draw," Brooks told the press.
Brooks has it good in Oakland County---I realize that. I can see why he wouldn't want to go to Lansing, except for sight-seeing.
But Bob Ficano?
It might be a classic case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire---Wayne County isn't all that right now---but I'd love to see him make that leap.
Come on, Dems---get with it. Lean on Bob Ficano. He just might do it, if you ask the right way.
You could do worse. In fact, you already are.