Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Opposites Attract (Voters)

There should be no fence-sitting in this one.

If you have a pulse and have any inclination to vote for who should be the next governor of the State of Michigan, it won't be acceptable to hem and haw and scuffle your feet and be wishy-washy about the matter.

This isn't Coke vs. Pepsi. Not McDonald's vs. Burger King.

It's not even apples vs. oranges, because if you like fruit, you might choose one of each.

This is Virg Bernero vs. Rick Snyder for the governorship of Michigan, 2011-2015.

Or, rather, it's loud vs. soft. Labor vs. big business. Coffee black vs. with cream and sugar. Paper vs. plastic.

This is beyond Democrat vs. Republican. These aren't even similar men.

When you go to the polls on November 2, there may as well be some ushers greeting you, asking if your affiliation is with "the angry mayor" or "the nerd."

No in between this time.

This is John Engler vs. Geoffrey Fieger, 1998, but less comical.

In one corner is Bernero, Mayor of Lansing---the loud, abrasive, relentless Italian who'll never tire of telling you about himself and his agenda.

In the other is businessman Snyder, who's making his first foray into politics, and who when he needs more money, simply goes outside his house and picks some more off the trees.

Big labor vs. big business. It's like Walter Reuther running against Henry Ford.


Snyder (left) and Bernero: Pick one


It has to be more than that, however. Stephen Henderson, a pretty bright guy over at the Free Press, correctly pointed out that Bernero, especially, needs to fine tune his message in order to broaden his reach.

Henderson reminded us that indications are that Snyder was able to bring some Democrats into his tent, along with some independents. This race might be determined by which candidate can best poach the other's lukewarm supporters.

A primary campaign can almost be 180 degrees from its general election counterpart. It's one thing to fight off others from within your own party---quite another to make yourself attractive to those outside your comfort zone.

Bernero is the bull in the china shop. Snyder is the owner of the china shop.

So don't you dare tell me, come November 1, that you have no idea who you're voting for tomorrow. That's not going to fly this time.

They've laid the choices out to you in about as polarizing a manner as possible. The chasm is too wide for any fence on which to sit.

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