Reports say that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder may not seek a second term if he "completes his agenda" in his first term.
What the hell is that supposed to mean?
Two things about this odd statement, which was partially refuted by the governor's communications director, Geralyn Lasher: a) what agenda could possibly cure what's ailing Michigan in just four years; and b) why is Snyder already talking about walking away from the job.
According to Paul Egan's article in today's Detroit News, Snyder said Saturday on Mackinac Island he would be "happy to go fishing, go teach or do something else" if he could complete his agenda in his first term.
This is troubling to me.
Michigan is one of the most economically-depressed states in the country, additionally saddled by a city---Detroit---that is as messed up as it's ever been, whether you're talking schools or jobs or infrastructure or services.
Yes, Detroit has its own leadership that should take care of the city, but it's foolish to think that the governor's effectiveness is in no way tied to the success of Detroit.
So in the face of all this, why in the world is Snyder already talking about wrapping everything up in a neat package and putting a bow on it by 2014?
Lasher, in partially refuting the account of Snyder's Saturday remarks by Michigan Information and Research Service, a Lansing political newsletter, said that the governor only said that he "might" not seek a second term.
Same thing, in my book.
If Rick Snyder bails out after four years, then the citizens of the state ought to be outraged---whether they voted for him or not. Maybe more so if they did vote for him.
There is simply no agenda that can fix what ails Michigan in four years. Which makes Snyder's supposed tape measure of gauging success laughable. Which then, in turn, makes his statement about possibly not seeking a second term almost seem fait accompli.
Lasher said Snyder is "too focused to give much thought to a second term and has never said whether he will seek re-election," according to the News story.
Funny how this notion of Snyder going fishing after four years was never bandied about during his campaign seeking the office, huh?
You think that might have dissuaded some folks from voting for him---if he was considering making this a one and done governorship?
So here Snyder is, not even nine months after taking office, addressing a second term---specifically, whether he's even going to seek one.
Even if you want to say that asking about a second term is premature at this point (and it might be), Snyder's response is still troubling.
Why not simply acknowledge that there's way too much on the plate right now to even consider getting it all done by December 31, 2014? And leave it at that. That would indirectly answer the question of seeking a second term while at the same time reiterating the scope of the job at hand, which is huge.
But to leave the door open---and more than a crack---for him to walk away from the job after one term, Snyder should have his electorate baffled and disillusioned right now.
A voluntary one-term governor isn't what Snyder supporters voted for. As for his opponents, it may seem like good news, but isn't it better to defeat a guy instead of having him go fishing?