Politics

Michigan Gov. Whitmer's State of the Union reply Tuesday is running mate audition, in effect


February 03, 2020, 7:47 AM by  Alan Stamm

This is updated from a Jan. 24 article.

Michigan's governor on Tuesday night gives her second televised address in under a week -- this time to a national audience.

Gretchen Whitmer will be on all networks for 10 minutes around 10 p.m. to deliver a Democratic response after the president's State of the Union speech to Congress. It comes six days after Whitmer's second State of the State address to legislators.

This week's higher-profile remarks will be aired from East Lansing High School, which her two daughters attend, the Free Press reports:

"I'm honored to discuss the Democratic Party's vision of action for our nation from East Lansing High School, where my daughters are learning and preparing for the future," Whitmer said in a news release Monday.

"Americans are good, hardworking people who expect our elected officials in the highest offices of government to work just as hard as we do every day. Democrats across the country have a plan to improve education, fix our infrastructure, expand and protect health care coverage, and build an economy that works for everyone.

"Our nation deserve this type of leadership, and we are ready to take action to get it done."

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Gretchen Whitmer is "is uniquely qualified to deliver Democrats' message of progress for all Americans," says Nancy Pelosi.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer picked Whitmer to respond to the impeached president -- a showcase that revives talk of Whitmer as a rising star and potential 2020 vice-presidential running mate. Pelosi fans that by saying she "can serve as a model for our nation."

Whitmer sticks to a not-interested pose, telling Tim Skubick on WLNS-TV in Lansing last week:

"I appreciate the persons who want to serve in Washington, but I never aspired to do that. I want to work on the problems here in Michigan. I don't want to be one of them."

Keep in mind that don't want isn't the same as wouldn't accept in politicspeak.

In any event, the selection reflects a vote of confidence by the party's congressional leaders. The prime-time TV gig is like an audition introducing Michigan's telegenic 48-year-old governor to a national audience, a potential political career boost somewhat  akin to a presidential nominating convention speech.

Pelosi gushes about Whitmer in a statement Jan. 24:

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"Since Day One, Governor Whitmer has rolled up her sleeves to get things done for the people of Michigan. During her time in public service, she had led the charge to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of people, expand protections for hard-working middle-class families and ensure clean drinking water in our communities. 

"Her decades of hard work on behalf of the people should serve as a model for our nation. She's a forward-looking leader who is laser-focused on solving problems for everyday Michiganders and is uniquely qualified to deliver Democrats' message of progress for all Americans."

Another fellow Democrat, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchtrist III, tweets Friday that Whitmer is "focused on the kitchen table issues that matter most to families across the country, and that's exactly what our nation needs right now.

For her part, the rising star tweets: 


Read more:  Detroit Free Press


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