2017-09-21 / Columns

A ‘career politician’ goes by ‘experienced’

By Tim Skubick

If experience counted for anything today, Hillary Clinton would be president and former GOP candidate Dick Posthumous would be governor. Both of them had experience coming out of their ears compared to their non-career politician opponents Donald Trump and Jennifer Granholm, respectively.

In the past the norm was someone running for office could boast about all the work they had done in the political vineyards and voters would think that was grand.

In other words experienced counted.

But with the advent of term limits, we discovered voters didn’t like experience any more.

Which is why some believe GOP candidate for governor Bill Schuette has a problem.

What Mr. Trump demonstrated is that if you whip up the anti-government and anti-politician crowd, you can win.

Mr. Schuette’s resume suggests he is not a novice at this game.

He served in House of Representatives, served in the state Senate, sat on the state appellate court bench and ran the state agriculture department. About the only job he hasn’t held is janitor in the state Capitol.

In each post he plotted and laid the groundwork for his ultimate goal of sitting in the governor’s chair.

When he tossed his hat in the ring, he never used the word career politician. What fool would?

He prefers a little less explosive term: “experienced.”

“I make no bones, no apologies for the experience I’ll bring on day one,” he asserts.

But what if the media and the voters see that experience as proof that he is one of the career pols?

“Nonsense. Everybody knows that I ride the Republican brand,” he said to deflect the question.

Please explain the difference between having a lot of experience and being a career politician? Some would argue that you can’t.

Undaunted, Mr. Schuette thinks he has already compiled a record that will have some cache with the Trump loyalists. He fought Gov. Snyder on his sales tax increase to fix the roads. He opposed Obamacare and gay marriage and says he remained loyal to Mr. Trump when things got ugly over the Access Hollywood tape concerning his conduct with women.

Mr. Schuette joyfully points out to the Trump-ittes that his likely GOP opponent

Brian Calley un-endorsed Mr. Trump after the tapes came out.

When he granted the interview last Thursday, the candidate had a good reason to poo-poo this potential problem with Michigan Trump supporters. He had an ace up his sleeve and the whole world saw Donald Trump play it last Saturday night.

Even though the president misspelled Shuette’s (sic) name, Mr. Schuette got the Trump endorsement...16 months before the election.

The timing here is critical. Since most Trump voters don’t know Schuette from Adam, having the boss tell them that the A.G. is one of us means that any opponents will have a tougher time trying to define Mr. Schuette as a Jeb Bush supporter and a country club Republican.

They may still try but having Mr. Trump’s blessing is a huge get for the supposed “non-career” politician who plots to be governor.

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