Friday, October 12, 2007

Must See TV: Governor Granholm on "Off the Record"

Catch it at here, Real Player required.

The Governor addresses the budget agreement, praises the leaders for getting the job done (yes, even Mike Bishop), talks about Leon Drolet and the recalls, talks about the future in regards to plans for Michigan, talks about the presidential race next year, and talks about a whole lotta other stuff that you always wanted to know. (Well, I did anyway.)

The banter between these two is fascinating because Skubick tries his best to push the Governor's buttons, and he doesn't let up. No other reporter does that in quite the way he does.

The one question that has been on my mind was asked, and it was a good example of the "Skubick Method": Will the Governor leave for an appointment in Washington?

Here, in painfully transcripted detail, is the question in its entirety.

Skubick: Will you serve out your term?

Granholm: Yes. Yes.

Skubick: Promise?

Granholm: Yes, I... Tim, we've got a huge amount on tap, we've got a huge economic plan that we are going to work, and the predicate to that was getting this fiscal house in order. There is so... Michigan's got these great bones, and we have the most aggressive economic agenda in the nation, so I want to see that through. I want to make sure that we set in motion this plan which will allow Michigan to emerge from this economic challenging period, and I can't do that if I'm leaving sometime soon. I want to stay and get that done.

Skubick: So if a Democrat is elected president, you will not go to a cabinet post.

Granholm: I am interested in doing the job here, Tim.

Skubick: I understand that, that was not a "no", though.

Granholm: Tim, I'm interested in doing the job here.. (cross talk)

Skubick: Governor, I know what you are interested in, but the question is a simple yes or no, do you want to go to Washington?

Granholm: You know, two nights ago, when I told Dan that I was coming on "Off the Record" and we were joking about how, what questions Tim Skubick would be asking, and he said, well, you know he's going to be asking about that, the future and all of that, and I said to him, you know what- I'm gonna tell Tim, like I do everybody in my circle, that I am not going to speculate about the future for him, for me, for our family, cause I've got a family here... (more cross talk)

Skubick: Now we've got a problem...

Granholm:... and that we are going to finish the job in Michigan.

Skubick: But you could finish the job in a year and a half and then you could leave...

Granholm: No, I don't think you could finish this job in a year and a half, this has got a lot... bottom line is, Tim, I'm not going to speculate about the future, some years down the road. I want to finish this job.

Skubick: Let me try once more.

Granholm: No, don't, you don't need to...

Skubick: No, I do, I have to...

Granholm: (laughs)

Skubick: The speculation is, the speculation is that you would be interested ... (Governor tries to interrupt)... just say to me, just say to me, Mr. Skubick, I don't want to go to Washington.

Granholm: I don't want to go to Washington.

Skubick: And if offered a post you will not go.

Granholm: You know, this is, you're asking me to speculate on something that will happen way down the road, (Tim tries to interrupt) I'm not interested in that, I've got family here, my kids are here, moving the whole kit and caboodle to Washington is not something I'm interested in. I'm interested in finishing this job. I'm not a quitter. I'm somebody who wants to complete this... this whole agenda that we've got to diversify Michigan's economy, and to double the number of college graduates in Michigan, to move into areas like alternative energy is very exciting to me, cause the ground is ripe for us to really plant those seeds and watch them grow, so I gotta work this plan, and I'm committed to working this plan.

Whew! There is more where that came from- the whole show is pretty much like that.

Needless to say, Tim doesn't disappoint- although sometimes his questions are borderline sexist in nature and lean toward the gossipy side.

"If the two legislative leaders in the room with you had been women, would the negotiations had been different?"

C'mon Tim, what kind of question is that? Really. Turn that scenario upside down and you would be blasted, and you know it. The Governor got a laugh out of it and handled it pretty well- but it's just kinda weird and perhaps representative of the remnants of the "old boy" network that still exists in Lansing. He also asked if Dan Mulhern has "too much influence" on key decisions. Can you imagine a reporter asking the same about Michelle Engler?

No. Of course not. But that is the gossip that still makes the rounds in this day and age- now that Granholm has gone through it, perhaps women in the future won't have to.

We can always hope.

The only other surprising thing is that the Governor likes Mike Huckabee. That really gave me the creeps, but you have to hear the context of the question.

And she regrets using the phrase "blown away".

Go watch. You'll like it.