Just a few days after telling the Free Press a 2010 campaign was “very unlikely” for him, Lansing’s recently re-elected Mayor Virg Bernero said today he’s “seriously considering” a run for the Democratic nomination for governor.
He made the comment to MIRS news service.
Bernero, 45, a Pontiac native who served in the state Legislature from 2001-05, gained some national renown as an outspoken defender of the U.S. auto industry during its recent near-collapse.
A full primary slate of candidates will keep the media focus on the Democrats and their ideas throughout the entire year, and the debate will then become about which one has the best plan. Since all the Republicans have is "more tax cuts" and their lockstep devotion to the teabaggers, the public will turn to the people that will be talking about the things that are important to them; not just economic development and jobs (although that will be #1), but funding for education, health care and public safety. "Tax cuts" won't put a cop on the street, or reduce classroom size, or get your kid their college scholarship back. All of those things will come into play, the Democrats can sharpen their ideas, and the Republicans can run their "purity" tests and try to out-wingnut each other.
The contrast should be stunning, and Dems should get down on the knees and thank God that the GOP is still insane.
Virg knows it's going to take a whole lot more than just being "the guy who yelled on FOX"; he has to come into this race with some solid ideas on where he would take the state, what he wants to do, how he would solve the problems. As do they all. Not sure if I believe all this "Cherry can't win" chatter that's being thrown about; part of me thinks it's being done on purpose, to get the base fired-up about.... something. Anything. Just keep the conversation going. Cherry can't do that if he runs unopposed. The Obama people know this, and I would hazard a guess that John Cherry does too.
And see? It's already working. Here we have a story in the paper about Democrats, gets people thinking about the Democrats, keeps the focus on the Democrats - and not the Mitchell poll that came out this morning that shows - surprise!- the most extreme Republican Mike Cox in the lead on the teabagger side of the aisle.
Cherry is "a wonderful man" and a "dedicated public servant, " Bernero said. "We all feel a kinship with him. But the big question is, can he win?"
Perhaps a bigger question: Could Bernero?
Could Dillon? Could Smith? How can we know if they don't duke it out? C'mon in Virg, the water is fine. You too, Andy. The US presidential primary in '08, although brutal (and I personally hated every minute of it) really did serve a vital purpose - it keeps the media spotlight on the Democrats and their ideas.
And given the depleted state of the media in Michigan, that might be worth it's weight in gold in the end. Any attention is better than nothing at all.