Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who Are You?

I staggered back to the underground
And the breeze blew back my hair
I remember throwin' punches around
And preachin' from my chair

Well, who are you?

Whenever I start to take myself, the media, or the polls (or the pols) too seriously, all I have to do is remember this:

Andy Dillon
- Favorable – 13%
- Unfavorable – 9%
- Don’t Recognize – 66%

Apparently, we all suck. Dillon has been Speaker of the House for three years, involved in two government shutdowns, received a ton fawning press on a state employee benefit plan that months later still hasn't seen the light of a vote, and, in a poll of "likely voters", 66% don't recognize his name?

Man. They really aren't paying attention to state politics, are they. Well, we might as well go ahead and lob as many verbal rocks as we can, at anyone we choose. No one is really paying attention. Yet.

Let's start that tossing now though. Consider it Spring Training, what with Andy finally dithering his way into the election with his official announcement tomorrow. And, seeing as how he is running in a race where practically no one knows his name, he can get away with knee-slappers such as this:

“You need someone who can hit the ground running, and I can hit the ground running.”

Really, Forrest? Interesting statement coming from someone who was going to have tax reform passed by the end of 2008, his health care plan done by the end of 2009, and this year's budget done by March. Unless there is some massive voting going on this weekend that I don't know about, that ain't happening either. So, is Speaker Dillon just waiting, in the middle of the worst recession since the Depression mind you, to "fix" all these things? Holding it all back until he is governor? How very thoughtful. The guy has been a master at standing absolutely still as can be, not bothering to use the bully pulpit of a massive Democratic House majority that was swept in on the coattails of superstars like Granholm and Obama, and, in a betrayal of the intention of that electorate, his idea of bridging the "partisan divide" has been to bend over for the Senate Republicans as much and as far as he possibly can.

How's that?

People don't know about Dillon though. Those that do, apparently can't shout the warning loud enough. Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks. And how it shakes out from here is anyone's guess.

It doesn't get a whole lot better for the rest of them, either. About the only thing these early polls are good for is determining how well known they are at the start, establishing trend lines that can point to momentum, and, in the case of a Rick Synder, how much bang you are getting for the millions in advertising already spent.

Rick Snyder
- Favorable – 19%
- Unfavorable – 4%
- Don’t Recognize – 62%

The nerd did leap up in the Gooper poll to third place, but was that enough to say he has claimed momentum? Rick better get "tough" pretty darn quick as well, because if he has someone like Skooby, who thinks that BlackBerries are the problem with Lansing ("youze kids git off my lawn!"), already laughing at that 10 point plan, he's got problems. As DeVos proved, it doesn't matter how much money you throw at the television, when the voters and the media come calling for substance, you better have it ready. It remains to be seen whether Snyder does or not.

One funny result of this poll shows that out of all the candidates, Mike Cox has the best name recognition and the highest favorable rating, and still he came in second in the teabag race. When voters were read a description of his job title, he actually drops in the poll. Odd. And laughable. Look for the nasty from Cox to get turned up real soon now that Twitter Pete appears to be the front runner, even though it's probably just east-siders splitting the vote at this point.

So tell me, who are you? Some of the other names involved, in order of fame:

Mike Cox: Don’t Recognize – 22% (Eight years in state office)
Mike Bouchard: Don’t’ Recognize – 30%
Pete Hoekstra: Don’t Recognize – 44% (Build a turtle fence!)
Dan Kildee: Don’t Recognize – 72%
Virg Bernero: Don’t Recognize – 82% (Dude. The 80's called. They want their talking points back.)
Tom George: Don’t Recognize – 83%
Alma Wheeler Smith: Don’t Recognize – 86%

Buckle your seatbelts, and watch these folks reinvent themselves right before your very eyes. Let's just hope that those currently employed by the taxpayers remember that they do have jobs to attend to this year. People need decisions on important issues now - not after the indulgence of some of the dreaming egos finally catch up with reality.

Who these people really are will be revealed with the actions they take this year, not in the promises they make about the next. Y'all keep that in mind as you wait on that next exclusive! poll.