Loyal Planet Gore readers know my line: For a preview of President Obama, watch Governor Granholm.
The flashy, photogenic, executive experience–free, Harvard Law–educated former governor of Michigan — Michigan’s first female guv (is all this ringing a bell?) — and President Obama are not only resume twins, they are ideological twins. Beautiful and compelling on the stump, these two friends share grandiose visions of Big Government–funded utopia while ignoring the hard budget issues at their doorstep.
Obama’s 2009 stimulus? Read Granholm’s 2006 stimulus. Obama’s transformation of America with federal “investments?” Read Granholm’s 2006 transformation of Michigan’s economy with the “21st Century Jobs Fund.” Obama’s 2011 Sputnik moment? Read Granholm’s 2010 “moonshot.”
And in 2012? Now that Granholm has left office, you might be able to get a look at America’s future by looking at Michigan once again.
Thanks to her neglect of budget fundamentals, her failed state investments, and the state’s lingering economic malaise, voters rejected a term-limited Granholm’s party successor last November. Instead, they turned to an outsider, Republican businessman Rick Snyder.
In his very first State of the State address last week, Snyder renounced Granholm’s Big Green initiatives, arguing that “the role of government is to support success — not to pick winners or losers.” Piffff. Just like that, the air has gone out of Granholm’s Green utopia — a vision only viable as long as there is political will to subsidize it.
Michigan — like Obama’s America — has spent billions on new green energy firms. That is money down a black hole. But a Republican governor in Michigan has at least stopped the bleeding in 2011. A Republican president can do the same in 2013.