Friday, October 13, 2006

Granholm v. Amway Guy - Detroit Economic Club - Analysis

I had the pleasure of attending the Detroit Economic Club on 10/12 to see Gov. Granholm take on Slick Dick DeVos in the most closely watched gubernatorial race from sea to shining sea. I also had the distinct pleasure and honor to do a lil live-blogging for my favorite political fix, Got to be honest, wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, with that being the first time I was attempting to live-blog a political speech (not sure that comments here and there during a televised debate really count). Pretty proud of the end result, and as I watched the speeches after the fact, my account wasn't too far off. After surviving an early preview of this winter's weather on my trip back to Lansing, I sat down, decompressed and put finger to keyboard. Here's the end result.

Amway Guy -Initially I was surprised how ‘at home’ Dick was. His performance was much cleaner (except for when he attempted the impromptu jokes about the Governor’s future job interviews. Note to Truscott and Saul – your boy does a much better job with a rehearsed script and tell him to lay off the impromptu jokes – his delivery is TERRIBLE!) and he was considerably more comfortable up there. *However, let’s remember the environment. He was effectively strutting his stuff and showing off to his peers – the top 1% of Michigan in terms of money, business experience and policy attitudes. I honestly believe that the camera terrifies him, and it has definitely shown in the last two debates, but not at all at the DEC today.
For the record – I heard Saul talk to the media about his boy today afterwards. Nothing but praise, blah blah blah, how great he did, how he’s taking control, slamming it to the Gov, etc. He was awful chummy with his media boys, and was laying it on (as usual) a little to thick for my tastes. That may be what you think Saul, but Dick’s not gonna win it on corny one-liners…

The Hon. Governor – No big surprise here, she rocked out. Her delivery, impeccable, clean and precise. She knew her speech, but for her (as well with FDR) it wasn’t a speech. It was a conversation that she could have had with you on your front stoop or at your kid’s soccer game. She told it like it was, no verbal acrobatics, corny jokes, just cut and dried – Jen’s way. *I would never, ever want to face her in a courtroom, she’s lethal!*
She honestly 100% believed every word she said. She was compassionate, but not to the degree she was in the debates, but again, consider the audience. This wasn’t the crowd that wanted mothering – they wanted the facts, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that after the first two debates, they wanted blood. They got it. She started out with a couple zingers (see the tid-bit about the job interviews and actually having a plan) and not only did she get quite a few chuckles, but people visibly winced after she said it. The known Republicans in the room also laughed quite a bit at Dick’s expense when she dropped those. She has an incredible amount of charisma – she seemed to fill and command the entire room and all 1200 of us there. It was awe-inspiring. I don’t think it’s possible, but I respect and admire her more and more every time I hear her speak.

So Who Won?

Well, they did both get standing ovations. I truly believe she got more of a crowd than he did, but that’s just my perspective. I’m reading the media reports, and I’m wondering if I was in the same room as those guys. Did they miss the speeches I heard? How their reports can be so passive and lassiez-faire, well, that’s got me stumped.
Jen is a much better speaker than Dick, hands down. He still struggled, had a few awkward moments, gave the squinty-eyed smile and nervous laughter a few times too many, and I honestly believe that she will champion him in any speaking match, any time. On the issues, the substance? Can I ever really be objective? I’ve already said it – she didn’t gloss things over, told it like it was, and I’m a big fan of that style. His cheap one-liners with how great he is, how terrible Michigan was, the exact doom-and-gloom that the Gov referred to in her speech – not my style either. I think she rocked him out, again. She had a plan, had proof her job well-done, and he had griping.

What Was Interesting

Betsy - How they’ve kept a muzzle on her this whole time, I’ll never understand. I had the opportunity to observe her beforehand while he was working the room where the sponsors were – she stood in the corner with a handler very demure and all smiles without drawing attention to herself. A real mystery. Perhaps she’s just biding her time till *she* can get into office – that’s right, you heard what I said.

Dick and “Special Interests” - He accused the Gov of being in bed with Special Interests several times. I think I may have snorted out loud once or twice. If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, then I don’t know what is. I was especially burning up when he constantly made himself out to be the champion of K-12 education in Michigan. Grrrr! Is he just taking a page from her book, or what? Or maybe I just need someone to explain to me what his definition of special interests actually is.

Restrained Decorum - The general audience was really captivated by her, and almost seemed to sneer at him as a group. There were a lot of smiles when she spoke, and while no one yelled, a couple people let out muted boo’s during several points of his speech. She was poised to only succeed, and he could either continue to play the court jester or go down in flames. The audience seemed to know that, and they were waiting for a spectacle.

Editorial Note
I tried to quote both candidates exactly, but the usual caveat applies while live-blogging. My apologies for any words misspelled, left out, or abbreviated. Thank you for the encouragement and the kind words. Hope I’ve done everyone proud by shining a light on what goes on in and out of the boardrooms of Michigan’s elite. If you’re voting for the Gov, you have yet one more reason to be proud to call her your own and to know that your vote is an incredible step in the right direction. With her at our helm, I almost feel bad for the citizens of the other 49 states.

1 comment:

Timbercake said...

Your perspective on the joint appearance is a good one. The media, however, is reporting that DeVos had the upper hand.

I can't believe he of all people accused Granholm of being in bed with special interests. He's like the special interest KING! In fact, he and his fortune are the financiers of the special interests who lobbied for the trade practices that hurt Michigan. Who is he to talk?

You can tell he is getting desperate but I don't think the voters are responding that well.

Have a good Friday the 13th!