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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/22 (321 comments)

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  •  MI-Gov: Tim Skubick driving me nuts (11+ / 0-)

    A recap of the MI-Gov situation, to be followed by a rant.

    Gretchen Whitmer is out; Gary Peters is probably running for Senate; no one really wants Bernero, round II; Bart Stupak doesn't want a messy, abortion-focused primary; and Mark Schauer is still thinking about it, but seems to be the establishment choice.

    Schauer is taking his time on it, too-- his original timeline had him deciding March-ish, now he says he'll decide by the beginning of the summer. It's the sort of thing that drives me crazy (decide already!), but it's not all that different from when he ran for Congress in 2008. It took him a while to commit to that race, but when he did, he ran a pretty great campaign and won.

    So this kind of article from Tim Skubick really bothers me:

    Democrat Mark Schauer must be taking singing lessons because he has dramatically changed his tune regarding his so-called passion to run for governor.

    With growing indications that he is being strongly urged to run and take on Gov. Rick Snyder next year, Mr. Schauer has a self-created challenge that he has to overcome.

    As suggested in this space two months ago, the former state lawmaker and former congressman did not appear to have the fire in his belly to seek the nomination.

    He never said that in so many words, but you did not have to be reporter Clark Kent to reach that conclusion after watching his performance on Off the Record.

    As far as I can tell, the only person in the media who's been talking about that "self-created challenge" and a lack of "fire in his belly" is Tim Skubick. His assertion that Schauer lacks "fire in the belly" seems to mainly be from Schauer's appearance on Skubick's political talk show "Off The Record" (here around 13:00 and here), where Schauer wasn't jumping on the table with enthusiasm. But I'm not sure how you can seem enthusiastic on a show when "Do you have that fire in your belly?" is a serious question that's asked.

    And it's really just a continuation of Skubick's odd fascination with "fire in the belly." Here he is, writing about state Senator Roger Kahn's potential challenge to Carl Levin, before Levin announced his retirement:

    “I’m looking at it closely. I’ve had several folks telling me to run,” he discloses before running off to another meeting in the Capitol.

    That’s not a yes, but it’s not a no, yet he doesn’t have the time, by his own admission, to form “a team for decision making.” When would they meet - at midnight?

    Mr. Kahn is a likeable and approachable chap with a grand sense of humor, which was on full display the other day.

    Correspondents always want to know if potential candidates have the “fire in the gut” to meander all over the state to run against an entrenched incumbent who has not lost an election since they started counting votes.

    “Let’s look at your tummy,” the reporter began. “Do you have the fire in the gut to do this?”

    Looking at his large girth, he smiles, “I have plenty of tummy.” How can you not laugh out loud?

    Then he answers, “Indeed, yes,” he’s got it.

    Prove it.

    He flew to Marquette a week ago to give a speech at the Marquette Economic Club in the dead of winter. He couldn’t fly back. Apparently they get a lot of snow up there. So he drove back and got home at 4 a.m.

    So much for the fire in the belly question.

    ... Uh, okay? He drove home from Marquette-- something I've done and lots of people have done-- and that proves...?

    "Fire in the gut" was apparently also Scott Romney's problem in his short-lived Senate campaign, and not the fact that Mitt lost his "home state" Michigan by 10 points. Last cycle, Dan Kildee had fire in his belly, but didn't run for governor. So something else must have happened there. Andy Dillon and Rick Snyder both had fire in the belly deficiencies. One became governor and one didn't, so I'm thinking maybe Skubick's not the best judge of this sort of thing.

    There's no real news here, just frustration. Tim Skubick tries to be the Tim Russert of Michigan, and mostly we let him get away with it because no one else wants the job. But this is the laziest and most frustrating political reporting there is. Take a handful of context-free quotes, run it through a wishy-washy "it feels like maybe he doesn't really want to run" or "that guy has the passion it takes" cycle, and before you know it, it's the Skubick-proclaimed conventional wisdom. There's no actual substance.

    Skubick actually does a fair amount of decent reporting, and I don't know, maybe there's some real concern behind closed doors that Schauer's heart isn't really in it. But this is just stupid.

    •  Sheesh (9+ / 0-)

      Pretty maddening. Great takedown. Sounds like a dinosaur sports reporter who still insists "veteran leadership" and "clubhouse presence" matters more than on-base percentage.

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      by David Nir on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:24:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mark Schauer didn't seem like he was running (0+ / 0-)

      It wasn't just that interview. I am sure if you were at the convention, but he didn't approach it like a person about to be the top of our ticket. While people like John Austin were working the all caucus meetings, Schauer just relaxed. He seemed like a dude enjoying his retirement.

      From what I hear, a lot has changed over the past month. He seems more active now. I am not sure why his mood changed suddenly. I think it fair to ask if did he have a true change of heart or is he being forced to run.

      M, 23, School: MI-12, Home: NY-18

      by slacks on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:29:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wasn't at the convention (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bumiputera

        Unfortunately, I don't live in Michigan anymore (though I very much wish I did), so I'm stuck watching from a distance. So I don't know what Schauer is or isn't doing to position himself as a candidate. Obviously, if he runs, I want his heart to be in it.

        But it's Tim Skubick reporting vague assertions about fire in the belly that's got me riled up. If there's a story, report the story and get whatever quotes you can get, even from anonymous sources. Reporting empty platitudes is just infuriating, and even more so if there's an actual story that could be told.

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