Virtually everyone in Michigan politics, including those who write about it, is analyzing last night’s debate between Governor Rick Snyder and his Democratic challenger, Mark Schauer.
Both sides put their own spin on this debate even before it was over. I’ve seen a lot of debates in my time, live or recorded, including every presidential debate in the modern era.
I have some thoughts on this one.
But I wanted to start with an observation that you might think comes out of left field. Shortly after the debate, I was copied on an e-mail letter a fellow named Kenneth Hreha sent to an anchorman at one of Detroit’s TV networks.
I was struck by these lines:
Hreha said, “The incumbent Rick Snyder didn’t even have the common courtesy to come professionally dressed in a suit and tie, a true reflection of the laziness of this man and the public policies that hurt working people.”
Now, Hreha is scarcely neutral. He voted for Snyder four years ago, but since has come to hate him.
He was laid off from a job working for the state, and the only job he’s been able to find since pays less and has no benefits.
But aside from that, do citizens want a governor who looks like them or one who shows up dressed like an authority figure? Originally, I thought Snyder’s casual style a big plus in today’s world.
Now, I’m not so sure. I know that after Mark Schauer did one commercial casually dressed, one of the elder statesmen of the Democratic Party yelled at him, saying he needed to wear a dark suit and look like the citizens expect a man in charge to look.