This week, President Trump will deliver his State of the Union Address, and Democrats have chosen Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, to deliver their response.
Who is Gretchen Whitmer? Her “State of the State” address, delivered this past week, was a painful reminder to Michiganders: Gretchen Whitmer is a deeply insecure woman.
Whereas Michigan’s previous Democrat governor, Jennifer Granholm, chose to let her actions speak for themselves and set about destroying Michigan’s economy with a steely determination, Gretchen Whitmer instead blunders about, proclaiming all the while what a Strong Independent Woman she is.
She opened the night’s remarks by lecturing the audience about their presumed sexism, in a painfully awkward reminder of a fake controversy over her personal clothing last year.
This is a classic example of Whitmer’s inability to see how she telegraphs her insecurity: She considers it strength to be condescending when she began her speech by saying:
“Everyone is looking fantastic tonight. But this year I want to get one thing straight: This is not the red carpet. Focus on the substance of my speech. It’s about issues, not appearances.”
In reality, it’s so sad that she leads this solemn address by dwelling on what she wore a year ago.
As it happened, not one lawmaker last year took the bait and said a word about her dress. Whitmer had to go to a click-bait article and anonymous comments on the Internet to find the fodder to cast herself as a victim. Her condescension was not only insulting, but embarrassingly misplaced.
The rest of the speech was a mercifully short 35 minutes, as she had no accomplishments to tout, and few ideas. She stole credit for passing “historic” auto insurance legislation. Fact check: she threatened to veto it, saying “I’m done playing games,” before agreeing to sign a watered-down version of the same bill.
The theme of the speech was “do something,” a sad attempt to paint the Republicans’ rejection of her 45-cent-per-gallon gas tax hike as an obstruction.
The gas tax hike was so unpopular, not one Democrat in either chamber even introduced it.
“When it comes to tackling Michigan’s challenges, I’ve got a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A was simple. It was in my budget last year,” she intoned, as if everyone in Michigan didn’t know “Plan A” was the gas tax hike.
“Plan B,” it turned out, was an executive order to issue billions in bonds.
These are the Democrats’ ideas on paying for things they want: taxes, and debt.
It will be a stark contrast with Trump’s State of the Union this week: President Trump, a deal-maker, just signed the USMCA, reflecting a complex series of negotiations in Congress and with multiple foreign nations.
Gretchen Whitmer is unable to work with anybody.
She was too embarrassed to even mention her major “achievement” of last year: throwing every department into a tailspin with 147 budget line-item vetoes totaling $2 billion, plus dozens of “administrative transfers” where money was unilaterally diverted away from its appropriated purpose (e.g. roads) and into another (e.g. buses.)
At the time she said: “This is not what the people want and deserve, [but] I know that there are things that (Republicans) care about in this budget that are no longer a reality. And I think it’s incumbent on everyone to get back to the table.”
Translation: “I vetoed critical programs to force Republicans to negotiate with me.”
The gambit didn’t work. Republicans passed bills to restore most of the funding, leaving some of her vetoes on the cutting-room floor, and called it a day. She signed them.
Gretchen Whitmer is the perfect Democrat to respond to President Trump’s State of the Union Address: a bitter, insecure, and isolated executive who can’t work with anybody and blames everybody else, versus Donald Trump, accomplishing landmark deals while letting nothing bother him.
This should be an exciting speech on Tuesday.
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Mitt Romney Admits: Trump Likely to Be Re-Elected
Just weeks ago, Romney was voting to impeach Trump.
Mitt Romney admitted during a Munich Security Conference panel in Germany that President Donald Trump is “likely” to be re-elected on Friday.
Romney’s admission could be interpreted as a tacit admission that the Utah Republican was seeking to overturn the likely will of the American voter in the 2020 election. Romney was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump on Democratic impeachment charges, claiming he warranted removal from office for temporarily suspending foreign aid to Ukraine.
“I can tell you I think it’s likely he will get reelected, not because he’s highly popular, but because I think the Democrats are not going to nominate someone who’ll be a very effective competitor.”
Romney’s answer when asked about Trump’s re-election chances seems to suggest he believes Democrats are going to nominate Bernie Sanders. Establishment conservatives such as Romney often tend to underestimate populist political figures such as Sanders in a similar manner that they did Trump in the 2016 election. (Romney did admit that he “did not predict that President Trump would become President Trump.”)
Romney was lauded for his impeachment vote by the crowd at the annual event, a mainstay institution for the western political elite. A moderator for the panel claimed he “probably the most courageous lawmaker we have in the United States.”
The failed 2012 presidential candidate may have alienated himself even further from the Republican party with remarks that seemed dismissive of his Senate colleagues, describing them as beholden to the President.
In what may have been his most self-reflective remarks of the night, Romney admitted there was little to no desire among the American public for the outdated liberal conservative principles he’s known for.
“Right now, the nature of American politics is highly populist… I’m perhaps a throwback. I jokingly say I have about 2% of the population that’s with me.”
I think that might be a bit on the high side, Mitt.
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