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‘Fix the Damn Roads:’ Governor Whitmer’s dullness extends to a pandemic

Gretchen Whitmer first attracted attention when she ran with an unforgettable campaign slogan for the governor of Michigan: “Fix the Damn Roads”.

The back-to-basics approach resulted in Whitmer occupying the seat with an overwhelming majority in 2018, positioning it as a democratic fresh face capable of winning back Midwestern voters who left Hillary Clinton two years earlier.

Now the first term governor is facing the biggest crisis of her term, a coronavirus death toll that exceeds all but two states, as she is undergoing a new test after the likely Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has confirmed that she is on his shortlist for a runner.

Political experts say Whitmer̵

7;s resume and biography make her a natural choice as Vice President.

“It is far outside the Washington bubble … an important counterbalance to Biden, who has spent 50 years on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. More importantly, she was leading a democratic wave in a large Midwest state, for Donald Trump’s re-election will be critical, ”said Robert Yoon, a professor of political communication at the University of Michigan.

“Whitmer has only been a governor for just over a year, which would likely become an important topic of conversation in a normal election year,” said Yoon. “But I think it is more likely that she will be rated positively or negatively for managing a historic global crisis than how long she was in office.”

Whitmer signed a home stay mandate on March 23, four days after California governor Gavin Newsom issued the first such order in the nation. It has announced that it will extend the restrictions that are due to expire on April 14.

Republicans argue that 48-year-old Whitmer lacks the experience or success to be a heartbeat from the White House. Their first year attempt to fix the streets with a gas tax of 45 cents per gallon failed miserably. It criticized the federal government for its response to the corona virus, but submitted an application for a federal disaster declaration too late.

“I understand electoral thinking about choosing a Michigan governor. I understand the logic of it, but it’s not really put to the test, ”said GOP strategist Trent Wisecup, a Michigan native who participated in the Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns and in the governor campaigns of Meg Whitman and California in California Arnold Schwarzenegger worked. “I think she is a talented politician. I don’t think she is ready for the national stage.”

Trump has criticized democratic governors throughout the corona virus crisis, but he chose Whitmer for some of his toughest words. He called her “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer” and said she was clueless and “over her head”. He asked Vice President Mike Pence not to call “the woman in Michigan”.

After Trump recently told Fox News presenter Sean Hannity that he had “a big problem with the young woman – a governor from – you know who I am talking about – from Michigan,” Whitmer replied on Twitter with an emoji Hand gesture hello.

“Hello, my name is Gretchen Whitmer and I am this governor,” wrote Whitmer. “I have repeatedly and respectfully asked for help. We need it. No more political attacks, PSA only, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits. You said you were at Michigan – prove it. “

A minute later, she added: “PS: I’m happy to work with the Vice President! We get along well.”

Trump’s repeated references to Whitmer by gender, but not by name, have prompted activists to rally around the phrase “This Michigan woman”. Whitmer wore a blue t-shirt that read “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Wednesday.

Whitmer, the daughter of two lawyers who served in the state government of Michigan, attended Michigan State University for her bachelor’s and law degrees. She worked in state legislation for 14 years and eventually became the leader of the Senate minority. She was the first woman to lead a party convention in the state. In 2018, after eight years of republican rule, she won the governor’s race by almost 10 percentage points.

It won the most votes a governor had ever received in the state. Her slogan – “Fix the Damn Roads” – was very well received by a large number of Michiganders. Whitmer’s victory was particularly noteworthy two years after Hillary Clinton lost the country, which had democratically voted in the presidential election since 1992, to Donald Trump with less than 11,000 votes.

Whitmer formed a coalition of black voters, suburban women and workers, and reduced the margins of their losses in conservative parts of the state. This is the formula that Democrats must follow in 2020 to win the state. This is seen as the key to their chances of taking over the White House.

Experienced democratic strategist Jill Alper of Grosse Pointe, Michigan, said Whitmer’s success was due to the fact that she was not an ideologist.

“She has a factual attitude that is very appealing,” said Alper, who advised Clinton in 2016 and raised money. “The whole nickname” Fix the Damn Roads “has shown your outrage at everyday common sense problems that people are facing and that have not been addressed.”

As a sign that democratic leaders recognized their potential, Whitmer was selected to deliver the party’s response to this year’s President’s speech on the state of the Union.

Biden said he considered Whitmer a running companion before dealing with the pandemic put her in the national spotlight.

“I think she created the list two months ago,” Biden said on MSNBC on Tuesday, adding that he expects his campaign to screen six to ten women.

Whitmer, a national co-chair of Biden’s campaign, said she was not interested in joining the democratic ticket and Biden should choose a colored woman.

“I never wanted to go to Washington, DC, I’m just being very honest with you,” she said on March 6, according to WWMT, a CBS partner in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “I have been in this job for 14 months. I am so grateful and have a lot to do.”

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