Imagine, for a moment, if Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, after hinting about a presidential candidacy, had decided last summer to make a run for the White House.
Just as the 2015-16 campaign cycle has produced Donald Trump’s most improbable jump to clear frontrunner status, the campaign would have also marked the most spectacular crash of a White House contender, once all the information about Snyder’s bungling of the Flint water crisis became public.
Snyder wouldn’t have far to fall, as he likely would have been stuck in the low single digits in the polls, but his credibility as a candidate would have been wiped away so quickly and so completely that pollsters probably would have had difficulty finding a single Snyder supporter anywhere in the country.
Columnist Susan Demas, in her latest piece, ponders the governor’s astounding downturn, with his reputation now in tatters. Several months ago, speculation grew that
he would toss his hat into the ring as Snyder embarked on a series of out-of-state trips to tell “the Michigan story” — the nation’s comeback state.
Now, he will likely spend the coming week of Michigan presidential campaigning in the shadows, avoiding the candidates (who would want to be
seen alongside Snyder?) and the media who will descend upon the Great Lakes State.
Here’s how Demas, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, sizes up the situation:
Our primary week provides a unique window of opportunity for him to sell our state, as national and international media swarm the Mitten.
But Snyder probably won’t be talking much about Michigan’s comeback this week, which could attract investment and boost our national reputation. He probably won’t be highlighting our vaunted “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.
And don’t expect Snyder to hit the campaign trail either, in sharp contrast to other Michigan politicians, like U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive), who will bask in the limelight. But neither Snyder nor Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who hopes to succeed his boss in 2018, have endorsed a candidate for president.