I was sick as a dog, so I missed some developments. Here's a brief summary.
First off - the debates. I missed them. I'm not all that sorry I did outside of the fact that it took place in Michigan. I saw two debates already and was up at Mackinac so I already know the basics of the candidates. I'm still undecided and have not made a decision on who I am backing. I'm looking for specifics and am balancing out my ideological side and my pragmatic side. I don't care about the soundbytes, and did not feel like spending 100 minutes listening to politispeak for 20 minutes of meat and potatoes stuff I'm waiting to see.
Secondly - Our senator Valde Garcia had a town hall meeting about his tax votes. I'll give him credit for showing up and explaining himself. It's gutsy decision to do so. I'm sure he thought that tax increase was the right thing to do. I happen to disagree with him on that. One common saying is that "Good policy is good politics." I agree with that, and it's flip side is true as well. "Bad policy is bad politics." Let's not forget why the tax increase is so unpopular. It's bad policy. With businesses closing, lost jobs, high gas prices, and tigher budgets, a tax increase is not what our state needs.
Thirdly - The DNC and democrat candidates for president have all flipped Michigan the bird. "No guts" Barack Obama, John Deadwards, gun grabber Joe Biden, and Bill Richardson all requested to be withdrawn from the January primary ballot. Dennis Kucinich said he wanted to remove his name from the ballot but missed the deadline. Hillary Clinton said she wasn't going to campaign here (woo hoo!) but she's remaining on the ballot. Chris Dodd's also going to be on the ballot, as is Mike Gravel. So what does that mean for this state. If this stays the way it is, here are the winners and losers.
Hillary Clinton - Cements her status as a frontrunner in Michigan. Even though she wants it both ways and isn't campaigning here, just not taking her name off the ballot here helped her. It's a win by default
Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel - Lesser knowns are now the "Anti-Hillary" candidates here in Michigan.
Rudy Giuliani - A pro-abortion candidate may siphon off moderate democrats who don't like Hillary and are irked at this move by the democrats.
Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter - Will organized labor members look at those two candidates, particulary Hunter on trade?
Ron Paul - The War in Iraq. He opposed it from the beginning. The Patriot Act. However, he's pro-life and supports the 2nd Amendment, something that many democrats despise.
John Edwards - For someone who is trying so hard for union support, this is the worst move possible. What the hell is he thinking? Organized labor was born here.
Barack Obama - The four most democrat counties in the state have two of his main targets - blacks and academia. Wayne County is 42% black and home of Wayne State University. Washtenaw County is the home of U-M and EMU. Genessee County is 20% black. Ingham County is the home of MSU. Michigan itself is 15% black, and that vote swung the last two presidential elections here, as well as the 02 gubenatorial election.
Joe Biden and Bill Richardson. I'm glad Richardson isn't here, since I think he's their strongest candidate in a general election. Biden and Richardson are lesser knowns, and with Edwards and Obama sitting out, this gave them a chance to exploit a chance for momentum.
Democrats in Michigan in general - obvious reasons.