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Wrestling with alligators

January 16, 2009 - Bill Speer
Can history repeat itself? I hope not.

I pray regularly for our president-elect Barack Obama and have nothing but high hope and best wishes for him as his inauguration draws near.

As a businessman, I am hoping the wave of optimism and excitement that surrounds him is infectious as he takes office, and instead of people concentrating on the negative with our economy, they start focusing the on the positives.

Yet I also am a realist, and I know one man cannot do it alone. And I worry about what happens when the country wakes up one morning and discovers that Superman actually has a flaw, and his kryptonite is the national economy.

I present Michigan as the example of my concern. Seven years ago Gov. Jennifer Granholm assumed office in the same manner as Obama. The two are perfect complements to one another as they can woo a crowd, mesmorize an audience and neutralize a naysayer better than most. Despite all the charisma and charm that Granholm brought with her, she quickly discovered the glory days of Michigan's economy were long gone and she was in an economic swamp of quicksand that threatened to destroy her. Early on she could blame President Bush and his administration's policies as the culprit, but that grew thin quickly as year after year, the state faced dwindling revenues and had to make massive cuts.

Granholm held tons of promise. And, much of it has been realized. Yet she never has been able to shine the way she could because since day one, she has been knee-deep fighting the alligators.

I worry with all the troubles facing the national economy, will the same hold true for Obama?

I hope not. I'm rooting for him. The trouble is, the road ahead looks a little swampy.

 
 

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