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The Miller-for-governor plot

Today’s dissertation centers on Candice Miller, now the public works commissioner in Macomb County and very content at being that.

For literally years, Ms. Miller has flirted with running for governor. After she served time in town as secretary of state and, then, after a successful stint in the U.S. Congress, every four-year election cycle, the scribes around here would dutifully plunk her name in the pot as a contender for governor. And, every four years, she would dutifully brush it aside, and that would be that.

Well, sure as shootin’, when the presidential election was finally over, the attention shifted to the governor’s election next year, and there it was again, “Candice Miller would be a dream candidate to take on the current female governor, Gretchen Whitmer.”

The spec story sat out there for a couple of weeks when, mercifully, Ms. Miller decided that, to be fair to anyone who was serious about running for the GOP nomination, she should repeat history and take her name off the list.

“I will not run for governor next year,” she told the media which had been here before.

Only, this time, she really meant it.

It did make sense. She was enjoying her job and elder status in the party. Those who would run would consult with her, being as she is from a county that you need to win. Her endorsement would be gold, and she could be a king- or queenmaker without lifting a finger.

That would be preferable to hitting the stump and glad-handing your way all over the state. It’s tiring, it’s never-ending, and there is no guarantee you would win, although the pundits would love a Miller vs. Whitmer contest. It has curbside appeal for many reasons, including the fact that it would likely be competitive.

So, for the time being, she’s out.

However, you could write a script whereby she’s in.

The plot goes like this: A host of would-be governors, with Ms. Miller comfortably on the sidelines, do everything they can to get the nomination. They toil in the political vineyards, raising money, blasting Ms. Whitmer for allegedly mishandling COVID-19 and “destroying” the state’s economy at the same time, but, as the race unfolds, the higher-ups in the GOP get antsy. They don’t like what they see, and decide to have a come to Jesus session with C.M.

The conversation could go like this:

“Candice, you know as well as we do that Whitmer is going to win this thing. Our cast of characters is not getting it done. She’s got a 15-point lead over our best candidate, which means that is not our best candidate, but you are! Here’s the deal, to borrow a phrase from Joe Biden: You run for governor and win, and then, in one or two years, you can retire and hand the job over to your running mate, whom you can handpick. It’s a two-fer. You help us get rid of Whitmer, and you put your signature on a new administration, and we’ll buy the horse for you to ride off into the sunset. You in? Please.”

If she says yes, the media will hammer her for flip-flopping, dragging out her earlier statement about not running. But, at best, that’s a two day negative story, as she can explain, “For the good of the party and for the betterment of our beautiful state, I’m doing what needs to be done.”

Far-fetched?

Well instead of wrapping your fish in this column, set it aside some place and revisit it in a year to see if the perennial bridesmaid moves up a notch.

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