Increasingly, it looks as if President Joe Biden has neither the energy nor the acuity to make it to the finish line. And that could be a bad thing for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Ambition being what it is, if Stumbling Joe belly flops then Big Gretch will most certainly dive into the Democratic primary. That’ll bring withering scrutiny from an equally ambitious national press corps. No longer will Whitmer’s national news clippings be limited to the doodlings of hand-picked sycophants with liberal arts degrees living in cramped Manhattan apartments.
Just ask Vivek Ramaswamy, by far the most entertaining contestant in last week’s Trumpless GOP reality show. And if you’re the most entertaining, you win the internet.
With Ramaswamy’s win, however, comes the media stink eye. Notice how the East Coast press has zeroed in on his calls for a national revolution, the defunding of Israel, his fantasies of bromancing Vladimir Putin away from China?
It’ll be hotter for Whitmer because there’s an actual record to rummage through. And it’s not very good. Some pugnacious reporters eager to make a name for themselves are going to excavate those unflattering facts.
Whitmer has her very own poisoning scandal reminiscent of the Flint debacle. It happened in Benton Harbor, another poor-majority Black town, that’s home to 10,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan. The state knew since 2018 that the water there was poisoned from lead pipes — coming in at four times higher than the acceptable levels.
Whitmer’s response was apathetic to say the least. Residents were told to run the tap for a while before using it and to “use cold water for preparing baby formula.”
Now comes the latest. A consultant to her administration, Andy Leavitt, was employed to monitor Benton Harbor. That consultant, in a 2021 email sent to Whitmer’s directors of health and environment departments, as well as a senior adviser to her, warned of their anemic response to the calamity.
But the warning was written in code. The consultant, according to the lawsuit filed against Benton Harbor, wrote English words using corresponding Greek letters. Encrypted writings make it more difficult for reporters to track things down, but not impossible. And this wasn’t exactly the stuff of the Navajo Code Talkers. When translated from Greek to English letters, the consultant’s message reads:
“Hot off the presses. As I warned there are some major red flags. It seems like we are back at square one having not learned from Flint.”
Whitmer and her team have since been named in a federal class action lawsuit, accused of purposefully concealing a “toxic lead emergency.”
And let’s not forget Whitmer and her health director’s despicable response to nursing home deaths. When disgraced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo commanded that long-term care facilities accept COVID patients in March 2020, Whitmer followed suit.
A year later, when a report by the New York attorney general, a Democrat, exposed that nursing home deaths were undercounted by as much as 50%, the New York media ran Cuomo out of office on a rail.
Michigan’s attorney general, Dana Nessel, punted despite the corpses stacking up like cordwood in the staff rooms of public hospitals.
The Michigan auditor general found, however, that Whitmer’s crew undercounted nursing home dead by at least 43%. The national media wrote hardly a word.
Then there is the crime wave washing over the Great Lakes State.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has become a hair-gelled punching bag for the epidemic of shootings, robberies and junkies flopping out on the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Whitmer has gotten a pass.
But crime is bad, too, in Gretchland. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, Michigan is home to eight of America’s 50 most violent cities. California is home to three.
Whitmer’s plan? We’re waiting to hear it.
If Biden bows out, a battalion of coastal media is sure to parachute into Michigan. They should fire a flare. I’d be happy to show them around.