Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 13, 2008

Okay, it's Michigan's turn. Troubled state. Unemployment is at 7.4%, highest of any state, almost 50% above the national average. And Mitt Romney, whose dad was governor there, is talking jobs. "What Michigan is experiencing the whole nation will experience unless we fix what's happening in Michigan...." Well, no.

The whole nation is not as dependent on the automobile industry as Michigan. The whole country hasn't lost jobs because Americans buy more foreign cars than they used to. Romney also jumped on John McCain for saying that some of those Michigan jobs are gone forever. But, of course, they are. "I had to give some straight talk," McCain said. "Jobs...have left and will not come back, but we're going to create jobs, we're going to create a new economy."

And of course that is what will have to happen if Michigan is to recover. You can't go back to the old Big Three carmakers; you have to go in new, high tech directions. Romney's home state, Massachusetts, has done well at that, sparked by the runoff from universities like MIT and Harvard. Do any of the candidates know how to do that in Michigan? If one of them wins, we may find out.

Meanwhile, polls in Michigan show McCain and Romney about even, with Mike Huckabee within striking distance in third place. Unlike the other two, Huckabee stresses his religion. "For a long time, those of us who are people of faith have been asked to support a candidate who would talk to us. But rarely has there been one who comes from us." He means himself, of course. He also stresses his opposition to abortion, and plans to stay in the state through the primary, hoping to upset the frontrunners.

The others? Fred Thompson is in South Carolina. Rudy Giuliani has in effect conceeded all the early states and is hanging out in Florida. I mean, what the heck, the beaches are good and there's terrific seafood if you know where to go. He's been there so long that by now he probably does. Who needs the presidency anyway? Try the pompano.

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