2010-10-28 / Editorial

Our choice for governor

The Detroit Free Press’ endorsement of Rick Snyder as governor was an unexpected twist of political news Sunday. The normally Democratic-leaning Free Press Editorial Board made its selection of a Republican candidate for governor, endorsing Rick Snyder, former CEO of Gateway Computers and self described “nerd.”

Snyder’s Democratic Party rival Virg Bernero is mayor of Lansing and from what we gather he has been a professional politician, unlike Snyder who is entering the political circles for the first time. One description of Snyder is the “tough nerd,” while the description of Bernero is “angry mayor.”

Both candidates have professed plans for leading Michigan’s struggling recovery and both feel they are qualified to lead that recovery. Snyder certainly has the lead when it comes to a strong business background and the ability to make solid fiscal decisions. Bernero claims he has helped save jobs in Lansing and has balanced the city’s budget.

Bernero has been described as “passionate” by friends, which some have interpreted as “anger.” Living and governing Lansing could make a person angry much of the time.

The “tough nerd” has the experience in corporate leadership and with the problems going to require tough decisions and tough leadership. There are many similarities between private and public business, so a strong business background will be beneficial in the decision making process. But there is also a need for good people skills to steer plans and ideas through the legislature. Public business, unlike the private sector, isn’t always ruled with quite the same roughshod ham-fisted dictatorial leadership that is characteristic of some big businesses.

While the nerd has the advantage with corporate experience and private business the angry mayor knows his way around the tough political playgrounds, and while the anger is politely described as passion it is nevertheless politics. Maybe that’s the attractive difference between the two candidates -- one is a seasoned politician.

Michigan’s recovery will require a leader that isn’t afraid of the tough decisions and who has the vision to create affordable solutions to problems, and eliminate unaffordable programs. A sustainable government in tough times is a smaller government with fewer obligations.

In our opinion Rick Snyder’s vision, experience and education are better suited to lead Michigan over the next four years. We find ourselves in agreement with the Free Press Editorial Board, a

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