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Local Experts Weigh In On Gov’s Address

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LANSING (WWJ) – Political experts are speaking out about Governor Rick Snyder’s first State of the State address on Wednesday night. WWJ caught up with a few of those experts:

Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics gives the governor a B+ for his state of the state address, describing it as optimistic but short on details.

“We still don’t know how he’s going to deal with things like crime and the corrections system. Where is he going to cut the budget?” says Ballenger.

However, he adds that Snyder had to be sunny and optimistic in his first speech as the new governor of Michigan. And even though Snyder has never held public office, Ballenger says, “He knew that people were expecting him to come up with concrete proposals and he did throw out a few that are going to get headlines like the DRIC – Detroit River International Crossing.”

WWJ’s Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says Snyder’s speech was spot on and he gets a gold star for talking about building a new Detroit/Canada bridge. “He fashioned it in a wonderful, brilliant business deal. He basically made the lawmakers an offer they can’t refuse – but some of them will,” says Skubick. He adds, “He went to the federal government with the Canadian money and said to the Obama administration, lets make a deal. They did and now they’ll be able to use the Canadian money as Michigan’s matching federal money to repair the potholes in Michigan. What a brilliant move.”

However there are others who believe Snyder’s strong support of DRIC could be risky. Says Ballenger, “He angered members of his own party who don’t support the DRIC.”

Associate Editor of the Detroit Free Press Ron Dzwonkowski describes the governor’s state of the state as a “feel-good” speech. “He talked about a lot of the things that Michigan can do if we all work together. It was a call for unity, it was a call for relentless positive action and that’s a feel-good expression,” says Dzwonkowski.

As for Snyder being inspirational, Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics says, “I just don’t think Rick Snyder is ever going to inspire anybody with a speech. I don’t think he’s as terrible a speaker as a lot of people think. Maybe he is compared to Jennifer Granholm who was a tremendous speaker, but I think by the time she left people were tired of brilliant rhetoric unmatched by results.”

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