Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder (R-M) may well be the next GOP candidate to jump into the race for the White House. While talk of Snyder’s possible candidacy has been whispered in various places for months now, it was beginning to seem like he would choose not to run in 2016. Well, that’s changed. After spending some time mingling with donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) in Las Vegas and getting some advice from former Minnesota Senator, Norm Coleman (R-MN), it seems that Snyder may be getting ready to officially enter the race.
Former White House spokesman under George W. Bush, and member of the RJC board, Ari Fleischer said that, “[He] didn’t say to the board that he was running. He made a real strong presentation about his results and successes in Michigan.”
Fleischer added: “You have to wonder why people to come to our meetings and it’s probably because he’s thinking of running.”
Norm Coleman seemed more certain about Snyder’s future, “I met with Rick Snyder yesterday. He’s running. He’s running.”
While Snyder seems like a probable underdog in the already crowded GOP field, there are many reasons to take his candidacy seriously. In 2010 he came from way behind to win his election as Governor, and in 2014 he won reelection against a tough Democrat opponent. He’s got a solid record as a conservative who has been willing to reach across the aisle to get things done, and while he won’t be a favorite among conservatives, he should be more appealing than Jeb Bush or Chris Christie – while still holding appeal for the establishment types in D.C.
A Republican consultant familiar with Michigan politics told the Guardian: “If he does run for president, Snyder has a record with serious appeal. He’s an effective governor and excellent campaigner.”
“For anyone who doubts Snyder’s ability to connect with voters and win,” the operative said, “I’d point you to his 2010 race where he wasn’t even out polling the margin of error at the beginning, yet went on to an historic victory.”
Though local Michigan political strategists aren’t really buying this as a Presidential run.
“I think it’s something you do to keep your name out there for a future cabinet post or something along those lines,” said political strategist Dennis Darnoi.
Darnoi said the timing is right for that maneuver and that Snyder does have a story to tell. “I’m telling them that I’m the one who engineered the comeback of Detroit, I’m the one who has lowered Michigan’s unemployment rate so it’s hovering at the national average, I’m the one who brought economic diversification to the state,” Darnoi said.
Rick Snyder is definitely candidate that GOP voters should look into – he’ll carry more personal appeal than many of our party’s recent options, even if he’s not as conservative as some of us would like. Keep an eye out for Snyder as he starts to make the rounds on all of the daily talk shows and news programs.