Tim Skubick: Snyder's early return dodges perception problem - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Snyder's early return dodges perception problem

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Even non-career politicians aren't impervious to the notion that perception is reality in politics and Democrats were having a field day with the appearance that the governor was out of town during some pretty important debates.

You had the spector of the state senate trying to pass Gov. Rick Snyder's top priority of providing health care insurance to 320,000 folks who don't have it, but the boss was MIA.

Well actually he wasn't missing.  He was in Israel rubbing elbows with the leaders there…none of whom could vote on the Medicaid expansion program that was stalled in the state senate not the Knesset.

O.K. but that's why they have Lieutenant Governor's. Brian Calley is an old hand at this stuff and surely he could stand in for the governor.

He could have but on Day 1 of the struggle to find the votes, Mr. Calley was MIA, too.

Well not actually missing.  He was in the Upper Peninsula on a tour where he likely picked up an Elmer Fudd hat at the Stormy  Kromer store. (They like to get U.P. tours out of the way now before the snow arrives next month.)

Meanwhile Mr. Snyder, overseas, advised the media back home that he was working the phones on the issue but Democrats argued if this was so important, why wasn't he working lawmakers in person in his office in the capitol?

Well the Snyder handlers weren't born yesterday and were aware of the "perception is reality" bug-a-boo so they scrubbed the schedule for Mr. Calley on Wednesday.

He was all set to attend the FinnFest in Houghton, tour a mine in Quincy and roast some hot dogs or something at the Fort Wilkins State Park in Cooper Harbor.

Instead there he was at his usual perch at the senate rostrum.  Turns out his appearance didn't result in a vote on Wednesday, but at least for the moment, it gave the impression the Snyder team did care about the bill.

And then, in the ultimate move to clam-up the critics, the handlers scrubbed the rest of the governor's trade mission to fly him back into town, too.

In his defense the mission was set a long time ago when he thought the lawmakers would be on recess this week but they did not leave and he went anyway.  Hence to dodge more of a perception problem, he returned.

But it did no good.  The senate left without voting on his plan.

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