Since launching this blog nearly 7 months ago, I’ve been critical of Pete Hoekstra for a number reasons, but one of the strongest arguments against his campaign for Governor is his inability to work in a bi-partisan, solutions-oriented manner.

Pete’s a fear-mongerer and a finger-wagger.

He’s one of the most polarizing Members of Congress.

You’re either with him or against him.

That strategy is great for getting media attention but terribly ineffective when it comes to governing, and it’s a key reason Hoekstra has been an unsuccessful Representative lo these many years. Sure he’s gotten re-elected 8 times after his upset win in 1992, but there’s more to being a US Representative than winning elections. In fact, one of the largest — if not the largest — wins for his district, a job-creating $151 million federal grant to LG Chem Ltd. for an advanced battery plant, happened in spite of Pete’s efforts. At the groundbreaking ceremony last week, President Obama said of Hoekstra, “Some people made the political decision that it would be better to obstruct than to lend a hand.”

Some folks reading this may not be satisfied with President Obama and think voting for Hoekstra is the best way to “send a message to Barack Obama”, as GOP pollster Frank Luntz said on Fox News.

Luntz’s statement couldn’t be more misguided.

Luntz, like Hoekstra, is just another political hack.

The best way to send Obama a message that Michigan wants to be part of the conversation and is committed to economic recovery is electing a competent, intelligent, reasonable leader who appeals to folks from across the political spectrum. Someone who isn’t a career politician. Someone whose best skill isn’t pointing fingers on Fox News at political opponents.

Someone like Rick Snyder who’s doing everything he can to appeal to Republicans, Independents and Democrats. On Monday, Snyder launched a website, www.CommonSenseforMichigan.com, according to MLive.com, which former Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek) called “an unprecedented grassroots effort reaching voters who have not traditionally voted in Republican primaries.”

While Snyder tries to expand his reach, Hoekstra’s going in the complete opposite direction, focusing on the extreme-right “Tea Party” members. In a desperate move that indicates his campaign is struggling, Pete announced Wednesday he’ll join Michele Bachmann in the House “Tea Party Caucus”.

The Tea Party movement clearly has political momentum, but their angry, mean-spirited style seems to have undercurrents of bigotry and intolerance. The group is capitalizing on the dissatisfaction and distrust of government, but I don’t see them becoming effective leaders.

Pete Hoekstra’s pandering to the right while Rick Snyder’s trying to broaden his appeal.

It’s very clear that Snyder’s style is the direction Michigan ought to go.

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