Today has been the day of the 'top dogs' being on site. Overall I have been struck by how comfortable and personable the top political leaders are. They are not rushed, or stressed, or nervous. They are pulled together, funny, attentive and patient.
In this category: Governor Jennifer Granholm started off with a joke about the fact that as a politician when you have a medical problem you really hope that it doesn't include the two words: "bowel" and "obstruction" :-). This was her first public appearance since she had surgery for that malady. She followed up with a very informative and direct presentation asking for help with three items:
- Creating a skilled and educated workforce with the 21st century schools fund.
- Diversify our economy by passing a comprehensive energy reform.
- Lower the cost of Government with a sensible correction system reform.
At lunch I sat at a table with Senator Carl Levin and also spoke to Sander Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow. They were all impressive. It was a rather intimate conversation which touched on amongst other things - international FAIR trade and the need for immigration reform as in releasing more H2B and H1B visas and of course mass transit and the environment.
The middle to bottom of the spectrum was the 'big 4' conversation: The county executive from Wayne and Oakland County and the Chairman of the Macomb County Commissioner as well as the mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick were on a panel. Two things struck me. 1st the three county reps were EXTREMELY self-centered and had very little vision for the future or the area. In my opinion, they needed to have attended more of the conference and listened more. They were really out of touch on what young professionals need, on what can make a region successful and on how desperate the situation is and how that only working together will the area improve in the near future. The other one - the 4th ... Kwame was by contrast very impressive. I don't know if he is going to be able to make it through the text messaging scandal or better yet - figure out a way to make repreation to the city of Detroit but if he can ... from what I saw he can be very very effective.
And for the "cute" side. I got a phone call this morning from Emma (picture is from a while ago when we both got pedicures). She started off with: "I have a great idea for you Auntie Dawn" You need to carry your sign for Hillary around with you. Now it is just 'sitting' on your front lawn!" Evidently Todd and she had been having a conversation about how it is OK to have a woman boss and Hillary came up as someone who was trying to be the boss in the most important job in the country. So still hoping Hillary will win but even if she doesn't, her campaign HAS made a difference - just ask Emma.