Is it possible for this woman to feel embarrassment?

Jennifer Granholm, that is. She can’t do her job, so at the urging of others she hires someone else to do the most important part of it – at a six figure salary. He’d better be excellently qualified, don’t you think?

Since excellent qualifications are not head smackingly obvious in this case, I’m guessing she neglected to consult her Chief Communications Officer. Maybe that’s her next hire.

Think about how you might have handled this had it been your decision. Here are some relevant parameters:

You are Michigan’s Governor. You are in your second term. Michigan’s economic performance, by any measure, is abysmal. Blaming George Bush has become problematic since the rest of the country is enjoying a sustained multi-year economic boom.

Michigan’s 2008 budget process is continually deadlocked in the legislature on the issue of raising taxes vs. cutting spending. There is a looming one-point-eight billion dollar shortfall primarily due to your proposed eight-percent increase in spending. You have described this increase as a “cut.”

A series of deadlocks and inept brinkmanship caused by both legislative chambers results in tax laws that become objects of national derision. The surreal ineptness of the process, much less the outcome, damages the State’s credibility and frightens small businesses. In the end, however, you have presided over a one-point-five billion dollar tax increase.

In the past year, you have been urged by some of Michigan’s most powerful CEO’s, many female, to appoint a Chief Operating Officer who could make the timely management decisions wherein you continually fail – someone who could streamline state government by applying sound business practices.

Should you follow such an embarrassing course, it’s obvious that a key element would be an appointment reassuring to businesspeople.

You are prepared to formally acknowledge your ineptitude. You decide to hire someone else to do the most critical part of your job. Would you:

A- Hire someone with free market credentials known to be sympathetic toward business, keenly aware of the effects of tax policy and having a record of job creation.

B- Hire a leading tax-exempt sector academic whose credentials are heavily weighted toward diversity training – a former fundraiser for Detroit public television, a former head of parks and rec for Mayor Coleman Young and an ordained minister with a reputation as a “peacemaker.”

I know what I would do, but let’s get another viewpoint. The Detroit Free press has this “conversation starter:”

Lansing gets a peacemaker

Dan Krichbaum is a good guy with a well-deserved reputation as a bridge-builder. Still, he was a surprise pick to be Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s new chief operating officer. The business community had been hoping for a bare-knuckles type to force some order on the chaos in Lansing, so evident this week in the failure to strike a deal to replace the reviled new services tax. Krichbaum is a Methodist minister with a long background in nonprofit and human relations agencies, most recently the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. His resume, unfortunately, does not include either lion tamer or reform school headmaster, both of which might be helpful in dealing with legislators and lobbyists. But Krichbaum certainly has been a solid administrator — and a determined peacemaker.

By all accounts, then, Krichbaum is a conciliatory individual. If, as Governor, you think that conciliation and bridge building is the top priority, Krichbaum is a perfect choice. If making peace between the Democrats and Republicans in our legislative chambers is the major issue facing Michigan, he’s your guy. To be sure, there is a diversity issue in the legislature. However, it’s more about diversity of thought rather than diverse ethnicity. Unfortunately, as CEO of the tax-exempt Michigan Roundtable for Diversity & Inclusion, Mr. Krichbaum is without credentials regarding the former.

1 thought on “Is it possible for this woman to feel embarrassment?”

  1. Great piece. Every move this woman makes proves further her total and utter inability to lead or even make rational choices in the midst of an economic collapse.Meanwhile, we keep taking it and taking it and taking it. –