Everybody at the Capitol has been talking about bi-partisan cooperation and today, the governor and the two Republican and two Democratic leaders took the first formal steps to create it.
It was a “get to know you” meeting.
Skubick: “What’s the objective here this morning?”
Sen. Mike Shirkey: “Getting to know each other.”
Skubick: “Are you there?”
Sen. Mike Shirkey: “We haven’t had enough time yet.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer was ready.
Skubick: “Do you trust everybody in the room?”
Gov. Whitmer: “We’re not in the room yet.”
Here are the players: the new House Democratic leader Christine Greig, the new House Republican Speaker Lee Chatfield from the House side of the Capitol.
The other side of the building is represented by the new Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey and the Senate Democratic leader Jim Ananich, who offered his thoughts on the purpose of the session. “Getting to know each other. I’m the only one whose been in a quadrant meeting the last four years and we’re all figuring it out as we go.”
This is the first time the so-called quadrant has met and the governor observes “you can’t trust one another unless you know one another. that why am eager to start building relationships.”
They did not talk about specific issues but laid out a strategy to deal with their differences without allowing those disagreements to poison their working relationship long-term.
“I think we’ve got an opportunity here,” explained the governor.
Day One of many more bi-partisan meetings to come, she promises.