Skubick: Whitmer relaxed before first State of the State message

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will talk about morale problems and technology glitches in state government during her first State of the State message tonight.  

But yesterday she was in a jovial upbeat mood.

If the new governor was nervous about giving her first State of the State, she sure didn’t show it.

In fact, on the length of the speech, she joked “it’s going to be a four hour speech, you know.”

And when asked if she had practiced the speech for her husband and two teenage daughters she had this candid answer.  “I won’t read it for the family.”

Skubick: “You don’t want the feedback?”

Gov. Whitmer: “No, not from the family because teenagers are brutal with their feedback, maybe more so than my colleagues in the legislature will be and my husband’s a dentist.” 

Lawmaker Gretchen Whitmer was in the audience 14 times when other governors gave their assessment of where the state is headed but she reveals she never thought someday she would do the same thing.

Skubick:  “When you were sitting there did you ever think you’d do that?”

Gov. Whitmer: “Not once.”

Skubick: “Come on.”

Gov. Whitmer: “No, no, it did not enter my mind.”

Nor has it entered her mind to do what former Gov. John Engler did.

He appointed one of his aides to stand in the back of the House chamber and lead the applause when Mr. Engler had a juicy applause line.

Gov. Whitmer: “I have never heard that, Tim. And, no, I don’t plan to. I’ve never been much for pomp and circumstance. I’m a pretty irreverent person by nature but I recognize tradition and how important it is that we have the opportunity to address the pubic and talk about the State of the State.”

She will talk about fixing the roads but is not likely to embrace a fee increase to do it.

She wants to spend more money on education and she wants lawmakers to upgrade a rotten computer system in various state agencies.

And she is visiting every state department to beef up a sagging morale among state employees.

But in the back of her head tonight will be some words of wisdom from her mom.

“She would remind me that,  just like the man she worked for, attorney general Frank Kelley,  hold true to our values and fight for the little guy,” said the governor.

The fight for the little guy starts at 7:00 pm tonight and you can watch the livestream on WLNS.com here.

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