Skubick: Snyder keeps the peace between GOP, labor for now

Skubick: Snyder keeps the peace between GOP, labor for now

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By Tim Skubick
FOX 2 Political Analyst

LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- He will obviously never be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, but Governor Rick Snyder does deserve something for keeping the lid on this contentious labor vs. business scrum over pending Right to Work legislation.

Politics being what it is, the lid could be blown off at any moment with one false move, but there is the governor, acting like Hillary Clinton, trying to keep the powder dry in both camps.

Last Thursday, you got an insightful glimpse at how he has pulled this off…so far.

His day began talking about energy with a bunch of fourth graders who loved him.  The same could not be said of the labor troops that had flooded the entrance into the state senate.  They were fearful, some were angry, and all were worried.

Ordered there by union leaders to lobby down the RTW measure, reporters quizzed the governor on union fears that House Republicans were poised to dump the bill into the hopper setting off a chain reaction that would not be pretty.

Unruffled, measured, and giving only a hint of frustration, the governor offered, "It is taking the oxygen out of the room" which meant he could not move on other "important things" because there was no air left.

Asked about the prolonged battle, now in its third year, he advised, "I do not want this to drag on."  Another governor might have said, "I'm fed up to here with this nonsense and I want it to stop and now!"

That would not be Richard Dale Snyder.

He left the school and headed back to the capitol where he went into another of those "media please stay out" meetings with his two GOP legislative leaders. Labor demonstrators precariously waited for something to happen while 20 state troopers trolled the capitol just to make sure Michigan did not turn into 'Wisconsin,' where demonstrators hi-jacked the building for days while the disgruntled cops looked on.

About 75 minutes later the two GOP leaders deliberately ducked the media, but the governor emerged to send a message.

"I would urge everyone to remain calm over the next few days," he began his measured and non-inflammatory response.  There would be no vote this day, a minor victory for labor, as he urged more "dialogue" with all the warring factions.

For the moment, he had prevented all the fears from getting out of hand. It was the continuation of an uneasy truce.  The demonstrators left, followed closely by all the state trooper scout cars assembled on the bridge just west of the capitol.

Peace was not at hand, but neither was war for the moment.  The "Hill" could not have done much better.

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