Friday, September 16, 2005

Dick DeVos visits Livingston County

From the Argus

DeVos makes county rounds - Businessman seeks GOP nod in bid for state's top job in 2006

The man who many Republicans hope will be the state's next governor campaigned Thursday in Livingston County.

Dick DeVos, son of the founder of Amway and leader of the failed 2000 ballot initiatives to allow private-school vouchers in the state, made several stops in the county, including a visit to Cleary's Restaurant Pub and Banquet Center in Howell.

He said his goal was to listen to what voters want.

"I've been traveling extensively through the state to listen to the people of Michigan as to their concerns, fears and hopes and dreams for the future," DeVos said.

Dick DeVos was at four events in Livingston County yesterday. I'm active in the county GOP, so I was at two of the events. I saw many positives there.

The first thing I noticed is that he did not use notes in hid speeches. That sounds minor, but to me is shows that he knows his subjects, and is more likely to think on his feet. There was only two questions, and he answered them well. I heard the Teenage Republicans asked some good ones earier at their event.

Another thing is that he did not mention Granholm once. We all know that Granholm is unacceptable, but DeVos has to give us all reasons to vote FOR him, and not just AGAINST Granholm.

He mostly mentioned his family background and the business climate in Michigan, and related the two. We're the only state losing jobs, and we are losing most of them to Ohio, Indiana, and South Carolina. Two of the major culprits of that is the SBT tax and red tape regulations. Many people are leaving the state for work, lowering the tax base here, which affects the budget as well as school funding.

Dick DeVos also did a lot of listening. He talked to every single person in the room at both events I was at. Not all candidates do that (usually locals do), and few make the same effort at that as DeVos did. This is especially the case when the event is not a fundraiser.

I'll also mention that he drives an American car. That may not mean a lot to some folks, but I grew up in a "Big 3" family, so that's good to see.

I think this race is winnable. DeVos has a large social conservative following. If he can sell the jobs policies in Macomb, the UP, Alpena, Battle Creek and other blue collar swing and slightly democrat areas, we can take this and put Michigan on the right track once again.


true believer said...

i didn't have the chance to see DeVos, did he show he has the right stuff? Is he a genuine person?

Republican Michigander said...

I did not know what to expect from Dick DeVos. I've never seen him in political action outside of second and thirdhand reports, or the media(which doesn't always get facts straight).

Before the meeting, I was not sold on him outside of "default choice." One thing I liked about him is that he didn't come off as a snob, nor try to be what he wasn't, nor tell us what we want to hear, which is so common in politicians today.

He was being himself. I noticed that both in the way he conducted himself in one on one conversations, as well as his public speech. He strikes me as a nice guy who is intelligent and can think on his feet and wouldn't be stumped as easily as some others on tough questions.

He convinced me that he knows the economic issues well. He did not say much on social issues, although it is no secret that he is socially conservative.

SchmoopDogg said...

If you like DeVos for the reasons you noted, then you need to check out Zandstra. He is not a typical politician, he's geniune and sincere.