A Failed Governor Talks Up a Failed President


If I were Jennifer Granholm, I'd crawl under the desk and not come out for a good, long while. Her performance last night at the Democratic convention was so bizarre that an amused and bemused Nolan Finley of The Detroit News speculated that she was either possessed by the ghost of Joe Biden—"or maybe she had a squirrel up her pant leg." Cartoonist Henry Payne, editor of Michigan View, thought that maybe she was channeling "Arsenio Hall on crack." Me? I think she got drunk on her own clever lines. (Her quip that "Mitt Romney's cars take the elevator and workers get the shaft" was admittedly a hoot.)

But even more bizarre than Granholm's convention appearance was that she was invited to make one in the first place. She was arguably the worst governor of her time who, during her eight-year term, took Michigan's teetering economy into her firm hands and gave it a good, hard push off the cliff.

On her watch, the state's ranking in per capita GDP plummeted to 41st place from 24th. Michigan became the only state to suffer a net out-migration during the past decade, and its credit rating was repeatedly downgraded.

But since unemployment is the topic of the day, how was Granholm's job-creation record? Worse than Katrina-struck Louisiana's. Unemployment jumped from 6.8 percent when she was elected to 14.1 percent at its peak in 2009 – although some believe it reached as high as 15.2 percent. Consider this (generously inaccurate) chart from The Daily Caller comparing Michigan's unemployment rate with the national average:


Michigan's unemployment figures would undoubtedly have looked even worse if its residents hadn't hit the exit doors. But none of that prevented Granholm from brazenly writing a grand paean to herself titled: A Governor's Story: The Fight for Jobs and America's Future.

Granholm, then, has long practice pretending that she has saved jobs that she has actually killed – which, of course, is precisely Obama's campaign theme. Consider his jobs record:


In other words, Granholm understands Obama's dilemma better than anyone else on the planet and the kind of political pole dances that must be performed on convention floors to keep people distracted.

And the loss of dignity is just a small price to pay for a future Cabinet position.

NEXT: California May Stop Shackling Pregnant Women

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  1. Granholm also has the distinction of being the worst of the many terrible, terrible writers on Huffington Post.

    1. And this is why she was invited to speak. Name recognition with the base.

    2. If Keith Olbermann likes her then she is okay with me.

    3. and she’s the only one to give Kwami Kilpatrick a hand job

      1. I heard she was giving free hand whammies in the parking lot. Boy was she flush yelling about how awesome it is to live in a country that steals wealth to save floundering ventures. Mega hand whammies all around.

  2. Obama thinks jobs are something the government creates for you!


    1. In Soviet Russia….! Oh, wait – never mind.

      1. In Soviet Russia, Government belongs to You!

  3. Worst. Governor. EVER.

    All talk, no action, except for stupid actions that did the opposite of encourage business investment and people to stay in the state (much less MOVE here). Absolutely the opposite of a leader, with partisan hack-itis as a bonus.

    The fact that this dumb bitch can stay employed and get PAID for it simply proves that there is a hell and a Satan, and it has a perverse and sadistic sense of humor.

    Other than that – nice lady!

    1. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm (born February 5, 1959) is a Canadian-born American politician


      1. Yes, a bonus

  4. Where does the red line showing 11% unemployment come from?

    1. Using the same denominator as we had in Jan 2009.

      So it’s basically just a scaled graph of the total number of jobs held.

  5. Yeah I know some people from Michigan. The husband is a swing voter, but the wife…oh the wife has been employed at:

    The Detroit Free Press.
    The University of Michigan.
    A public school, teaching journalism.

    I’m sure you can guess just how much of a die hard Team Blue hack she is. I mean she bleeds blue, both for her shitty university and her shitty political party. This is a woman who literally considers the Republican Party to be the font of evil in the universe, and the Democrats to be the last force of good and sanity in the world.

    She flies into spitting rages when you bring up Jennifer Granholm. Cannot stand the woman.

    You know, if you’re going to wheel out a Democratic Governor and prop them up as the jobs guy, you should grab Tim Kaine or Phil Bredsen.

  6. Cartoonist Henry Payne, editor of Michigan View, thought that maybe she was channeling “Arsenio Hall on crack.”

    He’s much funnier in text than in cartoon form.

    1. He’d almost have to be.

  7. So…did O’s speech just blow you all away last night?

    1. It’s “The Ed Show”!

    2. “I’m sure Nellie’s blowing all the guys away…”

    3. It blew something…

  8. How do you justify holding labor participation constant to get a “real” picture of unemployment? A lot of people have legitimately retired during the past few years, and it’s not at all clear that an equal number of people would have entered the labor force under “normal” circumstances.

    No doubt the “official” figure is worthless, but replacing one fudged figure with another doesn’t help matters.

    1. dWf/dt = (people reaching working age) + (people re-entering workforce from illness, pregnancy, etc) – (people reaching retirement age) – (working age folks giving up on employment prospects) – (current workers exiting workforce due to other factors, e.g., illness, death, childbirth)

      What do you think the dominant terms are? Am I missing anything? I guess with the baby boomers reaching retirement age, it’s possible that is the dominant term, but I wonder, just how good are their retirement funds in this economy? I know a lot of boomers who are planning on working far beyond the official retirement age due to a number of factors, not the least of which is debt.

      1. I’m not sure. Some of those terms are just noise (illness and pregnancy, etc), so it’s unlikely they’re going to cause a major shift over time. One term you leave out, immigrants entering workforce, has declined for sure. I’d be massively surprised if the retirement rate hadn’t gone up… the stock market has recovered nicely since 2008 (albeit at the price of future inflation), so most people’s 401k’s should be fine now.

        1. I’m not sure. Some of those terms are just noise (illness and pregnancy, etc), so it’s unlikely they’re going to cause a major shift over time.

          You could always take a look at this:


          As I keep pointing out to Tony, shrike, and other Team blue apologists, the LFP rate is the lowest in 30 years. That’s not all baby boomers retiring in droves.

      2. The idea that the baby boom entering it’s natural retirement years explains the drop in the LFPR is a specious rationalization, an intentional fraud.

        Live births in 1947 – the people that are retiring today – were approx 3mil.

        Live births in 1996 – the people that are just now beginning to enter the labor – were 3.9 mil.


        Furthermore, the peak year of the baby boom was 1957 with 4.3mil births.

        Live births in the last ten years averaged slightly more than 4.1mil per year and the average between 1952 and 1961 was 4.1mil per year.

        1. We’ve also had a lot of immigrants since 1947, and immigration has slowed to a trickle.

    2. You do have a good point, Tulpa.

    3. I’ve seen similar, but more sophisticated, analyses that account for retired workers and others that legitimately exited the work force for reasons other than that they couldn’t find work. The UE rate on those is right around 10.6%.

    4. I believe that’s using the LFPR rather than the size of the LF, so the number is (mostly) irrelevant, instead assuming that a certain portion of the population should be considered to be in the job market. The fact that LFPR has dropped by around 3 percentage points (about 5%) from the preceding decade’s prevailing rate is relevant to the U3 numbers: the UE numbers increase by 2.8 percentage points when only adjusting to 2009; adjusting to rates that prevailed in the 00’s gives 11.5; and adjusting to rates in 2001 gives 15.7%.

      However, you get more dramatic numbers when you add in the discouraged workers to the current labor force and calculate again, rather than holding LFPR constant. In that case, UE would be over 12%. Doing that and holding LFPR constant at 2009 levels instead yields 14.2%, and holding it constant at 2001 levels yields 15.7% (compared to 8% in 2001).

      It may not be totally accurate, in terms of seeing who has a job compared to who wants one, but it shows how far off we are from where we are used to being in a non-recession economy.

  9. If I were Jennifer Granholm, I’d crawl under the desk and not come out for a good, long while.

    Oh, it wasn’t that bad. It’s an effing convention, and she was firing up the crowd. No one should be taking any of that seriously, especially the mindless rallying of the troops.

    And I does the DNC have a good track record punishing failure?

    1. Foreign Policy has a great article on the cultishness of American party conventions.

  10. So suddenly I can’t post here while at work. I am able to log in and see the comments, but there is no “reply to this” and clicking “leave a comment” just reloads the page. Running Chrome because an IT guy let me download it one day, because it is against policy to upgrade from IE 7 and I needed something that would let me see the internet. Only administrator level (i.e. IT guys) are allowed to download anything, even Flash upgrades, so we are always way behind.

    Long story short, what changed about the comments section in the last 36 hours so I can’t post at work? New Flash required? Or did I fail the libertarian purity test?

    1. Maybe you work at the same place White Indian did.

      1. As if WI had a job.

      2. I think he works where I do. Anacreon relax. If there are any upgrades allowed, they will be pushed out and made mandatory. To run just at the same time as your netmeeting is scheduled.

    2. When I view Hit + Run on my iPhone, I can’t even see comments.

    3. I have the same problem when viewing the “mobile” version of the site on my Android phone. The text entering boxes don’t show up. When I pick the “desktop” version on the phone I can see the text box and post normally.

  11. Know who’s even dumber? Every last one of the suckers who ever voted for that stupid cow.


  12. She is the best Michigan can produce. Anyone with any sense or shame left Michigan a couple generations ago.

    1. What about the Nooge?!

      1. texas

  13. OT: Inflation Sucks.

    I’ve been watching Perry Mason episodes where seemingly respectable people people steal and kill for low-6 figure amounts. They plan to fake identities or flee the country to live in luxury on their ill-gotten gains. I could write a check for the largest figure yet I freak out and think I’m going to die poor when ground beef is over $3 a lb at the supemarket.

    1. And you can still look forward to the Columbo where John Cassavetes is a Bernsteinesque conductor, for whom murder is just another masterpiece to perform. During the dialogue stroll around his mansion, Columbo is crass enough to ask how much it costs.

      “Seven hundred and fifty thousand, Lieutenant.”

      Columbo is stunned.

      1. well, that IS his schtick. guy is stunned more often than a 18-29 yr old male high on meth, with mental issues

        (tried to get as many key demographics as i could)


        btw, almost had a tase a guy yesterday.

        i used my verbal judo.

        like columbo

    2. Woody Allen’s “Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex…” He pulls into a gas station and tells the attendent ‘Give me 50 cents worth.’

      1. How about everything in “Mad Men”?

  14. I’d bang her.

  15. i have to lol at this comment thread. many of the comments in the comment thread are achingly reminiscent of many comments here about cops

    the thread is about the authoritah of bail recovery agents (bounty hunters) in regards to deadly force, entering homes, etc. and the article is well written by a (claimed) lawyer. the comments are just UNbelievable though

    lots of tough guy stuff about how they’d cap the bounty hunter in an instant bla bla

    it’s pretty hilarious.

    btw, i’ve worked with bounty hunters several times. thank GOD, they are not like “Dog”.


    “hollow point”‘s comments are awesome.

    1. “hollow point”‘s comments are awesome. His story is probably a fabrication, but if true, then he’s a hero.

      The law is only tangentially related to rights, and bounty hunters have the same rights as cops, who have the same rights as everyone else. If you forcibly enter someone’s property you are sacrificing your life.

      1. no, bounty hunters do NOT have the same rights (authority) as everybody else

        they can enter the home of a “client” (iow a bail jumper) WITHOUT warrant, and forcefully if they want (usually)

        they need no warrant


        facts, not rhetoric

    2. Bounty hunters? You do need their scum?

  16. I’ve also defended Clint Eastwood’s speech recently, so in my objectively unbiased nonpartisanship I say with fair field and no favor that Granholm’s speech seemed fine to me. The content was absurd but so was all the content at both conventions. (The bad memory I won’t get rid of from 2012 will be seeing so many people I had known and trusted marveling at what a rigorous, fact-based address Bill Clinton gave.)

    From everything I’ve seen of Michigan, which in the last two years I’ve been to twice for a few days each time, the place is in worse shape than when I last visited during John Engler’s administration. I’ve seen the numbers on Granholm’s tenure.

    But the speech itself seemed to go over well in the hall. I’m getting that a lot of people were bothered by her gesticulations, I’m just not feeling it. Is this just anti-Canadianism, the last acceptable prejudice, rearing its ugly head?

  17. The way we treat conventions puts me in mind of the America of Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian Comstock.

    Basically Wilson superimposes the story of the late Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate over a post-Peak-Oil-apocalypse America. And the Romans, you see, had maintained many Republican-era institutions and offices into the Imperial era, and went through the motions of popular elections, Senate votes, etc., even after those institutions had ceased to have any real power or any actual meaning. And in the Comstock America, they do the same thing – the President is effectively an emperor, and the office is held by dynastic descent, but every four years they go through the motions of having an election campaign, complete with conventions and whistle-stop tours and the electoral college. They do this because the traditional forms remain important to people even after the content is gone.

    It’s kind of funny, until you realize how much we do the same thing. Our nominating conventions no longer do anything; they no longer have a real function. But we go through the motions of having them, and go through the motions of pretending they’re newsworthy and meaningful. So the question becomes: what are the other institutions where we’re just pretending, but where we can’t tell the difference?

    1. A post-peak-oil apocalypse defies basic economic principles.

    2. That’s not really much of a parallel. Elections still decide who is going to be nominated, it’s just that they are now separate from the convention.

      I mean, you could say something similar about the Electoral College vote. It has become just a formality, but not because there’s some hoary oligarchy pulling the strings; it’s just that the popular vote now is the ultimate determiner of the outcome.

  18. “(Her quip that ‘Mitt Romney’s cars take the elevator and workers get the shaft’ was admittedly a hoot.)”

    Yes, almost as funny as the original – “she got the gold mine and I got the shaft.”

  19. Your charts are just as generously inaccurate as the Daily Beast’s. It is based upon the BLS U-3 unemployment rate, the assumptions of which amount to little more than prevarication. The real Obama unemployment rate is somewhere between 15% and 20%.

    That said, the fact that the Democratic Party views Granholm (a disastrously horrible governor) as a darling definitely say something about the state of the party.

  20. jennifer granholm is a rock’s worst nightmare. Even a rock would recoil from this unctuous, loudmouthed, lying sack of shite. Her record in MI is a total disaster, but in the hyper narcissistic model of her failed president, she lies and recasts without shame. that’s what people with clinical narcissistic disorders do. obama, granholm, wasserman-schultz (the all time champ). and yes, there are plenty on the republican side. but right now we’re dealing with an arrogant liar as president, attempting to fool the great unwashed like some 2nd rate dictator. throw this bum out.

  21. And THEN….she was invited with her husband, another economic and social parasite, to teach at Berkeley on job creation and how to make government work!

    Life imitates mental illness and lobotomy.

  22. Right on! The fascinating thing about JG was her re(?)election campaign. She just ignored the fact that she had already had four years in office. It was an election campaign. She said she’d “knock our socks off.” That didn’t exactly work out. Amazingly, after leaving office she said she regretted that she hadn’t been in office during better economic times. She promised to make better economic times.

  23. “Granholm, then, has long practice pretending that she has saved jobs that she has actually killed”

    Like many politicians, she doesn’t understand that truth is important for long-term progress. Makes you wonder if she even knows what the word “truth” means – maybe she was educated in a government-run school…

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