Payne: Stabenow defends her title

Posted by hpayne on May 30, 2012

Mackinac Island - Incumbent Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow will get a pass on her waste of federal money on green energy boondoggles and Pete Hoekstra will get grilled on whether he’s a birther.

Welcome to the Michigan Senate race 2012.

Stabenow and her potential challengers, Hoekstra and Clark Durant, appeared on the same stage for the first time on Mackinac Island Wednesday in a preview of one of the country’s heavyweight Senate matchups this fall. But in a clunky format, the three candidates appeared individually, never faced one another, and were at the mercy of inept moderator Rick Plute of Michigan Public Radio.

The U.S. may be mired in its worst recovery since the Great Depression, record deficits, and 8 percent unemployment, but moderator Plute was intent on painting Hoekstra as a birther and Durant as a tea party fossil advocating a part-time federal legislature.

Stabenow, meanwhile, showed why she will be a formidable opponent.

With MSM-MPR running protection on her record, she smiled sweet platitudes while taking credit for saving the Detroit auto industry. If Al Gore created the Internet, then Debbie Stabenow created the GM resurgence.

“I authored” seemed to begin every Stabenow sentence as she took credit for the Big Two bailouts, (sorry, “bridge loans” is the market-tested term), manufacturing retooling loans, advanced battery subsidies, Cash for Clunkers, and the sun coming up in the east.

But how to get America’s economy jump-started? Ummmm . . . . “The greatest opportunity for us is clean energy technology. It’s all about innovation,” she claimed, despite the fact that Obama/Stabenow investments in Solyndra, Evergreen, A123 Systems, and other “innovative” companies have been financial black holes.

Faced with this waste of taxpayer dollars, MPR’s Pluta asked Stabenow . . . whether she was in favor of Senate filibuster reform. Really.

The grilling would come from Durant and Hoekstra who both opened fire on Stabenow over the national debt.

“We are crushing our kids,” protested Durant, a successful Detroit charter school entrepreneur who champions a record as Mr. Fixit. “There’s not a business here that would keep this team in place with that kind of performance. Thank you, Debbie and Pete, for your service, but we need different answers.”

But the only answer Pluta was interested in was whether Durant wanted a volunteer Congress ” badgering the candidate about why he allegedly had a problem with paying public officials.

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