This year's winner of the coveted 3M Award goes to….
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
What's the 3M Award, you say?
Masterful, media, manipulation.
No other governor in modern political history has ridden a story for so long and so hard and gain so much exposure. Richard Dale Snyder, the supposed non career politican, played this one as though he was.
By now you have read that the Michigan governor is not running for president, but for more than two years he manipulated this story. He perpetuated all this with the able help of a more than cooperative co-conspirator the political media.
See, the political press loves this kind of story. First it's easy to report. You can get away without doing any research; you just regurgitate what the would-be candidate is saying about being interested, or not making a final decision and viola you have something to fill the news hole.
It's a perfect People, USA Today kind of "journalism." Unlike reporting on the budget or complicated political issues, this requires no explanation to help the public understand the story.
And the media couldn't leave the story alone. The other morning a breathless radio producer was on the horn at 6 a.m. after a piece appeared in the local paper.
"Can you do a story on Snyder going to New York and how this is linked to running for president?"
The story began with, "he is not running for president." Next question.
To the governor's credit he never lied about any of this. He never said if things fall into place, I might run. But, he also never said he would not which masterfully permitted the little subterfuge to continue as he lured the media ever deeper into the story line that he knew would end with the announcement he was not running.
Why did this CPA bean-counter from Ann Arbor allow this to continue? Didn't he have a responsibility to save the media from itself?
On the contrary he was using the media to promote the state and he also reportedly harbored gradiouse plans of actually influencing the national debate among the real candidates running for the GOP nomination…a sort of voice of reason on how everyone should work together, not take credit or blame and just get it done on behalf of the citizens.
In the end, however, he concluded it was time to end this thing as voices back home were saying he needed to be in Lansing to solve the road problem.
But now with the media in therapy over the loss of this story, not to fear, Mr. Snyder did not rule out a bid for vice president or a cabinet post in 2016.