(WJBK) - Here's a new twist on the old "he said, she said" story. It will leave you scratching your collective heads.
Out of the blue last week the former senate GOP leader Randy Richardville said he would be willing to run for lt. governor, not in his own party, but with a Democrat.
Not just some run of the mill Democrat but none other than Mr. Richardville's sparring partner in the senate, the former Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer. She has not announced she is running, saying only that she is "taking a serious look at it," but the betting money in town is saying she will.
Needless to say, a top of the ticket with a D for governor and an R for lt. governor would break the mold. True, many moons ago that did happen but when they changed the state constitution that option was wiped out.
You can imagine the stir among capitol scribes when they heard and saw Mr. Richardville praise Ms. Whimter as the best candidate the Ds could find while adding the l.g. thing is "something I'd consider." And then he told the Off the Record gang that he and she had discussed this "for years."
The combo could be a showstopper, especially for independent voters who long for some restored bipartisanship around these parts.
But Ms. Whitmer said it was "humorous, ridiculous and untrue." What else did you expect her to say?
Hencel that takes care of that.
Or does it?
Look it. The last thing the East Lansing Democrat wants to do is stir up a story two years before the 2018 election that could hack off some key members of her own party. Recall that organized labor has a thing or two to say about who is on the ticket and unions remember that Mr. Richardville allowed a vote on Right-to-Work after telling labor he would never support such a bill. The Monroe Republican conceded on the same broadcast that indeed he did flip-flop but he did it because his caucus wanted to move the bill.
So does Ms. Whitmer want to stir up that mess again even before she says she is running?
That loud "no" you hear from East Lansing is from you know who.
But it is clear that the two have discussed this option even though an aide to the Democratic senator reports there were no "serious" discussions. Mr. Richardville seemed serious when he uncork this thing while admitting it was "fun to talk about."
Hence for the moment, the Genie is back in the bottle but don't be surprised if sometime down the road this doesn't pop up again when it may not be as humorous or untrue as you think.