(WJBK) - Not much has changed since the last time Pete Hoekstra crossed paths with the capitol scribes in this town. He's in the private sector now but still loves the political game to wit he observes former Secrtary of State Hillary Clinton is "awfully close" to being the worst SOS in history.
If events had gone differently, the former West Michigan Congressman might be the state's junior U.S. Senator. He wanted the job but now reflects, he has no regrets that he lost. He reports life is good as he hawks a new book he wrote, and moves around at his own pace.
While there are no regrets about losing to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, you could hear in his voice and see it in his eyes, that such is not the case about his bid to be governor.
"Yeah, I wanted to be governor," he tells the Off the Record gang. And he readily buys into the popular wisdom which has languished in this town for years that if the GOP primary for governor had been a Pete Hoekstra vs. Rick Snyder affair, the former would be governor today and who knows what the latter would be doing.
It was not a head-to-head race as three other conservative guys also wanted to be governor. As the theory goes they and Mr. Hoekstra divvied up the conservative vote allowing the Nerd/business guy to win the primary with only 37 percent of the vote.
Putting his old chairman's hat back on, the former head of the House Intelligence Committee has plenty to say about terrorism and refugees.
Yes, Governor Snyder "made the right to decision" to hit the pause button on any Syrian refugees coming into the state. But in reality it's meaningless or "symbolic" as he describes it because governor's "have very little power" to control their borders. They do not set foreign policy and so the refugee issue will be settled by those who do have the power, namely President Obama and the current U.S. Congress.
As for whom should be the next president, it appears to Mr. H. that his former colleague from Ohio, Gov. John Kasick, is not going to make the cut.
So could he vote for Donald Trump? "If it's between Hillary and him, I'd vote for him," he continues his negative take on Ms. Clinton.
If not Kasick, who? Maybe Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz he suggests.
Mr. Hoekstra is still old school in that he thinks the two political parties should work more together on a unified foreign policy and as for the Freedom caucus in the House GOP conference, he's not a big fan.
Team players they are not he observes. And he doesn't much like that to say the least.