Skubick: GOP's non-enthusiastic response to Whitmer's State of the State might signify gridlock to come

For the next three months, if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to get anything done in the Michigan House, she will need votes from Republicans because the body is tied at 54 votes for both parties.

So it was only natural that she gave a shout-out to the House and Senate GOP leaders in Wednesday's 2024 State of the State address - but watch closely the stone face of Rep. Matt Hall as she tried to play nice and he refused to play along.

"I want to acknowledge my minority leaders Matt Hall and Aric Nesbitt," Whitmer said. thank you for your leadership.

President Joe Biden was not in the room, but the governor gave him several shout-outs just in case some undecided voters were watching.

"President Biden's policies are bringing jobs and supply chains home to Michigan from around the world," she said. "I can not solve global inflation. No one can, not even the president."

In the GOP response, the minority Senate leader contends the governor is out of touch with average folks back home who are suffering and she disagrees.

"This was a speech of someone who has spent too much time in the Lansing bubble, someone who doesn't worry about the price of groceries, heating your home in the winter, or whether your kids are going to catch up in school," said Aric Nesbitt.

"What we can do is make your monthly budget lower," Whitmer said in her address. "Housing, child care, transportation, education, utilities and food."

While the Democrats and the Republicans sat stoically on their hands even when she mentioned the Lions and the Wolverines.

"Look at our Lions, yeah," Whitmer said. "I don't know if you remember, but our Wolverines are national champs."

The governor needs bipartisan cooperation but at least during this speech, she got zippo from the loyal opposition.

Is that a preview of legislative gridlock to follow?