The Red Balloon

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R), ca. 2015, in Associated Press photo.

This is a question:

As recently as Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) sounded very much like he was moving towards the 2016 presidential race. Just one day later, however, Politico reported that the Republican governor had decided to bow out ....

.... So, that settles that? Oddly enough, no. Late last night, the MLive Media Group that covers Michigan news confirmed with the governor’s spokesperson that Snyder “has not made any decisions” about the presidential race, pushing back against the Politico report, which cited unnamed sources.

The governor’s press secretary specifically said that when it comes to Snyder’s possible national plans, nothing has changed. “On 2016, he’s watching the presidential race closely and hoping a common sense problem-solver emerges,” press secretary Sara Wurfel said. “He has not made any decisions about entering the field at this time.”

What’s left is a confusing picture.


Why doesn’t everyone just say, “trial balloon”, and get on with it?

The thing is that Steve Benen offers an adequate explanation of why things might seem confusing, but even still, he quotes Gov. Snyder’s press secretary, Sara Wurfel: “On 2016, he’s watching the presidential race closely and hoping a common sense problem-solver emerges.” One needs no secret decoder ring to comprehend the talking point; Mr. Snyder is watching and waiting and wondering if he stands a chance of being anything other than a laughingstock.

After all, the Republican clown car is pretty full, with six declared and as many as sixteeen more―including Mr. Snyder―either preparing to enter the race or suggesting they might.

And we get hints; Benen notes Mr. Snyder telling the Wall Street Journal he has not seen a Republican candidate he “would define as a problem-solver”. Clearly, he wants in. Then again, he is governor of Michigan, and, furthermore, Rick Snyder; conventional wisdom speaks against not only his chances of winning, but, rather, simply not embarrassing himself tremendously. And in this case we require no oracle to read the mysterium; that one is writ large and pretty clearly, and nobody is apologizing for the inconvenience.

For now, the Michigan Republican need only figure which way the winds are blowing. If Gov. Snyder runs for president, he will only affirm what so many already suspect, that he is in fact a complete idiot.


Benen, Steve. “Questions surround Michigan governor’s next move”. msnbc. 7 May 2015.

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