Former Michigan governor-turned-Current TV host Jennifer Granholm brought the knives and plenty of energy to her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night.
Granholm, a two-term governor, was in office at the height of the financial collapse and when President Obama staged his bailout of the auto industry. She trained her fire on Republican nominee and fellow Michigan native Mitt Romney, who opposed the bailout and wrote a New York Times op-ed headlined “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
“Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and trees. He loves our cars so much, they have their own elevator,” Granholm said, referring to reports that the renovation of Romney's La Jolla, Calif., home will include addition of a car elevator. “But the people who design, build, and sell those cars? Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft.”
Nor was that the last of the automobile puns in Granholm’s electrifying delivery.
“America, let's rev our engines! In your car and on your ballot, the 'D' is for drive forward, and the 'R' is for reverse,” she said. “And in this election, we're driving forward, not back.”
Granholm made a direct reference to Romney’s much-pilloried former business, too, referring to Bain Capital’s "no thanks" when the Obama administration asked the company to invest in the faltering auto industry. She whipped delegates into a frenzy by calling out how many jobs the bailout had saved in each state.
“We looked everywhere for help,” she said. “Almost nobody had the guts to help us—not the banks, not the private investors, and not Bain Capital. Then, in 2009, the cavalry arrived: our new president, Barack Obama!”
Huffington Post Editorial Director Howard Fineman summed up her performance thusly: “Granholm is fantastic! Part union boss, part Tina Turner.”
Where Granholm goes from here in the world of politics is unclear—she was born in Canada.