Michigan's right-to-work battle may be over (for now), but state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer isn't softening her rhetoric in the wake of GOP Gov. Rick Snyder's signing of the legislation. The Democrat, who's widely expected to challenge Snyder in 2014, is missing no opportunities to criticize the governor as polls show his favorability slipping following a brief but contentious fight over right-to-work.
On Monday, Whitmer presided over the state's electoral college vote and used her platform to turn the routine event into a lashing of the Michigan GOP. "It's not often that I have a gavel in my hand," she said, citing it as a unique opportunity to make a statement. She then took Snyder to task for his first term, saying his agenda has not matched his mantras. "The governor turned out to be anything but the 'tough nerd' we were promised," Whitmer said. "To that, I ask the governor: what's happened to 'relentless positive action?'"
Even Snyder's veto Tuesday of a bill expanding concealed carry privileges did not satisfy Whitmer. "I was hoping he would veto it before last Friday," Whitmer said. Meeting Whitmer's timing would have been difficult since Tuesday afternoon was when the bill first reached Snyder's desk.
Whitmer's jabs haven't been limited to Snyder. In the days following the passage right-to-work, Whitmer has attacked the state GOP as a whole, calling them "sexist," "extreme" and "regressive," and accusing them of wanting to turn Michigan into a "backwater" like Mississippi. And after a typo was caught on the state's electoral college certification form, Whitmer called the performance of the Secretary of State's office, led by Republican Ruth Johnson, "gross ineptitude."
As election speculation intensifies in Michigan, Whitmer's tongue-lashings could be a sign she's sharpening her elbows for a run at Snyder in 2014.