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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bill Schuette wants us all to know he picked a female running mate in race against Gretchen Whitmer

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge Attorney General Bill Schuette and former State Sen. Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer will face off in the general election for Michigan governor.
  • Attorney General Bill Schuette and former State Sen. Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer will face off in the general election for Michigan governor.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette is making a big to-do about the fact that his running mate is a woman.

Following his primary victory last week, Schuette responded with a coy "I can't tell you what her name is right now" when asked by reporters who his running mate would be, revealing for the first time that it could be a woman. That has become a kind of recurring theme: In an email sent Monday evening to his campaign mailing list (subject line: "Who is she?"), Schuette continued to tease that his running mate will be a woman — offering little else aside from her gender:

As we look forward to defeating our liberal opponent, Gretchen Whitmer, in November, everyone has just one question on their mind….

Who will be my running mate?
Join my team to find out!

I want YOU to be the first to know who she is.

As an exclusive member of my official team, you’ll have the chance to know her name FIRST. Before the media, before anyone else!

I know the media is dying to hear our pick for lieutenant governor.

And I can’t announce her name just yet…

But when I’m ready, I want you to hear it first.

Why the big fuss? Many factors appear to be at play here.

For one, Schuette appears to bank on a female running mate to be competitive against Democratic rival Whitmer, who leads a ticket in Michigan alongside some other prominent female candidates. Those include Sen. Debbie Stabenow running for re-election, Rashida Tlaib for state representative, Jocelyn Benson for secretary of state, and Dana Nessel — who is gunning for Schuette’s current job as attorney general. These women are part of a national trend that shows a record number of female candidates for Congress and governors' offices, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Two, it could be a way of quietly attempting to distance himself from President Donald Trump. So far, Schuette has been all too eager to align himself with Trump and Trump voters, but the Trump connection could be a toxic asset in a field energized by female candidates. Trump arguably started the #MeToo movement after tapes surfaced in which he was caught boasting that he could grab women "by the pussy." A year later Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was taken down by media reports of his alleged widespread abuse of women, and many other powerful men followed. To come full circle, Trump mocked the #MeToo movement at a Montana rally last month.

Then again, by suspensefully teasing his running mate Schuette could just be taking a cue from Trump's reality TV flair for the dramatic.

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