My first live Michigan State Of The State Address was given by Gov. George Romney
January 31, 2010
If you live in Michigan, chances are that you won't pay much attention to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's last State Of The State address on Wednesday night. There will be some die hard types who will watch it on television with most everybody else choosing to ignore it to watch another episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.
There might be some attention given to the antics of the more than 1,000 expected protesters outside the State Capitol Building. But after that the speech will be forgotten for the most part.
It hasn't always been that way. I remember when the State Of The State address was widely-anticipated, watched closely when it was delivered and then discussed in detail for the next several months.
My guess is that I've seen live, at least, 30 of these annual addresses where the Michigan House and Senate hold session together to hear the state's top political leader give his appraisal of where the state has been, where it was at that time and where he would like to lead it. Just a note, I said "he" because I've never seen one of Gov. Granholm's speeches live.
The first two that I saw were delivered by Gov. George Romney in 1963 when I was a page in the Michigan Senate and 1968 when I was a reporter for the Michigan State University's daily student newspaper, the State News. For the second one, I sat on the floor with then state House member Bob Traxler on one side and James Karoub on the other.
I remember that the two Democratic members that I sat with listened closely to a speech that was filled with observations and proposals and I remember writing a story that got page one play in the daily paper for the MSU campus.
Going back to this Wednesday night and the Granholm address, will I watch? I probably should. Our state is at a crossroads and I should follow what's happening. Will I watch? Probably not. It seems like it has degenerated into partisan puffery. Would I choose poltical party blathering or Everybody Loves Raymond. Probably go with Ray.