No politician made more of an impact last week than Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R). NBC News reported on his support for and signing of right-to-work legislation: “The impact of Michigan’s decision will be felt far beyond the borders of the once-staunchly pro-union state. Even though the ranks of union workers have been dwindling across the nation, the influence of big unions is still felt from the halls of government to corporate board rooms, and their clout affects everything from the economy to the political field. But the rising number of right-to-work states could further drain that influence.”
Until this Snyder has been regarded as a mild-mannered former businessman who worked primarily on good governance and education. He has for the most part stayed out of the national limelight, even at the Republican National Convention, where he preferred to talk about his state’s progress instead of favorite-son nominee Mitt Romney.
But in taking on organized labor he simultaneously improved his state’s economic climate dramatically, dealt a blow to the Democratic Party, which has been addicted to Big Labor’s money for years, and showed how liberty and opportunity can work as the GOP’s calling cards. In defending his move Snyder deployed his tell-tale calm and emphasis on job -creation. In an interview (beginning at the 2:00 mark) his appeal to worker fairness and customer service (both for government and labor unions) struck the tone that so many Republicans find difficult to muster.
He is a model for Republican governance, reform and rhetoric. Well done, Governor.