Michigan's governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer is a fan of hip-hop artist Lizzo — one of many observations made in a profile published today in The New York Times.
The kicker has the 47-year-old future governor singing along on her tour bus to the Detroit-born, Minneapolis-based millennial rapper's "Good As Hell," which NYT describes as her favorite song. (Sample lyric: "Boss up and change your life/ You can have it all, no sacrifice.")
There's her pre-#MeToo Senate floor speech. There's her handily dispelling the belief that a woman couldn't win in the Midwest following Hillary Clinton's 2016 defeat. There's her role as an understated player in a national race that saw flashy underdogs and media darlings like Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And then there's that big progressive vs. centrist debate in the Democratic party.
Post-2016, there appears to be a dispute on which way is the path forward: whether to go further to the left like Bernie Sanders, or go further to the center like the Democrats of the past. Whitmer has been referred to as a "centrist," but the candidate disputed the label in an early Metro Times interview.
"I was considered the most progressive person the whole time I was in the legislature," she told us. "I negotiated health care, I negotiated a minimum wage increase. I told my story of sexual assault when women's health was on the line. I wrote the Michigan 2020, which was a free college plan, before Bernie Sanders ever offered it on the national level. I am proud to be a progressive."
In the NYT profile, Whitmer is described as "a shrewd politician tailor-made for Michigan, whose pragmatic approach to policymaking has consistently been underrated by opponents in both parties." Then again, far-left progressives had a number of wins on Tuesday, including plenty in Michigan.
"You can be both progressive and want to get things done," she told the paper. "They’re not mutually exclusive and that’s what I bring."
OK, so maybe "centrist" is unfair. Perhaps we should call her "centrish" instead?
Anyway, here's "Good As Hell":
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