New Statesman: Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer stood up to Trump. Can she stand up to her own people?
Emily Tamkin | May 19, 2020
“[Whitmer] has lots of experience, and she is actually pretty progressive,” says Noah Arbit, who worked as an organizer on Whitmer’s 2018 campaign. “I don’t know why she… gets lumped in with milquetoast moderates."
Still, Arbit says, Whitmer has won over conservatives, too – likely part of the reason that she’s one of the names being floated as a possible running mate for the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Arbit points to conservatives in his own family who backed Whitmer, believing her to be smart and sensible and trusting her to clean up the government and fix the roads. Though they did not know it, they were also voting for the woman who would get them through a pandemic.
“I think she’s a methodical person... she listens to experts, and she has hired [superb] people to her administration. This is exactly what I expected, you know?”, says Arbit, who is founder and chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus. “I’m not at all surprised that she’s been taking a really tough but much-needed strategy to make sure she’s protecting Michiganders [from the novel coronavirus].”