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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is a rising star for Democrats and a target for Republicans - The Washington Post

The Republican National Committee
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Michigan Senate
the Michigan Republican Party
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” McDaniel
engagement.“Some of the
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Gretchen Whitmer
Joe Biden
Fig Newtons
Jim Ananich
Ronna McDaniel
Mike Shirkey
Lee Chatfield
Sarah Palin —
Chris Savage
Annie Linskey


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the United States
Washtenaw County

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Protesters are clogging the streets near the state Capitol to demand she begin opening up the state’s economy, and she is facing several lawsuits challenging orders to shutter nonessential businesses.While some Democrats have rushed to her defense, others privately say she needs to do more to justify her decisions.It is offering a real-time audition of how she handles a crisis and whether she can stand up to Trump’s onslaught.“I definitely see why Trump’s afraid of her, and why former vice president Biden would be considering her,” said Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich. “We have large sections of the country right now that can start thinking about opening.”On Friday, Trump tweeted that Whitmer should lift some of the restrictions meant to curb the coronavirus, writing “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.”​Two people close to the Trump campaign, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions, said Trump’s attacks were motivated by a mix of presidential pique and Whitmer’s position as a potential vice-presidential nominee who could help Biden win Michigan.The RNC has begun a deep dive into Whitmer, a person with knowledge of the operation said on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions, along with other female candidates, filing FOIA requests and looking for records on her response to the novel coronavirus, along with other things that could damage her.Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair and former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, has complained about Whitmer’s behavior and the additional restrictions she has announced during this time, and has reported her opinions to other White House officials and the president.The goal is to drive her approval numbers down, the people close to the Trump campaign said, and make her nationally more unpopular.“Her recent expansion of her emergency powers and her executive order has angered a lot of citizens in the state,” McDaniel said. She’s having conversations about opening up in phases.”While Republicans have been attempting to tag Whitmer as the Democratic version of Sarah Palin — another freshman governor who can inject an elderly nominee with youthful excitement — the coronavirus response in some ways gives Biden’s advisers a real time look at how she handles a difficult situation.“Certainly if you want to see how people are going to respond under the pressure of a catastrophe or calamity of some kind, this is a pretty good crucible with which to test somebody,” said Chris Savage, chairman of the Washtenaw County Democrats.

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