Jennifer Granholm served two terms as the governor of Michigan. She now hosts “The War Room” on Current TV and is a columnist for Politico. This week, we asked her five questions about the presidential race, that now-famous DNC speech and whether she’d like the Constitution amended so that she could run for the White House.
1) All things considered, how damaging do you think the footage of Mitt Romney speaking about the “47 percent” at the fundraiser in Boca Raton is to his presidential campaign?
Granholm: The tape is damaging because it reinforces the impression that he is not a candidate that relates to the average voter; in fact, he is contemptuous of us. And hypocritical: he speaks at a $50,000-a-plate event in the home of an uber-rich hedge fund manager and sneers at half of the population who he views as “takers” … when he has benefited enormously from the tax structure himself. It’s as though we got a glimpse of how he really feels, behind the curtain. And it’s not pretty.
2) Speaking of recently unearthed footage, video of you on “The Dating Game” in 1978 recently surfaced on the Internet. Any regrets about appearing on the show?
Granholm: I was a teenager in the 70′s – having a bad hair — and fashion — decade. Let’s just say that it wasn’t one of my best moments, but it certainly is good for a laugh! My kids have been ribbing me ever since.
3) You gave a very dramatic speech at the DNC in Charlotte, N.C. Some people may not know that long before you graduated from Harvard Law School, you actually graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. How much acting is involved in politics?
Granholm: Part of politics is the art of persuasion, of being comfortable speaking in front of people. That part of the craft of acting is useful in politics – just ask Ronald Reagan. But I don’t think that “acting” – as in playing a role that is not oneself — is useful at all, because voters can detect inauthenticity in a heartbeat.
4) You were born in Canada, which makes you ineligible to become president of the United States even though you are now a U.S. citizen. Would you like to see the constitution amended so that you could run for the White House?
Granholm: As Maria Shriver said when asked this question relative to Arnold Schwarzenegger: “It ain’t gonna happen.” I agree 100%.
5) President Obama has presided over a fairly weak economic recovery and national unemployment is still over 8 percent. Why does he deserve another term?
Granholm: He took an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs per month to one that has created 4.6 million jobs in the past 30 months. He has a clear strategy to accelerate progress. He’s been able to achieve amazing things for us: health care reform; education reform; Wall Street reform; clean energy investments; tax cuts for small business; Recovery Act; saving the American auto industry and 1 million auto-related jobs; killing Osama bin Laden; winding down two wars; I could go on and on. He needs to be given a second term to continue moving us forward; we cannot go back to the policies that brought us economic calamity.