DiscoverThe Daily'The Interview': Gretchen Whitmer Wants a Gen X President — in 2028
'The Interview': Gretchen Whitmer Wants a Gen X President — in 2028

'The Interview': Gretchen Whitmer Wants a Gen X President — in 2028

Update: 2024-06-228
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In this episode of "The Interview," Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about her new memoir, "True North." Whitmer discusses her personal journey, including her time in law school and her experiences as a young woman in politics. She also reflects on her time as governor, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges she faced, including threats and an assassination attempt. Whitmer talks about her political philosophy and her decision to enact a progressive agenda in Michigan, despite the state's close political divide. She also discusses her views on key issues like reproductive rights, the Supreme Court, and the future of the Democratic Party. Whitmer expresses her belief that the only way to protect abortion rights at the national level is through federal legislation. She also expresses concern about the erosion of trust in institutions like the Supreme Court and calls for restoring integrity to the government. Whitmer discusses her hopes for her generation of politicians and their ability to address issues like climate change, gun violence, and individual rights. She also reflects on the future of Trumpism and the need for a return to more traditional Republican values. The episode concludes with Whitmer discussing her role as co-chair of President Biden's re-election campaign and her confidence in her ability to deliver Michigan for Biden in the 2024 election.

Outlines

00:00:00
Introduction

This Chapter introduces the interview with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, focusing on her new memoir, "True North," and its release during the 2024 election cycle. Whitmer explains her motivation for writing the book, emphasizing its purpose as a handbook for staying positive in challenging times.

00:02:23
Personal Reflections and Political Ambition

This Chapter delves into Whitmer's personal story, exploring her experiences in high school and college, her late-blooming ambition, and the lessons she learned from her past. Whitmer discusses the importance of humor and self-awareness in politics and how she navigates the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field.

00:09:17
Political Leadership and the Michigan Trifecta

This Chapter examines Whitmer's political leadership in Michigan, focusing on her success in achieving a Democratic trifecta in 2022. Whitmer discusses her decision to enact a progressive agenda and her philosophy of delivering on campaign promises. She also reflects on the challenges of working with a Republican legislature, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

00:13:22
The Pandemic and the Rise of a National Figure

This Chapter explores Whitmer's experience as a national figure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitmer discusses the intense backlash she faced for her pandemic restrictions, including threats and an assassination attempt. She reflects on the unique challenges she faced as a woman in a leadership position during a time of heightened political polarization.

00:19:26
Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

This Chapter examines Whitmer's reflections on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly regarding school closures and their impact on children. Whitmer acknowledges the difficult decisions she made during that time and the long-term consequences of those choices.

00:22:03
The Gaza Conflict and the 2024 Election

This Chapter explores Whitmer's perspective on the Gaza conflict and its impact on the 2024 election. Whitmer discusses the concerns of Arab-American voters in Michigan and the potential for a protest vote against President Biden. She emphasizes the importance of addressing the concerns of these communities and ensuring they feel represented in Biden's policies.

00:26:19
Biden's Re-election Campaign and the Power of Messaging

This Chapter focuses on Whitmer's role as co-chair of President Biden's re-election campaign. Whitmer discusses the challenges of messaging about Biden's age and the need to articulate a clear vision for the country. She reflects on the importance of connecting with voters on a personal level and using language that resonates with their everyday lives.

Keywords

Gretchen Whitmer
Gretchen Whitmer is the current governor of Michigan. She is a member of the Democratic Party and has served as governor since 2019. Whitmer is known for her progressive policies and her strong stance on issues like reproductive rights and gun control. She has also been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and his policies. Whitmer's political career began in the Michigan State Legislature, where she served for 14 years. She was elected governor in 2018 and re-elected in 2022. Whitmer is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and is often mentioned as a potential candidate for higher office.

True North
True North is the title of Gretchen Whitmer's new memoir, which was released in July 2023. The book chronicles Whitmer's personal journey, from her childhood and college years to her time as governor of Michigan. Whitmer discusses her experiences as a woman in politics, the challenges she faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and her vision for the future of the country. The book has been praised for its honesty and its insights into the challenges of leadership in a polarized political climate.

Reproductive Rights
Reproductive rights are a set of rights related to a person's ability to make decisions about their own body and reproductive health. These rights include the right to access contraception, abortion, and prenatal care. Reproductive rights are a highly contested issue in the United States, with strong opinions on both sides of the debate. The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022 has reignited the debate over reproductive rights and has led to a surge in activism and legislation at the state level.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary. It is composed of nine justices who are appointed for life by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Supreme Court has the power to review laws passed by Congress and the states, and its decisions are binding on all lower courts. The Supreme Court has been a source of controversy in recent years, particularly over its decisions on issues like abortion, gun control, and voting rights. The court's current composition, with a 6-3 conservative majority, has led to concerns about the erosion of democratic norms and the potential for the court to overturn long-standing precedents.

Democratic Party
The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States. It is generally considered to be center-left on the political spectrum and advocates for policies such as social justice, economic equality, and environmental protection. The Democratic Party has been in control of the White House for the past two years, with President Joe Biden serving as the party's leader. The party is currently facing a number of challenges, including a divided electorate, a growing sense of political polarization, and the rise of populism. The Democratic Party is working to address these challenges and to maintain its position as a major force in American politics.

Trumpism
Trumpism is a political ideology and movement associated with former President Donald Trump. It is characterized by populism, nationalism, and a rejection of traditional political norms. Trumpism has been credited with shaking up the Republican Party and with mobilizing a new base of voters. However, it has also been criticized for its divisive rhetoric, its attacks on democratic institutions, and its embrace of conspiracy theories. The future of Trumpism is uncertain, but it is clear that it has had a significant impact on American politics.

2024 Election
The 2024 United States presidential election is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. The election will determine the 47th president of the United States. The current president, Joe Biden, is expected to seek re-election. The Republican Party is expected to nominate former President Donald Trump, who is currently facing a number of legal challenges. The 2024 election is expected to be highly contested, with a number of key issues at stake, including the economy, abortion rights, and climate change.

Michigan
Michigan is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is known for its automotive industry, its beautiful natural scenery, and its diverse population. Michigan is a swing state in presidential elections, meaning that it is often closely contested between the two major political parties. The state has a long history of labor activism and is home to a number of major labor unions. Michigan is also a major center for higher education, with a number of prestigious universities, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

Gen X
Generation X is the demographic cohort following the Baby Boomers and preceding the Millennials. Born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s, Gen Xers are often characterized as being independent, resourceful, and cynical. They came of age during a time of economic uncertainty and social change, and they have been shaped by events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the internet, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Gen Xers are now a significant force in American society and are playing an increasingly important role in politics, business, and culture.

Political Polarization
Political polarization is the widening gap between the political views of the two major political parties in the United States. This gap has been growing in recent years, leading to increased gridlock in government and a decline in civility in public discourse. Political polarization is driven by a number of factors, including the rise of social media, the decline of traditional media, and the increasing influence of special interest groups. The consequences of political polarization are significant, including a decline in trust in government, an increase in political violence, and a decrease in the ability of the government to address important issues.

Q&A

  • Why did Gretchen Whitmer decide to release her memoir, "True North," in the middle of the 2024 election cycle?

    Whitmer explained that she wanted to offer a handbook for staying positive in challenging times, particularly during the upcoming election year, which she anticipates will be a difficult one.

  • What are some of the key lessons Gretchen Whitmer learned from her experiences as a young woman in politics?

    Whitmer emphasizes the importance of humor and self-awareness in politics, acknowledging her own flaws and the need to be mindful of how she is perceived. She also highlights the unique challenges women face in a male-dominated field, particularly in terms of how they are judged and scrutinized.

  • How does Gretchen Whitmer view the role of a governor in a closely divided state like Michigan?

    Whitmer believes that governors should deliver on their campaign promises and enact the agenda they were elected to pursue. She emphasizes the importance of working across party lines and building relationships with diverse interests, even in the face of ideological differences.

  • What were some of the challenges Gretchen Whitmer faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how did she navigate them?

    Whitmer faced intense backlash for her pandemic restrictions, including threats and an assassination attempt. She acknowledges the unique challenges she faced as a woman in a leadership position during a time of heightened political polarization. She emphasizes the importance of having a short memory and thick skin in order to bridge political divides and focus on the job at hand.

  • What are Gretchen Whitmer's views on reproductive rights, and how does she see the issue being resolved at the national level?

    Whitmer believes that the only way to protect abortion rights at the national level is through federal legislation. She acknowledges the challenges of achieving this goal but emphasizes the importance of continuing the fight for reproductive freedom.

  • What are Gretchen Whitmer's concerns about the Supreme Court, and what does she believe needs to be done to restore integrity to the government?

    Whitmer expresses concern about the erosion of trust in institutions like the Supreme Court and calls for restoring integrity to the government. She believes that the court's current composition, with a 6-3 conservative majority, has led to concerns about the erosion of democratic norms and the potential for the court to overturn long-standing precedents.

  • What are Gretchen Whitmer's hopes for her generation of politicians, and what issues does she believe they need to address?

    Whitmer expresses hope that her generation of politicians will be able to address issues like climate change, gun violence, and individual rights. She believes that these are the existential issues that her children's generation is worried about and that they need to be addressed with urgency.

  • How does Gretchen Whitmer view the future of Trumpism, and what does she believe needs to be done to restore a more traditional Republican Party?

    Whitmer acknowledges that Trumpism as a political movement seems to be here to stay, but she expresses hope that a more traditional Republican Party will emerge. She believes that it is important for the system of governance to have robust debates with people of different perspectives and that a return to more traditional Republican values is necessary.

  • What are Gretchen Whitmer's thoughts on President Biden's age and the challenges it presents for his re-election campaign?

    Whitmer acknowledges that Biden's age is an issue for voters but emphasizes that he has a record of delivering for the country. She contrasts Biden's record with that of Donald Trump, who she believes has no vision for the country and has only focused on division and grievance.

  • How does Gretchen Whitmer view the importance of messaging in politics, and what lessons has she learned from her own experiences?

    Whitmer emphasizes the importance of connecting with voters on a personal level and using language that resonates with their everyday lives. She believes that national messaging can be challenging and that it is important to listen to voters and understand their concerns.

Show Notes

The governor of Michigan isn’t saying it should be her, but she’s not saying it shouldn’t be, either.
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'The Interview': Gretchen Whitmer Wants a Gen X President — in 2028

'The Interview': Gretchen Whitmer Wants a Gen X President — in 2028

The New York Times