Debbie Stabenow deserves to be elected to her third term in the U.S. Senate, but more than that, Republican Senate nominee Pete Hoekstra does not deserve to be anywhere near Capitol Hill.
Hoekstra, once known for his pragmatism and deal-making skills during his 18-year U.S. House career, has incredibly given in to the most extreme voices in his own party, shooting himself in the foot along the way.
He now finds himself down by as much as 20 percent in the polls, in large part due to his embrace of the fringe elements of the Republican Party and his ridiculous campaign antics.
Hoekstra’s fate as the loser in this race may have been cemented back in February with his race-baiting “Debbie Spend-It-Now” Super Bowl commercial, and he has done nothing since then to make amends with Michigan voters.
Perhaps worst of all, Hoekstra’s insistence on having an absurd six debates with Stabenow, rather than the traditional two as his opponent wanted, has denied the state a chance to stack up the two candidates and have a genuine debate on the direction the state needs to head in.
This is not the Senate race Michigan deserves. Neither candidate has shown much vision over the past several months, and now is when we need vision the most. Stabenow, for the most part, has been out of the spotlight and spent little money to promote her campaign.
A quick look at her website touts advancing platforms such as providing “affordable” health care coverage for Michigan businesses, proposing battery innovation and biobased manufacturing, a small business jobs act and the predictable “defense of the auto industry.”
While all of those platforms sound nice and attractive to the average Michigan resident, actions speak louder than words. And right now, Hoekstra’s actions have characterized him as a polarizing figure running on an anti-Stabenow/Obama platform.