“I’m coming home. I just want to feel the love.”
“They haven’t had much to love in Michigan for a long time,” said the TVA.
“They've had a tough time of it and their love is all pent up,” the Frontrunner agreed. “But when I arrive there’s going to be an explosion.”
He’d been born and raised in Michigan. He understood those people as well as any private equity capitalist who’s mastered the “carried interest” tax loophole can understand any out-of-work lathe operator who hasn’t.
It was time to unleash the message. He’d given the voters glimpses of his powers of vision and problem-solving acumen. But now it was time to stitch all that into the unified, all-embracing message that would carry him to victory in November.
Michigan was the place to unleash it!
“I have a solution to the immigration crisis,” he would say. (It was important to refer to any disagreement as a crisis.) “Self-deportation. Because I lived in Michigan, I know it works! When I was a boy I saw the cars with Canadian license plates returning to Windsor across the Ambassador Bridge. And I wondered, why don’t they just stay in Detroit? And my father told me, 'Because Windsor is home.' And I never forgot that lesson."
(He’d pause for the cheers to subside.)
“And I have a solution to our financial crisis. I call it creative destruction. This is when you get rid of the old to build the new. Because I lived in Michigan, I know it works. When I was a boy my father worked for an automobile company, American Motors. In fact, he was the president of that company. My father loved Michigan and Michigan loved my father. You twice elected him governor of this great state.
"Do you know what happened to that great company he led? It went out of business. And I’ll never forget what my father said to me when that happened. He said, 'Thank God it’s been 30 years since I worked there.'
"He’d moved on. As we all must move on. And do you know what happened next to my father? He died. I bet you can see what I’m getting at. His old company collapsed, and he died. And yet fine cars continued to be made—some of them right here in Michigan by this state’s fine workers. And here stands his son, running not for governor but president. Running in the most important election of our lifetimes because the choice is so stark. Yes, you can vote for the man who bailed out General Motors and Chrysler with hundreds of billions of dollars of the taxpayers’ money. Your money! And to some extent, my own. Or you can vote for the man whose economic policies would have cleared the way for the auto workers of Michigan to apply for amazing new jobs in the amazing new industries that would have sprung from the ashes of GM and Chrysler, many of them in Mumbai but very possibly a considerable number in Flint and Detroit. I cannot imagine a clearer choice.
"Amazing new right-to-work industries, I might add."
(Pause for the cheers to subside.)
"And I have a solution to the housing crisis. Because I lived in Michigan, I know it works. Every house we owned, except the ones we built ourselves, had a previous owner. Someone moved out. We moved in. It was the most natural thing in the world. As I have said repeatedly during this campaign, the foreclosure process must be allowed to run its course. When the old owners have moved out and the new owners have moved in the crisis will be over. Why does the president keep trying to make this sound so complicated?"
(Chuckle. Head shake.)
"Maybe it’s because he doesn’t own his house. He doesn't even rent his house. (On a roll.) He just decided to crash there! Well, I think it’s time the real owners of that house told him to pack up and clear out!"
(Pause for the cheers and gales of laughter to subside.)
"My opponents, and my friends in the media, are doing their darnedest to paint me as some sort of heartless multimillionaire who doesn’t know any ordinary people. When I said my focus isn’t on the rich and it isn’t on the very poor, some people twisted my words to make it sound as if I don’t care about them. But Michigan has never been a class warfare state, and in Michigan I know my meaning was clear. There are some things where the only way to see them clearly is not to focus on them. You know those 3-D picture puzzles where you have to cross your eyes? Believe me, it took some effort, but I got to be pretty darned good at seeing those hidden pictures. The same goes with seeing poor people.
"Besides, the very next day I showed my high regard for the rich and the very poor. I guess Donald Trump happens to be one of the rich people, but when I accepted his endorsement in a casino in Las Vegas I bet the poor people got the message I was sending them. 'Rich people, poor people—you’re on my radar!'"
(Pause for whoops of joy.)
"It’s just great to be around old friends who know who I really am! And that’s why I’m so very glad to be home in Michigan."
(Bask in acclaim.)
“That speech might not be quite as effective as you expect it to be,” said the Traditional Values Coordinator.