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Governor Gretchen Whitmer, "That woman from Michigan"

The shooting took place last month Michigan State University, three killed and five injured, was the right moment to catapult gun control to the top of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s agenda. He told a rally on March 15, “We have only offered ‘thoughts and prayers’. It is time for action.”

Whitmer could be days away from signing what he’s calling Common sense gun systems (“Universal Background Checks, Safe Storage, and Extreme Risk Protection Orders”) at Act.

MSU was the second mass shooting on Whitmer’s watch. In November 2021, a fifteen-year-old killed four people and injured seven others Oxford High School North of Detroit. Nothing has changed.

The difference between then and now?

Now, in his second term, he has the power to act and is in a hurry to use it Already passed this year: Tax breaks for the working poor and the elderly; Protection of LGBTQ rights; And A rollback of restrictions on labor unions.

How did it happen? Whitmer pulled off a big, blue trifecta in last November’s election. He defeated Donald Trump-backed MAGA Republicans. Democrats, riding on his coattails, Occupied both Houses of the State Legislature, something that hasn’t happened in Michigan in nearly 40 years, albeit by a slim margin. And Michigan voters passed a constitutional amendment Whitmer championed to protect abortion rights.


Govt. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.).

CBS News

“I try to live by my values ​​every day so I can sleep at night,” Whitmer said. “But I can’t take anything personally, and I can’t afford to punch back, even though I’m quite capable of doing that if I want to. I don’t, because it’s not constructive and it doesn’t help the people I serve.”

“I read a description of you as an example of fortitude and grace,” Teichner said.

“That’s a high compliment!” She smiled.

This is the same Gretchen Whitmer who spent her first term from hell as then-President Trump’s punching bag for her handling of Covid, calling her “Gretchen ‘Huff’ Whitmer, or “that lady from Michigan.”

He began wearing T-shirts that read “That Woman.”


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appears on “The Daily Show.”

Comedy Central

He said, “The best way to disarm a bully is to take their weapon and make it your shield.”

Whitmer had his own nickname for supporters: “Big Gretch.” It even has a theme song.

GmacCash – Big Gretch (OfficialAudio) Prod. By Primo Beats by Gmac Cash on Youtube

“Grandma Gretchen always said, ‘People don’t call you Gretch. Your name is Gretchen.’ And I don’t know many women who want ‘big’ in front of their nickname. And so, my friends and relatives, you know, people who’ve known me all my life are like, ‘Are you good at it?’ I’m like, ‘I like it. !’

Whitmer has become a household name, but also a target. Armed protesters, opposed to the pandemic lockdown, took their complaints against Whitmer to the Michigan State Capitol in the spring of 2020, in what looked like a January 6 drill at the U.S. Capitol nine months later.

Directly above me, men with rifles are shouting at us. Some of my colleagues who have bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never admired our sergeants-at-arms more than I do today. #mileg pic.twitter.com/voOZpPYWOs

— Senator Diana Polehankey (@SenPolehankey) April 30, 2020

“I was shocked to see the pictures coming out of our Capitol and the masked gunmen standing outside my office. Fortunately, I wasn’t there, but yes, it was shocking,” he said.

Teichner asked, “Do you think that would have happened if a guy had been governor?”

“I don’t know. I do know that, with all the ugliness that has come my way, some of my peers have felt it to one degree or another, but not as hot as me. And it started when I singled out the former president.”

Then came the “conspiracy” in the fall of 2020, the failed attempt to kidnap and possibly kill Governor Whitmer. One of the conspirators was sentenced last December Almost 20 years in prisonfrom another 16 years.

Whitmer said, “Although I’ve really grown as a leader over the last four years, I have to come back to the table and negotiate the budget with people who shared the stage with conspirators who wanted to kidnap and kill me. I still have to negotiate. And a Get the budget done. Governors can’t just take positions, and we can’t throw bombs the other way. We have to do things.”

Whitmer’s steeliness comes at a cost. Her husband, Mark Mallory, retired from his dental practice a few years ago, she says, because of multiple threats to his patients and staff.

Sydney, one of Whitmer’s daughters, recalled the threat: “It was one morning, in 2020. There were a bunch of protesters outside our house. They came onto our property with guns, and it was just crazy, because I was 16 years old. At the time.”

He and sister Sherry are now students at the University of Michigan. “I’m so grateful that she’s on the front lines and fighting this battle. I want her to be a voice and I want her to fight for my rights,” Sherry said of her mom.

Whitmer, 51, spent 14 years in the state legislature before running for governor. He was practically born into Michigan politics. His father served for two Republican governors, his mother for the Democratic attorney general. Both were lawyers. So is he.

When he won the governor’s office for the first time in 2018, Whitmer was “fix the damned roads.” She sounds like a progressive, while he sounds like a non-confrontational realist, and even more, she looks like a Democratic Party woman.


Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign bus during her first run for governor.

CBS News

Dan Morris, a retired teacher from Brighton, Michigan, told Whitmer, “I’m the first one to, you know, raise my hand. If you’re running for president, Governor Whitmer, I’ll support you.”

And he’s not alone.

“A lot of people think you’re going to run for president,” Teichner asked.

“A lot of people think a lot. I can tell you what I’m going to do,” Whitmer replied.

“Are you going to serve four years?”


Then? “Big Gretch” ruled nothing and ruled nothing out.

For more information:

The story was produced by Ed Forgotson. Editor: Carol Ross.

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