While I was busy writing about Trump and O'Malley for Examiner.com, another political story was happening just over the county line to the north. Former movie actress and current Howell resident Melissa Gilbert declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Michigan's 8th Congressional District. WXYZ has the story in How can Gilbert win Congressional seat.
We talk with the voters and the experts on what it will take for Melissa Gilbert to win a seat in Congress.I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle what I left as a comment at Michigan Liberal.
Here's a link from the Free Press and the Daily Kos write-up: Tax issue dogs Melissa Gilbert in new bid for Congress.The above does not mean I'm opposed to Gilbert running. As both a journalist and a Democrat, I'm in favor of it. She'll make good copy and will be a competitive candidate.
That headline is both too cute and very carefully phrased. To understand why, read this summary from Daily Kos.MI-08: Actress Melissa Gilbert, who is best known for playing Laura Ingalls Wilder on the hit show "Little House on the Prairie," announced on Monday that she'd run against GOP Rep. Mike Bishop as a Democrat. Gilbert doesn't have any campaign experience, but she did serve two terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, from 2001 to 2005. Michigan's 8th District has been pretty inhospitable for Democrats, but Mitt Romney only carried the seat by a 51-48 margin, and Bishop won it last year with 54 percent of the vote, which isn't exactly monster given the GOP wave.The headline writer knew exactly what they were doing.
Gilbert, however, has some baggage. In recent years, she was hit with a pair of six-figure tax liens, which she ascribed to the economic downturn and says she's been paying off through a settlement. Many politicians have successfully deflected questions about these kinds of financial difficulties in this way (ex-Rep. Allen West did so back in 2010, for instance), but Bishop was quick to point out that Gilbert went on Good Morning America last year to show off her French bulldog, whom she said wears a Louis Vuitton collar and has her own stylist. With that sort of pedigree, it's a little harder to argue the recession hit you like it did everyone else.