Jennifer Granholm on Principles & Values

Democratic Governor (MI)


Aspired to be an actress; appeared on The Dating Game

Granholm appears to have been a ball of fire from the start, blessed with plenty of smarts, good looks, and ambition. She won the title of "Miss San Carlos." She moved to Los Angeles to try to hit it big as an actress. Granholm worked hard at her Hollywood dream, studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and working three jobs to pay the bills. But her plan failed. She got zero movie roles, and the only time she appeared on TV was as a bachelorette on the reality show The Dating Game.
Source: Anchorage Press on 2021 Biden administration , Dec 23, 2020

Was first female governor 15 years after moving to Michigan

She moved to Michigan, where she became the first female Governor only 15 years after she arrived in the state. Once she got into politics, Granholm suggested that her attempts to break into Hollywood were doomed from the beginning. The Washington Post quoted her as saying "Ronald Reagan once said you have to be a good actor to be a good politician, but the reality is that I was a lousy actress, and I can't sing, and I can't dance."
Source: Anchorage Press on 2021 Biden administration , Dec 23, 2020

Supported investigation over Russian collusion

Jennifer Granholm heavily promoted claims that President Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election, even mentioning an unsubstantiated "pee tape." She also called for an "independent investigation of Russia/Trump collusion" after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey while the agency was investigating such claims.
Source: Fox News Sunday on 2021 Biden administration , Dec 16, 2020

Embrace diversity: that is American exceptionalism

Politics is all about addition. Democrats, we have a big tent, as people keep saying, and that means that we want to be about the word "all," right? So we want to embrace the notion of the Statue of Liberty--we want to say that whether you were brought here, your people were brought here on the Amistad, or your people crossed the border via Arizona, or whether they came here on American Airlines, we want to embrace the diversity. That is American exceptionalism.
Source: The Gate (U. Chicago) on 2018 Michigan Gubernatorial race , Jun 16, 2017

There are political solutions to moral problems

There's nothing partisan about Pope Francis's statements. Time and time again, he's simply noted that there are political solutions to moral problems -- and that failing to reach these solutions is a moral failure, not just a political one. I know I just said that he isn't a partisan. But, candidly, I am. And I can't help but note--as a proud Democrat as well as a proud Catholic--that these days Democrats are the party more interested in reaching real solutions to these global challenges.
Source: Berkeley Goldman School on 2018 Michigan Gubernatorial race , Sep 25, 2015

Antidote to negativity and pain: service to others

There is a sure-fire antidote for the negativity and pain that besets our democracy, an antidote that is the purest act of all: service to others. Even the hardest heart softens when a tutored child overcomes the odds to excel. Even the most virulent antigovernment activist feels compassion in delivering meals to disabled and home-bound seniors. The acts of kindness occurring each day all over America can begin to heal our pain, soothe our rage, and remind us that we are one human family.
Source: U.S. News & World Report on Biden Cabinet , Oct 28, 2010

Born in Canada; raised in California; elected in Michigan

Most of my supporters knew it was a fluke that I'd been elected governor at all. I wasn't even from Michigan. I'd been born in Canada and raised since the age of 4 in California's San Francisco Bay area, far from the factories and farms of the Midwest. My dad, Victor Ivar Granholm, is a gentleman and a Republican, a stoic Swede who never raises his voice. My mom, Shirley Dowden Granholm, is a pragmatic, earthy Newfoundlander. When I was little, my mom gave me 3 specific pieces of advice: "Don't talk about yourself--nobody wants to hear it--don't ask strangers for money, and don't wear your dress-up clothes every day." With that guidance, I have no idea how I ended up running for office.
Source: A Governor's Story, by Jennifer Granholm, p. 5-6 , Oct 1, 2005

Elected Attorney General on slogan, "I'll take your case!"

I worked as a successful federal prosecutor and then, beginning in 1994, as Wayne County corporation counsel, where I led the law department of Michigan's largest county. But in 1998, when Michigan Attorney General shocked political followers by announcing his retirement after 37 years on the job, a former Democratic Party chair began prodding me to "go for it."

So I leaped. Seven other candidates, all men, and none with my prosecutorial and civil law experience, vied for the spot. I built my campaign around a promise to fight for everyday people. "I'll take your case!" I told ripped-off consumers. "I'll take your case!" I told environmentalists eager to protect the waters of the Great Lakes. "I'll take your case!" I told parents who wanted to guard their children against online predators, and seniors who needed protection from financial con artists. I won the Democratic nomination and subsequently became Michigan's attorney general.

Source: A Governor's Story, by Jennifer Granholm, p. 10-11 , Oct 1, 2005

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Page last updated: Aug 31, 2021