Did Gov. Snyder Make a Good Case for His Legacy in Final State of the State?

Based on his first seven years in office, what do you think will define Gov. Snyder’s tenure?

Jake Neher/WDET

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his final State of the State address at the state Capitol last night.

The two-term governor is trying to shape his legacy, one he is hopeful will focus on a investment in Detroit, a road funding package passing through the Legislature, and a rebounded economy.

Snyder used his speech to highlight all of initiatives he felt were most successful over the past eight years and used very little space to call for new or bold initiatives as he rounds out his time as the chief executive of the state.

But his time in office has not been lean on controversy.

Can Snyder’s positive legacy overcome the more unseemly aspects of his tenure, such as the Flint Water Crisis, the dust-up around Right-to-Work, or the mixed reviews of Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings?

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Susan Demas, publisher of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, and Matt Resch of Resch Strategies, a former spokesperson for then-Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus. 

“I think it was about a half-hour in before he mentioned the Flint Water Crisis, which… is going to define his legacy, at least in part,” says Demas. “But it’s very typical for any governor to talk about their successes and bury any of the negatives, so why would we expect Rick Snyder to be any different?”

Resch says Snyder should get credit for some of the things that have happened during his tenure so far.

“It is striking when you think back to the economic state that we found ourselves in when he took office,” says Resch. “A lot has happened, and a lot on his watch, economically, has been very positive for Michigan and for Detroit.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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