Michigan's First Gentleman gushes over Toyota

Open mouth. Insert foot. The Governor of Michigan's husband, Daniel Mulhern, has a weekly e-mail newsletter in which he talks about business leadership called Reading for Leading. In this week's edition he gushes over an automaker he thinks shows exemplary management style - Toyota. Pause. Did that sink in yet? It didn't strike many as a good use of judgement, including the good folks over at the Detroit News. In his column (accessible through the read link), News reporter Daniel Howes called the first hubby to task and dissected his piece to show how stupid potentially damaging it was.
[Source: The Detroit News]

This is a time when American automakers are hurting badly, with Michigan in particular losing jobs and revenue at record levels. So it does seem a bit irresponsible to be lauding a foreign car company in that light. When confronted about the missive, Mulhern responded, "Messages are complicated. To send a message is different than to receive a message. When people are sensitive, they may not hear a message."

The timing, if anything seems particularly bad here. Giving examples of companies that are doing well is one thing, but to praise the biggest rival of the largest companies in your state at such a critical point in history, well...you might as well be giving swimming lessons to a drowning man.

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