Bob Bowman out at the plate in governor's contest

| Monday, February 15, 2010
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Former state Treasurer Bob Bowman, who took his first swing at running for governor last week, already has decided to drop out.

Bowman formed a campaign committee last week, allowing him to spend money to explore a gubernatorial run. But Bowman announced this morning that he's decided against seeking the job, which could be about as much fun as facing a Justin Verlander fastball aimed perilously close to your head. Noted the Detroit Free Press:

"He joins a line of would-be governors who explored, but decided against a run for governor, including Detroit businesswoman Denise Ilitch, state Sen. Hansen Clark, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Lt. Gov. John Cherry, all Democrats, and Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson."
 Bowman said there were "many reasons" why he couldn't commit to running for governor this year. Could they have included Michigan having a worst-in-the-nation 14.6 percent jobless rate, a looming $1.5 billion budget defict and a state Legislature that's as dysfunctional as Ozzy Osbourne's family?

Long-time Lansing political reporter Tim Skubick said on radio station WWJ this morning that internal Democratic polling found Bowman is seen as a "carpet bagger" because he and his family live in Connecticut. Bowman is registered to vote at his summer home in Harbor Springs, though.

Bowman, 54, also has a Wall Street past that could haunt him in what surely would be a nasty election campaign. Bashing Wall Street bankers for contributing to Michigan's economic problems likely will be be a tactic employed by some candidates. Bowman was a young Goldman Sachs investment banker when then-Gov. James Blanchard tapped him to become state Treasurer in 1983.

He now is CEO of the Internet arm of Major League Baseball. Bowman also is very smart, which may be the real reason he's balking at running for governor this year.

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