Michigan's Moderate GOP Gov. Gets NYT Kudos for Rejecting Conservative Policy

New York Times reporter Monica Davey wrote an approving profile Sunday of Michigan's moderate Republican governor, who "avoids the sort of language that riles up some Republican crowds." "Michigan’s G.O.P. Governor Defies Easy Labels."

Snyder earned some serious Times' brownie points for rejecting a Republican measure that would require photo identification for absentee voting.

In this political age of ideological purity, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan is an enigma.

Mr. Snyder, a Republican business executive who took office last year after a wave of G.O.P. statehouse victories, has told his Republican-dominated Legislature that a right-to-work measure is not on his agenda. The issue, he says, is too divisive

And as some lawmakers made it clear that they intended to take their time considering their options on the national health care law, Mr. Snyder said Michigan needed to move swiftly to set up a health insurance exchange.

Then, last month, to the astonishment of Republicans who had sponsored some voting measures, Mr. Snyder vetoed several of them, including one that called for requiring photo identification to get an absentee ballot.

Mr. Snyder, who never sought elective office before he ran for governor with the unlikely slogan “One Tough Nerd,” says he is unambiguously a Republican, and it is a description with which many Michigan Democrats strenuously (and unhappily) concur. Yet Mr. Snyder, a former accountant who has single-mindedly focused on Michigan’s economic woes, also studiously steers clear of public party-line battles and avoids the sort of language that riles up some Republican crowds. And, in a state that Mitt Romney hopes to make a battleground, he has even sidestepped opportunities to criticize President Obama.

Back in May, Davey sobbed over moderate Indiana Republican Sen. Dick Lugar's loss in the Republican primary to a Tea Party candidate after a "mean" campaign.