LANSING — Since teasing a run, James Craig has had a tough time establishing where he stands on the two major issues that will define his run: his belief of the Big Lie and how closely he’ll be aligning himself to Trump.
New reporting from MIRS and Tim Skubick at WLNS indicates that this may be because Craig has yet to settle on which political consultant will get the privilege of projecting whatever poll-tested phrases they come up with to ensure the retired police chief can fend off the anti-vaxxers and insurrectionists already in the ring. Republican insiders are already bragging to MIRS that Craig is “teachable,” which is code for “walking blank slate that has no convictions and will say whatever we want.”
Evidently, Craig’s candidacy is kicking off a proxy war of sorts in which John Yob, favored consultant of party insiders and previous clients MIGOP co-chair Ron Weiser and former Governor Rick Snyder, is in one corner facing off against former MIGOP chair Bobby Schostak, former Governor John Engler’s top pick to lead the Craig campaign.
Engler, who has reportedly been very hands-on in guiding Craig since he announced his retirement has been “advising the chief not to hire” Yob for a number of reasons, one of them being that Yob’s father found himself outside of Engler’s inner circle after the two men couldn’t agree on who to support in the 1998 Michigan Attorney General primary.
According to MIRS, the junior Yob’s “reputation of playing off Republican candidates” before attaching himself to one is also a point of contention for Engler. Yob has signaled that he may back a different Republican mulling a run should Craig pass, splintering this already crowded primary even further and making it easier for fringe candidates to consolidate support against the establishment.
“We already knew that Republicans were stuck in the past with their relentless pursuit of the Big Lie, but the fate of the Craig campaign entry being based on insider beef from the 90s is a whole new level,” said Rodericka Applewhaite, MDP spokesperson. “James Craig is a walking blank slate that refuses to define where he stands on the Big Lie and whether he wants Trump’s support, the two main issues that the base will immediately expect an answer on upon his official announcement. However after a cascade of recruitment failures, he’s all the MIGOP establishment has, which is why his handlers are fighting over who gets to handle him on the way to his coronation