Complications w/ David Brandon for AD

Submitted by BlueinDC on October 27th, 2009 at 4:27 PM

DISCLAIMER:This is meant to be an **objective** analysis of how David Brandon's other political aspirations mean for his AD candidacy. It is simply meant to provide context to the discussion of his potential hiring, and nothing else. I am NOT trying to start a political debate.

Brandon's window to join the 2010 gubernatorial election is basically closed, and it is extremely unlikely that he would run. The basic reality is that the GOP field (in which Brandon would participate) is basically already full of three, "top-tier" candidates who've already laid the groundwork for campaigns, begun to seal up endorsements, hire consultants, and soforth. It'd be extremely unlikely (not to mention pretty foolish) for Brandon to run in 2010.

As for the future, that's a different story. The guy lives in a congressional district where he's unlikely to ever win as a Republican unless he relocates, but the guy's always had statewide aspirations anyway. The smart money right now is on a Republican to win the governorship in 2010 -- that means Brandon would be unlikely to run until 2018 (assuming the GOP incumbent seeks a second term; at earliest, Brandon would be angling for 2014).

Sen. Stabenow is viewed as a potentially more vulnerable Democrat, relative to Sen. Levin at least, and she's up for reelection in 2012. This would by far be the most tempting and most likely race for Brandon to enter in the immediate future, and I would imagine he would be atop of the national GOP's recruitment list. Races of that sort usually need about a two-year lead time to be run properly, meaning that if Brandon were to assume the AD position in late 2010, he'd effectively be leaving the job as soon as he started. Levin is set to face reelection in 2014, however, at which point he'd be 80 years old. That puts Levin in retirement range, but it's no guarantee for a vet like him, and certainly not without precedent in the Senate for an octogenarian to seek reelction.

In short: For David Brandon to become AD, he would need to wave off a challenge to Stabenow in 2012 to probably satisfy U-M. If we want him to be seriously paying attention to his job for more than two years, it would likely require a commitment for him to wave off any 2014 gubernatorial or Senate races. The guy's youth is probably an asset in a race now; down the line, he'd be a little older of a candidate should he forfeit opportunities for the Michigan AD job. It would seem he'd have to forsake a lot of political aspirations to take the job.



October 27th, 2009 at 4:31 PM ^

I admit, I was bracing for the worst when I saw the disclaimer because "this is not meant to be political" posts often end up being, well, political, but it's a very good summary of the choices Brandon (and UM) would be facing. Thanks.


October 27th, 2009 at 4:38 PM ^

Full disclosure: I work as a journalist for an (objective) newspaper in D.C. covering politics, so I just wanted to add any context (for better or for worse) to help add analysis for Brandon's potential hiring.

James Burrill Angell

October 27th, 2009 at 5:09 PM ^

that whether its governor (which I agree with your analysis it won't be, too late and competition is too good) or Michigan A.D., Brandon is just looking to move on to SOMETHING that intrigues him. The guy has made a FORTUNE in corporate America (if you've ever driven by his home in AA you know what I mean). Now he's looking for a new fix whether its A.D. or politics (kind of like Bill Martin got his fix from corporate world by being the A.D.). I don't see the politics and A.D. as competing for him. Its whatever comes along first. If he was really a career politician he would have already run for some kind of office.


October 27th, 2009 at 5:25 PM ^

I mean, it's probably more speculation than it is informed, but one would think that if he's willing to leave the Domino's position for politics, he'd be willing to leave the position for the AD-ship, if it appealed to him. Let's not forget that he has extensive ties to the school -- having helped raise money for Mott's, having played under Bo, and having served on the board of Regents before being booted as a GOP candidate for reelection in a Dem wave year (2006).


October 27th, 2009 at 4:33 PM ^

however, i think martin has done so much in his time here that the job of the next AD should be a lot easier. if brandon's here for only 2 years, i say least we can assume stability til then, which is what we need IME - esp in football.


October 27th, 2009 at 4:48 PM ^

Do you mean within the post on the front? Admittedly, I'm sort of a newbie to this and don't post unless I generally have something well-thought-out to say. It seemed like a longer, semi-distinct thought for discussion for me, though, which is why I put it here.

OMG Shirtless

October 27th, 2009 at 4:52 PM ^

This is fine here, it is definitely worth of its own post. The comments in some of the front page stories tend to go in a million different directions anyways. I just thought I remembered reading something similar on the other story. But that was a different dude.


October 27th, 2009 at 7:41 PM ^

Gov. Granholm is term-limited from seeking reelection. Lt. Gov Cherry is expected to nab the Democratic nomination.

The three Republican candidates are Attorney General Mike Cox, (U.S.) Rep. Pete Hoekstra, and businessman Rick Snyder (former Gateway CEO, among other business ventures).