Governor of Michigan
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had just been given one of the highest-profile spots in her party in February: delivering the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
A little more than a month later, Whitmer was back in the spotlight for a very different reason: the coronavirus pandemic and measures she had put into place to stop the spread of it. In charge of one of the hardest-hit early states, Whitmer took decisive action and imposed restrictions barring any activity not required to “sustain or protect life,” including popular outdoor activities.
The decision provoked a backlash that had the potential to boil over into violence, as a protest of armed militia members made its way into the state legislature gallery and intimidated lawmakers. As if a pandemic and an economic crisis were not enough, a dam broke, handing Whitmer another public health crisis.
And despite an early September poll giving her an approval rating of nearly 60%, the FBI recently thwarted a kidnapping plot by a group of domestic terrorists that again put the spotlight on Whitmer.