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Tim Skubick: Debbie Dingell proves she knows how to play hardball

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

With all the finesse of somebody swinging a sledge hammer, Democrat Debbie Dingell has demonstrated she knows how to play the political hard ball game.

By now you've learned that the spouse of soon to be ex-Michigan Congressman John Dingell hopes to replace her hubby in Washington to cement the Dingell hold on that office which has been in the family since 1933.

The last thing she wants is a primary opponent next August which would force Ms. Dingell to spend money to secure the Democratic nomination which is tantamount to winning the seat.

So when Ann Arbor Democrat Rebekah Warren announced she might get in, Ms. Dingell went to work to convince her to stay out.

Somehow three premoninet Democrats who support Ms. Dingell immediately announced their support before the ink was even dry on the Warren statement.

Oh yeah, the trio reside in Warren's district.  So there were former Senator Liz Brader, current Rep. Adam Zemke and widely respected Democratic Rep. David Rutledge talking up the Dingell candidacy.  They said nary a word about their friend Senator Warren but they didn't have to.

The implied memo to Ms. Warren:  Debbie doesn't want her in the race and trotting out three of her own friends to reject her candidacy was a nice way of staying, back off.

Democrats have been here before.  When the aforementioned Mr. Dingell was running several years ago, Congresswoman Lynn Rivers had the audacity to challenge Big John and she actually made him spend money, actually made him break a sweat, and actually made the usually ho-hum contest interesting.

She lost, of course, but the Dingell family remembers and does not want to think of Ms. Warren as Ms. Rivers incarnate.

If the endorsement gambit does not get the job done, Ms. Dingell has other strategies she could use by making Ms. Warren an offer she can't refuse.

If Ms. Warren were to run for her senate seat again, Ms. Dingell could promise to help line up votes so the Ann Arbor women could become the next Senate Democratic leader.  Or there could some job down the road  the Dingell's could dangle in front of Ms. Warren

Well you get the drift.  If you want somebody to stay out of a race there are many ways to get there.

Hence the sledge-hammer with more to come.

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