LANSING – Michigan’s “relentlessly positive” governor used his final State of the State address Tuesday night to make the case why the Great Lakes State is better off today than it was when he took over more than seven years ago.

The vast majority of Gov. Rick Snyder’s 53-minute speech Tuesday heralded “The Michigan Comeback Story” as an example of how civility in government is part of what is making Michigan great. Fighting is for the “beaches of Normandy, not the beaches of Lake Michigan.

“If we can’t get along with ourselves, how can we be great?” said Snyder, adding that when a political candidate talks about “fighting,” “the red light should be flashing.” He asked, “What are we fighting for?”

Asked who Snyder might have been referring to with that comment, possibly Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said, “I think it’s directed towards the nation.”

Absent from the speech were the sticky issues political opponents will use to paint Snyder’s tenure — the Flint water crisis, the false unemployment fraud charges, the maggots in prisoners’ food or the failings at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home.

Rather, Snyder sought to define his two terms early in his speech by holding up two posterized Wall Street Journal editorials, a 2009 piece headlined “The State Of Joblessness, The Tragedy of Jennifer Granholm’s Michigan” and a 2017 editorial titled, “The Michigan Comeback Story.”

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