Will Michigan rockers move from stage to U.S. Senate?

Detroit News staff

Correction: A previous version of one of the items in this column should have made it clear that Michigan Congressman Justin Amash uses the terms "Affordable Care Act" and "Obamacare" interchangeably.

Could Kid Rock run for U.S. Senate?

Talk of a Senate run by Kid Rock was started by a GOP committee member.

Sure, as a citizen who is more than 30 years old he appears to meet the constitutional requirements. But there otherwise is no evidence to suggest that Kid Rock is running, and he certainly hasn't expressed any interest in public.

Nonetheless, rumors that Michigan’s most famous Republican rock star could challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing in 2018 spread across the nation this week, reaching as far as the Roll Call newspaper in Washington, D.C.

The speculation appears to have originated from a single source: Michigan GOP state central committee member Wes Nakagiri of Hartland, who on Saturday told a Michigan publication he thinks Kid Rock, who has a house in Clarkston, would be a good candidate.

But in a Wednesday interview with The Detroit News, Nakagiri acknowledged he does not have any insider information that the Romeo native is considering a run.

He just likes the idea.

Michigan Republicans need a candidate who could capture the public’s imagination like President Donald Trump did last fall, Nakagiri argued. He doesn’t think there is much enthusiasm for two GOP politicians who are actually exploring runs: U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of St. Joseph and former state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe.

Michigan’s original Republican rock star Ted Nugent isn’t shying away from another left-field suggestion that he should challenge Stabenow, which would require the “Motor City Madman” to move back from Texas if elected.

On Facebook Tuesday, using colorful language, Nugent wrote that if the GOP doesn’t get it right, “I will come charging in.”

What's in a name? Sometimes it's a hot potato

The use of the term "Obamacare" vs. "Affordable Care Act" has become a hot potato for lawmakers, as a new poll shows some Americans didn't know they are the same thing.


Congressman Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township, got some pushback from constituents at a recent town hall in Grand Rapids when he used the term "Obamacare" to describe former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Amash, who continues to use both terms, has pointed out the former president himself prefers Obamacare.

An early February poll by Morning Consult for the New York Times found that 35 percent of Americans surveyed did not know that the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are the same. About 18 percent didn’t know if they were the same or different, while 17 percent said they were different, according to the poll.

Barack Obama embraces the nickname, since the Democratic former president considers it one of his chief legacies.

During the first presidential debate in 2012, Republican challenger Mitt Romney apologized to the president as he called the law “Obamacare” while listing programs or initiati

ves he would scrap if elected.

“I like it,” Obama responded.

“Good. OK, good. So I’ll get rid of that,” Romney said.

Bishop joins Ways and Means Committee

Sophomore U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, joined the powerful tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means this week, filling the vacancy left when Lansing native Rep. Tom Price of Georgia was confirmed to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.


Bishop joins another Michiganian, Rep. Sandy Levin of Royal Oak, who was the panel’s ranking Democrat until late last year. Michigan has not a Republican representative on Ways and Means since the retirement at the end of 2014 of Rep. Dave Camp, who had chaired the committee.

The jurisdiction of Ways and Means includes healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and trade.

“We have a real opportunity this Congress to grow our economy and help families get ahead – just as we did in the Comeback State,” Bishop said in a statement. “I am ready to get to work with Chairman Brady and the Committee to simplify our tax code, create more jobs and replace Obamacare with a health care law that works for more hardworking Americans.”

Contributors: Jonathan Oosting, Melissa Nann Burke and Richard Burr