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|02-25-2012, 11:11 AM||#1|
Ubi bene ibi patria
Member Since: Aug 2007
Just Why Does Mitt Romney Love Michigan’s Trees?
Link to original article.
"Mitt Romney loves Michigan. He loves the cars. He loves the people. He loves the…tree size? So he keeps telling us at least.
“This feels good, being back in Michigan,” he said in an economic speech on Friday. “You know, the trees are the right height.” It was the second time in the week that the Michigan-born Massachusetts governor praised the relative growth of the state’s flora as one of his favorite features.
But are they the right height? And is it a really weird thing to bring up? TPM set out to discover the truth of the matter (take that, Politifact) and found an intense horticultural debate that crosses traditional partisan lines.
Let’s start with the most fundamental question: how tall are they? We asked David Neumann, a silviculturist with the state Department of Natural Resources’ forest division, to run down the basics.
“The hardwoods can range from 50 feet at maturity to about 100 to 120 feet,” he said. “Most hardwood forests are right around 70 to 80 feet tall.”
Romney’s deep emotional attachment to arboreal matters may explain why he’s spent so much time in Massachusetts, where he was a student, businessman, and governor, and New Hampshire, where he currently has a home. According to Neumann, Michigan’s trees are “fairly similar” to the New England region: “The trees are probably not that much different in height out there.” "
"Still, Michiganders are intensely divided as to whether Michigan’s tree height is fair game.
“It’s bizarre,” state Democratic chair Mark Brewer told TPM when asked about Romney’s line “Nobody in Michigan talks about Michigan that way.”
Portia Coates, 24, a waitress in Warren, Michigan was just confused when we asked her about Romney’s line.
“I have never heard anyone say that in my life,” she said. “I’m all about ‘Go green,’ but who cares how tall the trees are?”
But even among some of Romney’s political opponents in the state, there’s some shared affection for the loftiness of Michigan vegetation. Believe it or not, the Detroit area used to be known as the City of Trees. Well, before Dutch elm disease, overdevelopment, and a host of other maladies wiped them out, at least.
State Sen. Arlan Meekhoff (R), a Rick Santorum supporter, has no objections to the tree talk even as he believes Romney has failed to connect with Michigan residents in general. "
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