Former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm left Michigan’s gubernatorial seat 10 months ago, but her calendar is still full.
Granholm — whose term ended last January — is now a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches a public policy class. Other projects on Granholm’s agenda include promoting her new book, advocating for clean energy development and preparing for a political talk show she will host beginning in January.
Granholm said in a phone interview with The Michigan Daily that leaving office has given her free time to pursue other interests.
“I am loving it,” Granholm said. “I get to choose the projects that I’m working on, (and) I am completely excited and energized by the students in my class who are going to be the next leaders of the country and the state.”
Granholm said she chose to move to California earlier this year to be closer to her family and to take advantage of potential job opportunities at Berkeley and Stanford University. Granholm said that ultimately, Berkeley was “very persuasive” in encouraging her to teach at the University. Her class is geared toward public policy and law students and focuses on the difficulties of governing in times of economic crisis.
“It’s a survey of the most difficult problems facing executives in (government),” Granholm said. “We are looking at issues related to the economy (and) how a president create(s) jobs in America in a global economy. That is the critical question now facing the presidential campaign.”
Several of Granholm’s post-gubernatorial pursuits are related to Michigan’s economic struggles. The book she and her husband Dan Mulhern co-authored this year, “A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future,” conveys her experiences as Michigan’s governor to the rest of the country and showcases how Michigan is an example of the United States’ struggling economy.
“The central message (of the book) is what’s happening to the country happened to Michigan first,” Granholm said. “I think Michigan has lessons for the country. We wrote it so that people could follow (along and) learn as we learned what was going on in Michigan.”
Granholm has promoted the book nationally and spoke in Ann Arbor on Sept. 27 with Mulhern. They discussed Granholm’s time as governor and the condition of the global economy, among other topics.
“The structure of our economy has changed due to globalization,” Granholm said. “In this century, when our economic competitors are aggressively (interfering) in the market, (passivity will make us) bystanders to the perpetual loss of American jobs.”
Granholm said she plans to continue to give her political opinions on her upcoming show for Current TV, “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” which is set to debut in 2012. The show will cover the election season and feature political commentators. Granholm said she was recruited to host the show by former Vice President Al Gore, who co-founded Current TV in 2005.
Despite her experience in the political arena, Granholm said she will not run for another public office position in the future.
“I served for 12 years, and that was a great privilege, and now I’m eager to turn the page and write some new chapters,” Granholm said.