Michigan: Brief Romance

Of the 20 new U.S. governors who took office this year, none was more eager to get going than Michigan's John Swainson. But by last week, like many another freshman Governor across the U.S., Democrat Swainson, 35, had discovered that campaign saying was a far cry from in-office doing.

Swainson stepped into the shoes of Democratic Governor G. Mennen ("Soapy") Williams, whose six terms of financial feuding with Michigan's Republican legislature had teetered the state to the brink of bankruptcy. After Soapy, anyone would have looked good to the G.O.P. legislators, and...

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