Introducing Mike Michaud

Mike Michaud, the Democratic Congressman for the second district and candidate for governor, released a three-minute biographical video in an effort to introduce the candidate to Maine voters.

It’s the first video spot in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, which will pit Michaud against incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent candidate and businessman Eliot Cutler.

The idea of a video introduction for Michaud is going to strike you one of two ways, depending on where you live: If you live in Maine’s wide, rural 2nd Congressional District (and you’re reading this blog), you probably know most of the information contained in Michaud’s video spot; From his 29 years “punching the clock” at the Great Northern Paper Company mill in East Millinocket to his term sharing the Maine Senate Presidency with Republican Rick Bennett when the Democrats and GOP evenly split the vote in 2000. (Steve Mistler at the PPH had a story about the shared presidency last week. It’s worth checking out.)

However, if you’re a voter in the 1st District, in southern Maine, you’ve been looking at the names Chellie Pingree or Tom Allen next to the “D” on your Congressional ballot for as long as Michaud’s been in office. You may know Michaud’s name, but not know much about him. This video was made for you.

In casual conversations ever since it became clear Michaud would set his sights on The Blaine House, campaign insiders and political scientists alike have told me that one of Michaud’s challenges will be winning over 1st District voters who generally prefer their Democrats to be crusading progressives. Michaud, a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats, is anything but.

This video could be interpreted as his first effort to introduce himself as a palatable candidate to southern Maine voters. Notice the pitch to environmentalists: In the video, Michaud says it was concern for the health of the Penobscot River that drove him to seek public office.

In the clip, Michaud doesn’t mention either of his opponents by name, but makes a veiled reference to LePage  — who earns the state national media coverage whenever he makes an off-the-cuff incendiary remark — when he says the governor should be “someone Mainers can be proud of.”

You can watch the video below.

Mario Moretto

About Mario Moretto

Mario Moretto has been a Maine journalist, in print and online publications, since 2009. He joined the Bangor Daily News in 2012, first as a general assignment reporter in his native Hancock County and, now, in the State House. Mario left the BDN in 2015.