Image - Gretchen Whitmer and her book cover
Past Event

True Gretch: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

When Gretchen Whitmer was growing up, her beloved grandmother Nino taught her that you can always find something good in other people. “Even the meanest person might have pretty eyes,” she would say. Nino’s words persuaded Whitmer to look for the good in any person or situation—just one of many colorful personal experiences that have shaped her political vision. (And, as Whitmer writes, one that resonated more than another piece of advice her grandmother offered, to “never part your hair in the middle.”)

Learn what went into the making of Michigan’s governor and rising Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer when she comes to Commonwealth Club World Affairs to discuss the principles and instincts that have shaped her extraordinary career, from her early days as a lawyer and legislator and her 2018 election as governor of Michigan, to her bold and innovative actions as she led the state through a series of unprecedented crises. Her motto in politics, she writes, is to “get s--t done.”

Whitmer shares the lessons in resilience that steered her through some of the most challenging events in Michigan’s history, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a 500-year flood, the rise of domestic terrorism, and the fierce fight to protect reproductive rights. Along the way, she’ll tell stories about the outsize characters in her family, her lifelong clumsy streak, the wild comments she’s heard on the campaign trail, her self-deprecating social media campaigns (including her star turn as a talking potato with lipstick), and the slyly funny tactics she deploys to neutralize her opponents.

The Detroit Free Press wrote “There's more national interest in Gov. Whitmer than any Michigan prospective candidate since Gerald Ford.” Come find out why.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Photo by CJ Benninger.

July 16, 2024

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer

Governor of Michigan (D); Author, True Gretch: What I’ve Learned About Life, Leadership, and Everything in Between; X @gretchenwhitmer

Image - Laurene Powell Jobs

In Conversation with Laurene Powell Jobs

Entrepreneur; Founder and President, Emerson Collective