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|United States Ambassador to Canada|
August 19, 1993 - March 29, 1996
|45th Governor of Michigan|
January 1, 1983 - January 1, 1991
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Michigan's 18th district
January 3, 1975 - January 1, 1983
|Robert J. Huber|
James Johnston Blanchard
August 8, 1942
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Paula Blanchard (Divorced 1987)|
|Education||Michigan State University (BA, MBA)|
University of Minnesota (JD)
James Johnston Blanchard (born August 8, 1942) is an American politician, attorney, and former diplomat from Michigan. A Democrat, Blanchard has served in the United States House of Representatives, as the 45th Governor of Michigan, and as United States Ambassador to Canada.
Blanchard was born in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up and attended the public schools in Ferndale, Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in 1964 and an MBA in 1965. Blanchard received a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1968 and was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan soon after.
He commenced practice in Lansing and served as legal advisor to the Michigan Secretary of State, 1968-1969. He was Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, 1969-1974, administrative assistant to the attorney general, 1970-1971, and assistant deputy attorney general, 1971-1972. In 1974 he joined the law firm of Beer and Boltz, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Blanchard was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives from Michigan's 18th District for the 94th United States Congress and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1975 to January 1, 1983. During that time, he was responsible for legislation providing federal loan guarantees for Chrysler Corporation that saved the company from a likely bankruptcy.
Blanchard opted not to run for re-election to the U.S. House in 1982 and was elected Governor of Michigan, defeating Republican Richard Headlee, a Farmington Hills insurance company executive. Blanchard served two terms as governor (1983-1991) until his defeat by Republican state senator John Engler in 1990. Blanchard was the first Democratic governor to serve in 20 years since John Swainson, who left office in 1963.
On January 1, 1983, he took over what was described as "the toughest governor's job in America." His state faced a $1.7 billion deficit, the threat of bankruptcy, record high unemployment of more than 17 percent and the worst credit rating in America. Working with leaders of business, labor, education and local government, the governor put together a strategy for Michigan's future and made the tough decisions necessary to keep it on track. Blanchard completed his work as Michigan's 45th governor having balanced eight consecutive state budgets, improving the state's credit rating, established a $422 million "rainy-day fund," and producing a solvency dividend of more than $1 billion in savings from reduced borrowing costs.
Newsweek credited Governor Blanchard with leading "one of the most dramatic economic turnabouts in the recent history of state government," and national publications such as U.S. News & World Report listed him among the best governors in America, one of the innovators and energizers who made things work in an era of declining federal aid. However, Blanchard lost his second re-election campaign in 1990.
After losing the gubernatorial election to John Engler in 1990, Blanchard became a partner in the Washington law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand. He also chaired Bill Clinton's successful campaign for president in Michigan in 1992.
President Bill Clinton appointed him Ambassador to Canada, a position he held from 1993 to 1996. In 2002, Blanchard again ran for governor but lost his primary bid to Jennifer Granholm. As of 2004 , he is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of DLA Piper U.S. and resides in Beverly Hills, Michigan. He serves as Chairman of Meridian International Center and on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Law and Politics at the University of Minnesota Law School and is Vice President of the Foundation for the National Archives. Blanchard is also co-chair of the Canada-United States Law Institute.
Blanchard served as a member of the "Debt Reduction Task Force" at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He is on the board of directors at Enbridge, and was a board member of Nortel  and Chrysler Group LLC ( 2009-2012).
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Robert J. Huber
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 18th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Michigan
1982, 1986, 1990
| Chair of the Democratic Governors Association
| Governor of Michigan
| United States Ambassador to Canada