An arms-length embrace seems like a contradiction in terms, though in politics it can be a posture-as-usual.
That contortion -- close, but not too -- is displayed as prospective gubernatorial challenger James Craig shapes careful replies to media inquiries about the fellow Republican who lost the last presidential election.
Craig Mauger of The Detroit sketches the acrobatics at a Monday media conference by the former Detroit police chief in Birmingham:
Craig, who is exploring a Republican campaign for Michigan governor, says he would accept Donald Trump's endorsement if offered but he wants to be defined as himself, not the former president. ...
"If the president gives me his endorsement, I’ll accept it," Craig told reporters. "But I want to be defined as James Craig, not Donald Trump." ...
Asked if he believed the  election was stolen from Trump, Craig said: ... "I don't have that information."
He also sidestepped a question about Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt on Capitol Hill.
The 25-minute briefing after a private discussion with law enforcement leaders and Republican lawmakers "was his first formal question-and-answer session with a group of reporters since retiring as Detroit police chief on June 1 to pursue his potential campaign," The News says.
At the Freep, Clara Henrickson notes:
He declined to say whether Trump bears any responsibility for the [Capitol] violence that was followed by the death of some law enforcement officers.
"Here’s the way I look at it: I don't care about your ideology, I’m law enforcement. What happened at the insurrection should not have happened. Those folks should and are being held accountable."