May 31, 2012

Scott Walker and Tom Barrett, together again — the second and final debate.

Tonight, at 9 Central Time.
Walker and Barrett held their first debate on Friday night. Barrett was aggressive in his attacks on Walker in that contest, but Walker stood his ground in defending his record as governor over the past 18 months.
Yes, and I wonder what Barrett will try to do this time. Last time, I think his strategy was to try to produce a moment, by being pretty irritating and disrespectful toward the governor. He repeatedly called him "Scott" (not "Governor") and repeatedly used confrontational phrases like "divide and conquer" (a phrase Walker once used, to which Walker opponents attribute great meaning) and "civil war" (a condition supposedly created by Walker, which Barrett likes to say he'll end). I think Barrett hoped to rile Walker and get a great video clip out of it. But Walker just ignored Barrett and answered the questions directed at him, sticking to the message: Our reforms are working. When one question turned out to be an invitation to Walker to ask Barrett a question, Walker said he didn't think the people of Wisconsin wanted to hear the candidates "bickering" and declined ask a question.

So Walker deflected Barrett in that first debate, and since then, Walker's numbers have climbed. Barrett got no traction. So what can he do tonight? The provoke-Walker strategy is terrible. It didn't work the first time, and now, you can predict Walker won't take the bait. He didn't take it the first time, and now he's seen it before. Barrett had better try looking gubernatorial. Be dignified and state your principles and policies in an intelligent, persuasive manner. It's not going to shake things up, and it's not likely to lead to a victory in next week's election. (Barrett is way behind in the polls.) But at least he can lose gracefully, and he can begin rebuilding the Democratic Party's reputation in Wisconsin. After the siege of the Capitol, the teachers and the fake sick-out notes, the fleeblagging to Illinois, the Hitler posters, etc. etc., show us some maturity and depth... including some depth about what their policies actually are. Last time, Barrett kept talking about how he would "focus" and "set priorities" and sit down with people and discuss what might be done. Let's have some substance. Dignified substance.

And stop trying to make "Scott" lose his cool. It's not going to happen. And it's not very gubernatorial.

Will I be live-blogging? If I and the internet live until 9 this evening, with our faculties intact, I sure will.

55 comments:

Tom Spaulding said...

...the siege of the Capitol, the teachers and the fake sick-out notes, the fleeblagging to Illinois, the Hitler posters...

Um...that WAS the full measure of their maturity and depth.

Quayle said...

Notice how the Democrats avoid talking budgets like the plague?

chickelit said...

When this whole Walker recall is finally said and done, and no matter what the outcome, I think Althouse and Meade deserve some kind of journalistic recognition.

Steve Austin said...

Here is a link that is today making the rounds of the interwebs.

It is the mayoral debate from 2004 between then Milwaukee Mayor Marvin Pratt versus challenger Tom Barrett.

http://blip.tv/MATAMCM/tom-barrett-vs-marvin-pratt-milwaukee-mayoral-debate-2004-5950961

It is great to watch con man Barrett talk about how crappy Milwaukee is and how he'll fix it. Of course 8 years later, all the metrics he talks about back then are much worse under his watch.

Great bits about how he doesn't want to "divide" the city along black/white lines. Thus there will be no fighting or division. He'll be the candidate that can defeat the sitting black mayor and still keep unity.

Barrett is also asked about his plan for economic development in Milwaukee. Barrett says he grew up with a salesman father and thus Barrett knows how to "sell". Says we need a mayor who will be a cheerleader, salesman and marketer for the city. Says he'll let people know that Milwaukee is "open for business"

ROFL.

AprilApple said...

Barret should be ignored. He's just another economically clueless democrat.

AprilApple said...

Notice how the democrats descend into nonsensical paranoid vilification mode. There is going to be a lot of that this year.
Point and laugh.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Be dignified and state your principles and policies in an intelligent, persuasive manner.

Tom will have to do some analysis and get back to you on that.

RonF said...

Ah, but will you survive the "debate" with your faculties intact?

glenn said...

Re: Maturity and depth. First you have to be mature and have some depth. Mature people don't throw statewide temper tantrums.

roesch/voltaire said...

We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund. He has moved more than $160,000 without saying who the donors are and ... aides have been charged. How is that political?” As that might cause Walker to loose his "cool."



Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/capitol-report/article_0ca3e33a-aaa4-11e1-b6df-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1wSIN0sQR

Wally Kalbacken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Hahahahahaha:

Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers-fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme's figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.


If unions are so great, why do people quit them every chance they get?

AprilApple said...

Barrett had better try looking gubernatorial. Be dignified and state your principles and policies in an intelligent, persuasive manner.
What principles? The principles of early retirement and full benefits at zero expense to the union payroll patriot? The principle that union dues are nothing more than a tax payer graft laundering scheme through which the democrats promise and deliver free stuff and early retirement to unionists while the rest of us have to work until we are 70+?

I dare Barret to talk about Obama's principle of "shared sacrifice."

Quayle said...

“the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund.

Democrats dream up charges out of thin air, then publicly react with feigned shock, disgust and amazement that 'there are charges', then point to the natural establishment of a defense fund as evidence of wrongdoing.

pauldar said...

We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund. He has moved more than $160,000 without saying who the donors are and ... aides have been charged. How is that political?” As that might cause Walker to loose his "cool."


We will have to do some analysis and get back to you on that. Guessing it will take several years, but, that is just a guess.

Dante said...

I don't think Barrett is trying to win. He is trying to inflame self righteous indignation in his smaller group of people, so they won't feel like they really lost. Only that the election wasn't fair.

dd said...

I do not think Barret should address Walker as Governor. Incumbents should have no advantage in the debate. Neither should position or anything else. Just debate ideas. (btw I support Walker)
Same thing for presidential debate. The president should not be addressed as president either everyone on first name basis or as Mr. xxxxx.

Auntie Ann said...

There's also the rabble-rouser, red-meat rout. He could go in loudly proclaiming the union cause, get his ire up over the reforms and the drop in union rolls. In short, he could try to fire up the base. And he could take the repeal pledge that he's refused to take.

Doubt that one would work either.

alan markus said...

R-V said the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund

Gee, that keeps getting mentioned, but that's a dog that won't bark.

Here are a few more "only governor in America" facts:

Scott Walker is the only governor in America with the first name of Scott.

Scott Walker is the only governor in America born in 1967.

Scott Walker is the only governor in America born on November 2nd.

Maybe this could fit into one TV spot: "Governor Scott Walker is the only governor in America born on November 2, 1967 with the first name Scott"

Beta Rube said...

If I knew how to post links I would, but here is Rick Eisenberg of Marquette Law School saying the obvious:

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/purple-wisconsin/152538495.html#!page=2&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

These ugly, unfounded attacks are all that remains for the folks who stupidly picked a fight they cannot win.

carrie said...

I didn't see the first debate, but my husband (who will be voting for Barrett) told me that Barrett blew Walker away in the first debate. I am surprised (and glad because I am a Walker supporter) to read that some people think that Walker won the first debate.

Balfegor said...

Barrett had better try looking gubernatorial.

This is incredibly superficial of me, but Walker looks a bit goofy to me. If you ignore what they say and they do, Barrett looks more gubernatorial.

Tom Spaulding said...

Tom Barrett is the only mayor in Milwaukee who fudged the crime statistics to make it look like he's actually accomplished something.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If things were really as bad in Wisconsin as the Barrett campaign would like you to believe, I'd think he wouldn't let slip a single opportunity to remind people of who the governor is.

Peter said...

"I don't think Barrett is trying to win."

Or perhaps a more complete description would be, "I'll take the governorship if it falls in my lap, but I'm not going to work all that hard for it."

Gettting on board with collective bargaining "rights" will win some union votes but not the election; the jobs numbers has ceased to be an issue; claims that public schools were hurt by budget cuts are hollow.

Perhaps he could have articulated some positive message, something he wants to accomplish as governor, but it's getting late in the day for that.

So, what's left for him to campaign with- other than shouting "John Doe! e-mails!! John DOE!!!"

Matthew Sablan said...

"We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund. He has moved more than $160,000 without saying who the donors are and ... aides have been charged. How is that political?” As that might cause Walker to loose his "cool.""

-- Why should governors not be allowed to avail themselves of legal defenses against charges? See, I don't mind that he has a legal defense fund. Just because you are charged with something doesn't mean you are guilty. Do you think that if I bring enough charges against a poor man, he should just give up and the court not provide him with a legal defense? Or, is it only certain types of people we should assume bad things about when allegations are brought against them?

Ann Althouse said...

"the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund."

Ask any lawyer or anyone knowledgeable about law whether they agree with this statement: If you're innocent, you don't need a lawyer.

Get back to me if anyone does.

Ann Althouse said...

"This is incredibly superficial of me, but Walker looks a bit goofy to me. If you ignore what they say and they do, Barrett looks more gubernatorial."

Yeah, in the "central casting" approach to government, Barrett is they guy.

How many guys have gotten elected by looking like the guy who would be given the role if this were a movie?

And yet... in that movie... would he be a good governor?

Seeing Red said...

Barrett's career is over he's tainted goods. Will he have the standing to rebuild anything?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Yeah, in the "central casting" approach to government,"

-- It worked in Air Force One and The American President.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I realize the central casting theory was only offered in jest, but I'd kind of like to see it applied in earnest. Who'd cast a President with ears like Obama's?

Original Mike said...

I read something in the article Jay quotes from (9:03 am) that was counter to what I've read elsewhere. I thought the state had stopped automatically collecting union dues from workers paychecks. The article stated that, after expiration of the current contract, the state will only deduct union dues from the checks of workers that request it. Anybody know about this?

Petunia said...

I wonder if the John Doe is even really still being actively pursued by the DA's office, or if they're just keeping it out there until after the election to try to make the Governor look bad.

Governor Walker hasn't lost his cool in public yet, despite 16 months of being treated in the vilest manner by the idiots out there. I doubt he'll lose it in the next few days.

edutcher said...

From the comments it's obvious, yes, this is a dry run for November, and, no, it isn't working for the union slugs any better than it's working for President Choom.

Having put myself on record several times on the subject, I second chickelit in saying Meadhouse should get some recognition for their stellar work in covering what's happened in WI the last 16 months.

Ann Althouse said...

the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund.

Ask any lawyer or anyone knowledgeable about law whether they agree with this statement: If you're innocent, you don't need a lawyer


The innocent usually need one the most.

Best advice I ever got was from a former Philly cop who, when I mentioned a problem I was having (civil, not criminal), told me, "Get a lawyer".

Balfegor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
"This is incredibly superficial of me, but Walker looks a bit goofy to me. If you ignore what they say and they do, Barrett looks more gubernatorial."

Yeah, in the "central casting" approach to government, Barrett is they guy.

How many guys have gotten elected by looking like the guy who would be given the role if this were a movie?


JFK?




roesch/voltaire said...
We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund. He has moved more than $160,000 without saying who the donors are and ... aides have been charged. How is that political?” As that might cause Walker to loose his "cool."



And you have no curiosity about our president's involvement with Tony Rezko, his political fixer friends.

MadisonMan said...

Ask any lawyer or anyone knowledgeable about law whether they agree with this statement: If you're innocent, you don't need a lawyer.

Won't any lawyer say that you need a lawyer? It seems like the alternative is admitting that they (the lawyer) is in a job that exists only to make things inefficient.

Original Mike said...

"Governor Walker hasn't lost his cool in public yet, despite 16 months of being treated in the vilest manner by the idiots out there."

He really has shown remarkable restraint. I bet he picks up significant independent support just based on the contrast between his behavior vs. the mobs.

MadisonMan said...

This is incredibly superficial of me, but Walker looks a bit goofy to me.

I think it's his hair that makes the goofiness.

cubanbob said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
I realize the central casting theory was only offered in jest, but I'd kind of like to see it applied in earnest. Who'd cast a President with ears like Obama's?

5/31/12 9:41 AM

Notice that the only succesful democrat presidents are the fictional ones?

cubanbob said...

roesch/voltaire said...
We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund. He has moved more than $160,000 without saying who the donors are and ... aides have been charged. How is that political?” As that might cause Walker to loose his "cool."

Pray that Walker loses. If he wins, and decides to return the favor, I suspect a lot of WI democrats couldn't get a clean bill of health from a special prosecutor. Nationally, pray Romney loses. There are going to be a lot of democrats going to prison in the next few years as well.

Michael The Magnificent said...

When one question turned out to be an invitation to Walker to ask Barrett a question, Walker said he didn't think the people of Wisconsin wanted to hear the candidates "bickering" and declined ask a question.

Don't ask a question, unless you know what the answer is going to be.

Seeing Red said...

Lololol EJ Dionne's op-ed about Walker & the comments are very entertaining.

cubanbob said...

Being an outsider I can't really comment on the minutia
of WI politics. That said it would be best for Walker to draw a clear and distinct line: he (Walker) represents the taxpayers, Barnett represents the public sector employees and the self-entitled. Simple, clear and 100% factually correct. Romney should do the same.
Let the taxpayers think it through (about one nanosecond is all that is required) to come to their respective conclusions. In short, who do the taxpayers work for? Themselves or for the public sector? What are they paying taxes for? Entitlements that don't benefit them and to overpay public sector employees above their market rate? It's that simple. Romney should do the same.

Barger said...

So Walker deflected Barrett in that first debate, and since then, Walker's numbers have climbed. Barrett got no traction.

How do you figure? The vast majority of this poll was conducted prior to the debate.

geokstr said...

I still hope they aske Barrett:

"How would you have eliminated Milwaukee's deficit without Gov Walker's reforms, and without signifant layoffs and tax increases".

ndspinelli said...

MadisonMan, I have to agree w/ Althouse about the lawyer thing. I generally and genuinely don't like lawyers. But, if you're the target of a criminal investigtion you most certainly need one.

PatCA said...

So what can he do tonight?

Call in sick.

Jay said...

roesch/voltaire said...
We must not ask questions about “the reality is Walker is the only governor in America with a criminal defense fund.


I remember when Bill Clinton was the only President in America with a legal defense fund.

You were all outraged about that, right?

*GIGGLE*

PackerBronco said...

Call in sick.
------------------

There are some doctors in Madison who will be very happy to write him a note.

Original Mike said...

Jay: +1

Seven Machos said...

I lived in Washington DC during W. Bush's Iraq War days. One weekend day, there was a big protest. My wife and I went, for the spectacle. It was a lot like a homecoming parade, except that the floats were goofy leftist creations.

I also worked at the State Department through all of the rigmarole about Gunatanamo and the torture and humiliation of opposing forces.

I mention all this because I want to ask you a question: what is Obama's foreign policy? Do you like it?

I love it. We still have Guantanamo. We still are in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are at covert war all over the place. We aren't taking prisoners; we're just killing bad guys outright. It's totally awesome. We are kicking ass and taking names.

So, Obama has continued Bush's policies -- the very policies that goofy leftists spent so much energy protesting and bitching about.

And that, my haus friends, is exactly what any successor of Walker will do. He or she -- Democrat or Republican -- will continue Walker's policies toward unions and pensions that the left so raged about. Because they work. Because they are necessary.

You know I am right. But why is it so vital to protest these policies but not then do anything to overturn them? That's bizarre political behavior.

Ann Althouse said...

"I didn't see the first debate, but my husband (who will be voting for Barrett) told me that Barrett blew Walker away in the first debate. I am surprised (and glad because I am a Walker supporter) to read that some people think that Walker won the first debate."

When I was 9, I got to see my first presidential debate. JFK and Nixon. I was excited by this obviously important event, and after it was over I asked my parents who they thought won. They explained to me that no one actually wins in a political debate, but both candidates attempt to sway voters.

I was embarrassed that I didn't already know that, and I didn't say to myself I'm only 9, and this is the first debate I'm seeing. Instead, I resolved to get smarter and to be more careful about appearing naive. Step it up, Ann!

Did I mention that I was 9?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The provoke-Walker strategy is terrible. It didn't work the first time, and now, you can predict Walker won't take the bait. He didn't take it the first time, and now he's seen it before.

Maybe Barrett could slip Walker some bath salts before the debate. That should liven things up.

Dante said...

"I was embarrassed that I didn't already know that, and I didn't say to myself I'm only 9, and this is the first debate I'm seeing. Instead, I resolved to get smarter and to be more careful about appearing naive. Step it up, Ann!"

Maybe "everyone's a winner" isn't such a good idea after all.