June 2, 2012

Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell: Democrats "made a mistake" pursuing the recall against Scott Walker.

He's responding to a remark by Joe Scarborough that contains a really annoying misstatement of fact:
"I hate politicians when they're asked, what mistake -- like George Bush was asked after four years, what mistakes have you made? 'I can't think of any.' When Scott Walker comes out and says, 'I messed up. I should have listened first before going out and doing what I did. I won't make that mistake again.' Again, you sit there and, go, 'hey, the guy is comfortable in his own skin.'"
Rendell then says:
"And conversely, our guys made a mistake by not -- at that point -- raising the victory flag. They'd accomplished a lot of what they wanted to accomplish, declare victory. Don't get an election that's divisive, that may have an influence on the presidential election. We made a mistake doing that."
But Scott Walker didn't say I should have listened first. He said he should have explained and won more popular support:
The mistake I made early on is, I looked at it almost like the head of a small business: identify a problem, identify a solution and go out and do it... I don't think we built enough of a political case, so we let ... the national organizations come in and define the debate while we were busy just getting the job done."
He's been very consistent about that. It's Tom Barrett's argument that what the governor ought to do is sit down with everyone, listen, focus, work together, etc. That's not Scott Walker. Walker had a plan, got elected, and put the plan into play. He just wished after the fact that he'd controlled the public discourse better.

51 comments:

ndspinelli said...

Nobody knew Rendell drank until he showed up sober one day.

Andy R. said...

Walker had a plan, got elected, and put the plan into play.

I don't normally participate in these Walker threads or follow Wisconsin politics, but I have a question some people might be able to answer.

One of the arguments I heard a while ago is that Walker was doing things that hadn't come up in the campaign. That he didn't campaign saying he was going to limit the collective bargaining rights of public unions.

I'm much more sympathetic to the idea of a recall if a politician campaigns without talking about something and then enacts it once they are in office.

How much of this union stuff was a part of the campaign? How much did Walker talk about it in advance?

Anyone have any memories of this from following the campaign, or links to articles about debates or newspaper endorsements or articles from during the protests that say how much of this was discussed before Walker was elected.

cubanbob said...

The public sector unions are getting a wake up call. The taxpayers neither need or want them. The message is don't like the new terms then don't let your ass hit the door on the way out. The November election is about the taxpayers redistributing their tax money back to them and not to the moochers.

Ann Althouse said...

@Andy That's one of the most discussed topics.

How specific are candidates supposed to be? It's a general pattern of politics that candidates keep things rather general, e.g., hope and change. What's your standard for calling special elections on politicians who get more specific once in office?

By the same token, since Barrett is being *completely* non-specific, how could your thinking ever lead to a conclusion to vote for Barrett. Barrett resists saying even *one* thing about what he would do. He acts like it's all just a process of listening and focusing, in other words, utter bullshit. Even when called on this utter bullshit, as at the last debate, he simply bullshits.

Chuck66 said...

Agree with AA. Tom "man, now people think I'm a douchebag" Barrett has said virtually nothing about what specific things he will do as Governor. Especially if the Democrats get control of the legislature.

So that means we can recall him since anything he does as governor was not spelled out while he was running for the office.

Chip S. said...

By that standard, Andy, FDR should've been recalled if such a thing had been possible:

Campaigning against President Herbert Hoover in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt told a rally in Pittsburgh that he would cut federal spending and balance the budget if elected. Instead, President Roosevelt launched the New Deal with its massive increases in government spending. When FDR sought reelection four years later, Republicans recalled the Pittsburgh speech and assailed him for fiscal inconsistency. FDR asked his speechwriter, Sam Rosenman, how he should respond. "Deny you were ever in Pittsburgh," Rosenman quipped.

Getting back to the present, I don't think anything Walker's done couldn't be undone after the next regular election cycle. Of course that would allow enough time to elapse so that the effects of Walker's policies would be evident.

I'll leave it to you to figure out why the public employees' union leaders didn't think that was a wise strategy.

Larry J said...

It's Tom Barrett's argument that what the governor ought to do is sit down with everyone, listen, focus, work together, etc.

In other words, the same tired political class strategy of endless meetings before coming to a bland compromise that's promptly ignored (debt commission, anyone?).

In military circles, there are several strategies for detecting and attacking problems. One is the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act) made famous by the late Col. Boyd, a masterful fighter pilot and tactician. Get inside your opponent's OODA loop and he's in real trouble. This appears to be the strategy Romney is using quite effectively against Obama.

Another approach is F2T2EA (find, fix, track, target, engage, assess). It appears Walker used this approach against the public employee unions. He found a problem, locked onto it, tracked it, targeted it, engaged it and then assessed the results. This is the exact opposite of the "paralysis by analysis" approach so in favor by the political class. You can actual achieve measureable results instead of just holding endless meetings to discuss the agenda for meetings (preferably at expensive resorts at taxpayer expense).

James said...

I just got back home from a Tea Party Rally here in Racine County. The unofficial estimate is that at least 6,000 people attended. Speakers included Rep. Paul Ryan, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, Vicki McKenna, Dana Loesch, State Senator Van Wanggaard and a few others. We're fired up and ready to go on Tuesday.

I'm still going through the photos I took but here are a few I've uploaded so far: Wisconsin Forward - Victory 2012

More photos, including some of the crowds, to come....

Carol said...

Americans think it sounds nice to be humble and admit mistakes or apologize, but it's just an opening for your enemies to then say "ahHA! He admits it! He's incompetent!! what other mistakes did he make?" and so forth. A fucking game.

So I think it's smarter for a pol to be like Bush not even go there.

Andy R. said...

What's your standard for calling special elections on politicians who get more specific once in office?

If a politician has a specific plan in mind that they want to enact and don't mention it during a campaign because they think it would cause them to lose the election, then I think they are fair game for a recall.

Our political system is in trouble if politicians think they should keep their plans secret during a campaign, win the election, and then enact their secret plans.

Like I said, I don't know how close Walker is to this description.

Original Mike said...

Walker said he was going to balance the budget without raising taxes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how. And, in fact, the public sector unions did figure it out, as evidenced by their literature pre-election.

Frankly, I think Walker did it the only way he could have. Not sit down and "listen" to everybody, not "work together". It needed to be done. He had the votes and he did it. What he didn't do was rub it in people's faces with a proclamation of "I won".

Chip S. said...

AndyR, As a regular here you are surely aware that Obama campaigned on a promise to cut the deficit in half. He also opposed an individual health-insurance mandate.

The point is, this happens all the time.

All. The. Time.

Your concerns about Scott Walker are so selective as to constitute concern trolling.

Rusty said...

AndyR@ 3:06

You mean like Obama.

edutcher said...

Rendell's answer reflects the weasel he is (he was Mr Plea Bargain when he was Philly DA). If the Demos thought they were justified, no reason not to try the recall, but Fast Eddie's take?

"And conversely, our guys made a mistake by not -- at that point -- raising the victory flag. They'd accomplished a lot of what they wanted to accomplish, declare victory."

I suppose Hatman would want FDR recalled for getting involved in that war thing.

Andy R. said...

He also opposed an individual health-insurance mandate.

Do you think Obama had a secret plan to pass the health care bill that was eventually signed during the campaign?

I think it's clear that Obama was forced to compromise and the health care bill we got was a function of the various veto players involved.

Politicians break their promises all the time. I'm not objecting to that, in principle.

I'm saying, if Walker had a big important major plan for Wisconsin, and he kept it a secret because he thought he would lose the election if he announced it, then that is a bad thing.

Maguro said...

If a politician has a specific plan in mind that they want to enact and don't mention it during a campaign because they think it would cause them to lose the election, then I think they are fair game for a recall.

Guess we better recall Obama, then, because he came out against the individual mandate during the campaign, then implemented it once he got elected.

traditionalguy said...

So Joe Scarbrough is apologising for Walker's mistake using Walker as a vantriloquists dummy.

Rendell just agreed that the re-call was a big mistake. It's more of the Clintonista's new counter-revolution push back against Obama/Pelosi radicals to position themselves for 2016's run.

Chip S. said...

AndyR, Do you not know that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress at the time PPACA was passed?

Do you not know that Scott Walker's reforms similarly had to be passed by the WI legislature, which is why the fleebaggers fled the state?

Either you don't know nearly enough to be commenting here, or you've made it very clear that you only object to politicians who carry out policies you don't like.

Which isn't much of a moral principle.

Original Mike said...

"Do you think Obama had a secret plan to pass the health care bill that was eventually signed during the campaign?"

It wasn't secret to anybody who was paying attention.

Marshal said...

The Walker sage is quite revealing. Walker took over dire financial circumstances, enacted reasonable solutions the vast majority of the citizens support, and the state is much better off as a result. The only real conclusion is that Democrats freak out over absolutely anything and therefore even involving them in the process is counterproductive and a waste of time.

Marshal said...

"Do you think Obama had a secret plan to pass the health care bill that was eventually signed during the campaign?"

He certainly had a plan to throw money at the issue. But I don't think anyone can claim he had any kind of plan during the campaign since he didn't even know what was in the bill until after it passed.

Curious George said...

Original Mike said...
Walker said he was going to balance the budget without raising taxes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how. And, in fact, the public sector unions did figure it out, as evidenced by their literature pre-election.

Frankly, I think Walker did it the only way he could have. Not sit down and "listen" to everybody, not "work together". It needed to be done. He had the votes and he did it. What he didn't do was rub it in people's faces with a proclamation of "I won".

That's the key...coming into the election he did not have the votes in the Senate, and few predicted what did happened...a GOP takeover...would happen. Not only did the GOP control the Assembly by a wide margin, but now also the Senate. ANd he acted.

MayBee said...

What does Rendell think his guys got so much of? What would he have them raising the victory flag for?

Original Mike said...

"The only real conclusion is that Democrats freak out over absolutely anything and therefore even involving them in the process is counterproductive and a waste of time."

Their intransigence over reform of Social Security and Medicare is going to come to the same end. Hopefully, conservatives (note, I do not mean Republicans) can gain control before the progams are beyond saving and the people counting on them, and indeed the entire country, are severely harmed.

Titus said...

This place has become a total wingnut factory.

If it isn't how evil Democrats are, it is Needy trolling on libtard sites and the oldy crowd here saying to unemployed lawn boy YOU GO! Pathetic.

I guess it pays the bills, but Helen, please, less politics and more tits.

And you are definitely not the fag attraction anymore, with the exception of morbidly obese invisible fags.

But that's definitely a good thing because they are like 1 percent of the population and who needs that loud and gross population anyway.

tits.

AJ Lynch said...

Rendell is a POS. I bet he was all for the recall until it started to go down in flames.

Bailey said...

C'mon. Does anyone really trust Walker on anything he says? The only time you get any truth from him is when he's talking to billionaire donors. Just be honest righties, you know he lies every minute, about everything, you just don't care. Go Team Red!

He does posses a savant-like ability to lie and deflect criticism though.

LincolnTf said...

The best part of this massive failure by Big Labor is that the shit-for-brains protesters showed the world what the Left was really like. Trashing buildings, abandoning their classrooms, fleeing their responsibilities as elected representatives, sucking up to scuzzy gazillionaires like Lerner, Hoffa and Michael Moore all while masquerading as "champions of the little guy". All of this was a disgrace, but it will be a profitable one for the country in the end.

alan markus said...

Looking at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsement of Walker for Governor in 2010, it's hard to say that what he has done came from out of nowhere:

But in a time of economic peril and at a time when government must be reformed, it's time to throw away the playbook.

And there is this: Democrats have held the governorship and two legislative houses and have failed to demonstrate they could collaborate even among themselves to address problems that don't even rise to the level of systemic and structural.

Note: I don't know that Barrett has used the word "collaborate", but a lot of his "sit down and talk" sounds like code for collaboration.

Walker was elected Milwaukee's County executive in 2002 amid a pension scandal that drove his predecessor and others from office, and he manages an institution with financial travails and other dynamics that mirror the state's:

• Structural deficits promising future implosion.

• A constant tension between what is necessary and what is affordable.

• The need to exact concessions from public employee unions.

• An intransigent legislative body, in many ways in thrall to these interests.


Walker's habit of upending the status quo has been a disquieting reality for a County Board with a majority that obstructs progress as much as it acts as a check on the county executive. Walker's approach has put public employee unions on notice that, though no one diminishes the value of the members' work, they cannot be exempt from the economic distress that plagues the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

Editorial | For Wisconsin Governor...
Walker offers toughness, experience


Seems like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was right on.

Michael Haz said...

Tom Barrett's "sit at the table, and work things out" method of governance has worked only once during his tenure as Milwaukee mayor.

This year, because he used the provisions of Act 10.

I was at the Racine Tea Party today. It drew about 5 times more attendees than did the Barret / Clinton rally yesterday in Milwaukee.

I especially enjoyed the groups carrying signs that read "Teamsters For Walker" and "Union Teachers For Walker".

And Rebecca Kleefisch is a full-on babe, by the way.

Seeing Red said...

I wasn't aware Walker was using "It's Bush's fault" to deflect. Can you give a link?

Alex said...

The left make a valid point - if Walker had made union busting the centerpiece of his 2010 campaign he would not have won. Let's face it - Wisconsin is deep blue and no amount of wishing can change it. Walker is trying to stuff super conservative policies down the throat of a WI electorate that doesn't really stomach it.

Alex said...

Bailey - if Scott Walker said the sky was blue you would call it a lie.

James said...

I was at the Racine Tea Party today. It drew about 5 times more attendees than did the Barret / Clinton rally yesterday in Milwaukee.

I especially enjoyed the groups carrying signs that read "Teamsters For Walker" and "Union Teachers For Walker".

And Rebecca Kleefisch is a full-on babe, by the way.


You should have said hello.

alan markus said...

Walker is trying to stuff super conservative policies down the throat of a WI electorate that doesn't really stomach it.

But to some it has become a newly aquired taste, for others they may find it not very tasty but necessary medicine, hence Walker seems to have an even chance of winning.

Cedarford said...

Titus said...
This place has become a total wingnut factory.
===================
Unlike you, who posted how sexually attracted you were to the Haitian-American cannibal, Rudy Eugene.

Seeing Red said...

--Wisconsin is deep blue and no amount of wishing can change it---


W lost WI by 15K votes in which election? I think it was 2000.


And there was probably vote fraud.


IL appears deep blue but it isn't either. There is red in this state.

edutcher said...

If Hatman really thinks Dictator Zero didn't have his sights set on ZeroCare from day 1, I want to be the one who gets to sell him that bridge in Brooklyn.

Seeing Red said...

--The only time you get any truth from him is when he's talking to billionaire donors.--


Bitter clingers.


Didn't your parents ever teach you believe about 25% of what you hear, see or read?

rick said...

As a Pennsylvanian, Eddie Rendell was my governor. In his last year in office, Rendell increased spending $1.5 billion, $1 billion of which was a one-time infusion of federal stimulus money. He did this knowing the succeeding governor, in this case rRepublican Tom Corbett, would have to raise taxes or cut spending. As a good Republican, he chose to cut spending and the teachers unions are howling. What goes around, comes around.

Steve Koch said...

Alex said...
"The left make a valid point - if Walker had made union busting the centerpiece of his 2010 campaign he would not have won. Let's face it - Wisconsin is deep blue and no amount of wishing can change it. Walker is trying to stuff super conservative policies down the throat of a WI electorate that doesn't really stomach it."

According to wikipedia, the central point of Walker's campaign was that gov spending had to be reduced and he was going to reduce it by cutting the salaries and benefits of the gov workers (who were all union members).

All this revisionary bs by Alex is just bs. Alex keeps repeating it because he either has a profound inability to learn or is an in the closet lefty who pathetically pretends that he isn't (or both).

The Walker reforms meant the state unions can no longer enslave state workers (i.e. by compulsory confiscatorial dues paying), so most have left their state unions in the last year.

If Wisconsin is such a lefty state, why did they elect a GOP gov, senate, and house and why are Walker's reforms so popular? Maybe the times are changin'. Althouse is probably right about Walker not getting recalled.

Jay said...

Yes the Dems made a mistake.

In a Presidential campaign year where money is a finite resource for a terribly unpopular President, the Democrats decided to waste $10+ million from their labor base on a state recall.

Brilliant!

Jay said...

Can someone find me a statement by Obama from 2008 where he promised to pass an individual mandate by using the Corn-Husker kickback and reconciliation (which has never been done before)?

Because if you can't, then he should be impeached.

Thanks.

kcom said...

"Walker is trying to stuff super conservative policies down the throat of a WI electorate that doesn't really stomach it."

You'll have a hard time making that argument with a straight face if Scott Walker wins the recall election. That would mean he was elected with large legislative majorities the first time, his policies have had majority support in every poll done, and he would have been re-confirmed by a recall election after the Democrats have thrown everything they have at him. Are you ready to stipulate that that argument is a non-starter in the future if Walker is victorious on Tuesday? (Not that it's not already weak, since he's had plenty of support for what he's doing and currently leads in every poll done.)

There's also the question of your definition of "super conservative". Answer this question - if Scott Walker wins the recall which of the following statements is true:
1) His policiies are super conservative, therefore proving that Wisconsin is not "deep blue" (as you claim above) but, perhaps, deep red
2) Wisconsin is deep blue (or purple) and therefore the fact that they've elected him twice proves that his policies are not "super conservative"

Take your pick.

jeff said...

So when Titus drops his persona and goes into full asshole mode, is that another persona or is that really him? Not being one who ever got why Ann thought he is "hilarious" I can't tell.

Big Mike said...

@Alex, Walker didn't bust the unions. They still exist, and now have an opportunity to understand that they have to provide real service to their members if they want to continue to exist instead of merely channeling money to Democrats.

Otherwise they will have busted themselves.

eric said...

Most politicians, I think, are like Barrett.

"How will you do this?"

"Well, we will put together a committee that will organize a focus group, who will then look at the problem from every angle. Once this is finished, we'll take the advice from the committee and say what a great job they did, and then promptly ignore it, but recommend another committee to do pretty much the same thing."

Whenever politicians do this, we should throw them out immediately.

Pianoman said...

Titus is right. This place is a lot more interesting when folks post daily comments on the size and texture of their feces.

Less politics and more poopy. And rare clumbers!

Michael K said...

"Get inside your opponent's OODA loop and he's in real trouble. This appears to be the strategy Romney is using quite effectively against Obama."

It doesn't look that tough although the Romney people have been a pleasant surprise. Saying the Democrats lie is like saying birds sing. It's what they do.

Christine Jones said...

@Andy:

On November 28, 2011, Vicki McKenna posted a photo on her Facebook page of a WEAC flyer that was sent to its members prior to the 2010 election. The flyer is a side-by-side comparison of Walker and Barrett on issues related to union interests. On the flyer it states:

"Walker supports a bill that would take away the right of unions to negotiate health care benefits."


It also states:

"One of Walker's major campaign issues is to require all public employees to pay the employee share of the pension contribution."

Therefore, the teachers union was quite aware of Walker's agenda during the 2010 campaign...and he was elected anyway.

leslyn said...

@Andy R: to answer your question-- Walker didn't.

"Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." reagan.utexas.edu —From his Labor Day Speech at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey, September 1, 1980.