September 10, 2013

Should Wisconsin Democrats go left to challenge Scott Walker?

Here's Paul Fanlund in the Capital Times fretting that Scott Walker-haters will be too mean to Mary Burke, the wealthy moderate who might run as a Democrat in next year's gubernatorial election.
With Walker gallivanting around the country, playing to tea party rallies and fancying himself as presidential timber, everything about the modest Burke suggests a polar opposite to our egomaniacal governor.

Stories speculating on her running hinted at GOP lines of attack: she is a millionaire dilettante, despite the fact she drives a Prius and lives in a modest Madison home. In truth, she is widely lauded for backing up her charitable contributions with hands-on interactions....

[She has] a Georgetown degree in finance and a Harvard MBA; Walker, of course, never finished college.

... [S]wing voters in Wisconsin are bone-weary after three years of unremitting political combat and, while they are turned off by Walker, are likely unimpressed by over-the-top outrage against him.
That sounds sensible to me, a Wisconsin swing voter, but if Democrats believe Walker is almost surely going to win, they might prefer a firebrand who can cause him some pain. That's exactly what didn't happen in the 2012 recall election, when the candidate was the dull Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who'd already lost to Walker in the 2010 election.

All the passion of the 2011 protests petered out to an anticlimax. Who wants that again? People like Fanlund who want a shot at winning.

My advice for them is: Forefront how Burke is not like Barrett. If Burke is another Barrett and Democrats feel they're going to lose anyway, they'll cry for a fiery lefty. Why not?

27 comments:

cubanbob said...

The WI democrats should go left. Why deny who you are. If the WI swing voters want to pay higher taxes then they will vote for them. If not, then so be it. A moderate democrat is no different than a moderate republican-just a lite version of the opposite party. Me tooism isn't a solution.

EDH said...

Would a lefty firebrand cause Walker "some pain" much outside Madison?

Birkel said...

Althouse is a swing voter? Why, because you voted for George W. Bush over Kerry in 2004?

I guess that means Hillary Rodham Clinton is a swing politician because she worked for Barry Goldwater in 1964.

And Ronald Reagan was a swing voter because he once voted for Democrats.

Give up, Professor. You are blinkered.

Auntie Ann said...

A: Yes, please!

Strelnikov said...

Normally, I'd hope they would go as far to the left as possible - but then again, there is Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Seeing Red said...

Why is she considered a moderate? Why is she wealthy, if she cares so much why can't she get by on less?

AJ Lynch said...

I have two Trek bikes and was kinda disappointed to learn the owners were libs.

Meade said...

Where is the Draft Russ Feingold movement? Is he no longer worshipped by the Wisconsin Left?

mrs. e said...

"Is he no longer worshipped by the Wisconsin Left?"

Respected as a spokesperson/elderstatesman, yes, but as a potential candidate? No.

Inga said...

I think she sounds just about perfect. Successful, wealthy and yet not selfish.

sonicfrog said...

As I wrote last week, if the Wisconsin employment number stay stagnant as they are now, ceterus paribus, the Dems will probably have an easy time gaining some political territory back.

Hagar said...

Fox Butterfield; is that you?

Marshal said...

everything about the modest Burke suggests a polar opposite to our egomaniacal governor...

... [S]wing voters in Wisconsin are bone-weary after three years of unremitting political combat and, while they are turned off by Walker, are likely unimpressed by over-the-top outrage against him.

Althouse: That sounds sensible to me, a Wisconsin swing voter


Really? Walker ran a low key campaign emphasizing common sense fiscal restraint, delivered on that agenda, and the left declared war. To an outsider the only egoish idea is that he thinks he can become President, which seems at least somewhat egomaniacal when applied to anyone. This seems a minor issue.

It seems to me the left infers egomania from the simple fact that he dares disagree with his betters, Madison leftists. The author idetintifies no other offenses.

You may be limiting your agreement to the latter portion of the comments. But it seems to me placing her opposite Walker's ego is key to her success, but the assertion relies only on this tacist conventional wisdom amongst leftists. I find it hard to believe swing voters don't place the blame for the political war on the left rather than Walker, so this seems an unlikely conclusion.

garage mahal said...

I would be curious to see Walker poll numbers these days. Around 4 months ago it was at 47%. With all the scandals swirling around him the past month it my guess is that it's gone down.

But anointing Mary Burke is the stupidest idea Democrats could have come up with. The base doesn't trust or want her. And if all the crap Walker has pulled on this state is normalized, I'd rather lose and continue to build a real movement.

wildswan said...

In Wisconsin people pretty much want to swing against whatever is there. That would help this moderate sounding person. But I think that there's going to be more Detroits. Each Detroit will make voters ask: do we want to make Milwaukee more like Detroit (Vote Democratic - We haven't learned anything) or do we want others to want their city or state to be more like Milwaukee, Wisconsin.(Vote Republican - We plan to have a future.)

BarrySanders20 said...

I love the fact that his lack of a college degree irks the leftists. They measure the worth of someone by the credential conferred by their fellow libs in academia, not by a person's actual accomplishments or successes.

Oh the embarrassment of the credentialed being governed by a credential-lacker.

By contrast, Obama is worthy. He has lots of credentials. The fact that he's a terrible leader with poor judgment means nothing to the leftist elites, because being governed by one with credentials is OK even if he actually sucks at his job because at least you don't feel embarrassed.

MadisonMan said...

Walker ran a low key campaign emphasizing common sense fiscal restraint, delivered on that agenda

Riight. Because 250,000 jobs have been created.

Walker's campaign was (1) anti-train and (2) job growth. I'd say he's batting 50/50 at most.

He's already tried -- very unsuccessfully -- to back away from his jobs claim. I have to assume that any successful campaign against him will loudly mock his piss-poor performance on jobs.

You can argue that a Governor can't create jobs. Well, then don't campaign on doing just that.

Meade said...

Walker has not "tried to back away from his jobs claim." In fact, he has succeeded in fulfilling his campaign promises. That's largely why he beat Barrett by a larger margin in the recall election than in the original election.

Walker's 2010 campaign was (1) anti-Obamatrain, (2) deficit-spending budget repair, (3) lower income taxes, and (4) job growth. He gets credit for keeping all four promises.

On job growth, Walker promised to "get government out of the way of employers ... who will then help Wisconsin create 250,000 jobs by 2015, and as we create those new jobs, we will be able to add 10,000 new businesses."

In fact, the people in the private sector of the state of Wisconsin are about one-third of the way toward reaching that 250,000 job goal.

Anti-Walkerians try to promulgate the myth that he "promised to create 250,000 jobs" because many anti-Walkerians believe the state, not the private sector, creates jobs - a grim reality for many in the city of Madison.

garage mahal said...

Walker indeed made that promise about 250,000 jobs, on more than one occasion. Walker also said he would like to have that number prominently tattooed on the body of each cabinet secretary. Ooops. . Seems to be a sore subject. Walker flaks called the Rhinelander TV station to have them take the video down where he said "it's not really about jobs."

BarrySanders20 said...

MadisonMan,

I know that got a lot of play, but look at what Walker said. He said he would get government out of the way to help Wisconsin employers to create 250,000 jobs.

It's been twisted that Walker promised 250,000 jobs as if that was some kind of guarantee. He said he would 1) get government out of the way and 2) help Wisconsin businesses create 250,000 jobs.

He has he gotten government out of the way? Maybe in some ways, certainly not in others. Has he helped businesses? In some ways, yes. Have Wisconsin businesses created 250,000 jobs? Not yet, and likely not by 2015.

So you ding him on the jobs number, but do you contend he isn't working to help? That Barrett would have done better and the next D will too? If people think Walker is helping, he'll do fine. If they think his policies suck and that's why Wisconsin businesses haven't created 250,000 jobs, he'll struggle.

It won't turn on the politfact jobs meter. Walker set a jobs target and is helping Wisconsin businesses work toward it. Calling that a promise that he broke if it doesn't come true makes little sense.

I've never been impressed with people holding Obama to the "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" either. It's not something he can control. It's aspirational rather than a promise.

Marshal said...

MadisonMan said...
Riight. Because 250,000 jobs have been created.

Walker's campaign was (1) anti-train and (2) job growth. I'd say he's batting 50/50 at most.


He didn't run on balancing the budget without the tax increases the left was pushing for? I seem to remember that.

I'm trying to understand how charges of egomania resonate with "swing voters". And since I can't it seems to me it's intended to resonate with Madison's strident leftists.

Steven said...

So she's got a Harvard MBA just like George W. Bush?

MadisonMan said...

I'm not at all sure the structural deficit has been reduced.

State Spending is hopelessly convoluted. This is good for politicians so that they can claim just about anything. (Or this. It's bad for simple people like me because you can never verify what is being said.

FWIW, I am resistant to any charge of egomania. All politicians are by definition egomaniacal IMO. Some are more adept at hiding it than others.

MadisonMan said...

That's largely why he beat Barrett by a larger margin in the recall election than in the original election.

There was a not insignificant number of voters who were anti-recall and voted for Walker because of that.

I define not insignificant as at least one :)

Unknown said...

The un-degreed governor has reduced the Wisconsin unemployment rate every month. Something that the Highly degreed dufus in the White House has not done. I am particularly grateful for the tax reduction, hope there's more in the future.

BTW, all those degreed people at UW have amassed over a billion dollars in slush while increasing tuition. What a great example of liberalism.

Unknown said...

---There was a not insignificant number of voters who were anti-recall and voted for Walker because of that.

There was a not insignificant number of voters who were enticed to the polls by walking around money. Your taxpayer dollars, laundered through da unions, at work.

sonicfrog said...

Blogger Unknown said...

The un-degreed governor has reduced the Wisconsin unemployment rate every month. Something that the Highly degreed dufus in the White House has not done.


Um... No. He hasn't. The employment rate has been flat for a year and a half.