Why Tom Barrett Is Going To Lose
Unless Walker voters stay home en masse, it's looking like the Governor is going to beat Tom Barrett like a drum in the upcoming recall election.
So, if Barrett does ultimately lose big, what went wrong?
It's true, Barrett didn't raise as much money as Walker. Of course, that partly because national organizations see Barrett as unelectable and don't want to throw good money after bad. Seriously, if the White House thought Barrett was going to win, the President would have been here at least three times!
It's also true that jobs data pretty much destroyed what was arguably Barrett's best argument. Facts are pesky that way.
I also think that there is a degree of recall fatigue. i mean, how much "Capitol chaos" can an ordinary person take?
Still, at the end of the day, I think Barrett's biggest problem is that he doesn't stand for anything.
I appreciate that there are a lot of people who hate Scott Walker. Union bosses who resent having their power curtailed. Public employees who object to having to pay more for their health insurance and make modest contributions to their pensions. Hard-core left wing activists and die-hard Democrats who object to any Republican getting elected to any office anywhere.
Still, that's only about 43% of the electorate - and that's not enough to win.
Over the last 15 months, I've been waiting to hear the anti-Walker forces articulate their vision for the State. That is, I understand that Walker haters don't like what the Governor did, but what would they have done instead?
Would Tom Barrett raise taxes. Yes - but he won't say so.
Would Tom Barrett restore all collective bargaining rights? Yes - but he won't say how he'd pay for it.
Would Tom Barrett create private jobs? Maybe - but if he's got a plan, he's sure not willing to share it.
During the debate the other night, Barrett kept saying that he was "a uniter". That's all well and good but when it comes to difficult decisions, you need a decider.
I thought it was interesting that when asked about Democrats in the State Senate killing a mining bill that would have provided hundreds (if not thousands of jobs), Barrett said he'd get everybody in a room and try to work things out. I like meetings as well as the next guy but can we have a reality check? When a company says that it needs so-and-so to justify investing a billion dollars in a State, the State has to decide yes or no - not sing "Kumbaya".
I sincerely believe that if Barrett had been able to articulate a vision for Wisconsin and an alternative plan to deal with the economic problems of the State, he might have stood a better chance. The fact that he's been reduced to ankle-biting about the never-ending John Doe investigation and whining about out-of-State travel shows how pathetic his campaign has become.
They say that you can't be something with nothing - and so far, "nothing" is exactly what Barrett has offered.
And I think it's a major reason who Tom Barrett is going to lose!
Assuming of course that Walker voters don't stay home!