Has Tom Barrett Lost His Mind?
There's really no nice way to say this, so I'll just say it. Has Tom Barrett lost his mind?
In an interview Friday, Barrett opined that he "wouldn't be surprised if Governor Walker didn't run for re-election" in 2014 if Walker thought he could be elected President in 2016.
First, anybody who would listen to anything Barrett has to say about Scott Walker needs their head examined. After having lost two races to Walker in less than two years, Barrett is hardly an objective observer.
It may very well be that Governor Walker will seriously consider a run for President at some time in the future. Still, Presidential aspirations notwithstanding, I don't know anybody who seriously believes that he is not planning on running for re-election.
Should Walker choose to run for President in 2016, being a serving Governor with reformer credentials would offer him a substantial platform from which to campaign. Think George Bush, Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter. While it's true that Ronald Reagan was a former Governor, Reagan was the exception.
The reality is that most politicians run for higher office from the office they currently hold. Just ask Tammy Baldwin, Jim Doyle and yes, Tom Barrett.
Beyond Barrett's peculiar political analysis, I think Walker likes being Governor and feels that he has a lot more to accomplish. As a matter of fact, I can easily envision Walker serving as Governor for multiple terms. I can almost guarantee however that after last year's bruising recall election, there's absolutely no way he steps down after one term.
Especially after just having raised $3.5 million for his re-election bid in the first six months of 2013.
Maybe Barrett is trying to rally the troops. Maybe he is trying to encourage stronger potential Democrat candidates to come forward in the hope that they will be running for an open seat. Maybe Barrett's dislike of Walker is so extreme that he's just engaging in (from his perspective) wishful thinking.
Or maybe "Walker Derangement Syndrome" has finally simply caused him to lose his mind?.