Scott Walker Wins First Debate Of Recall Election

In the first minute of Friday night’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall debate I was reminded of something that happened in 1979.

Roger Mudd was seated with Senator Ted Kennedy for an interview, and asked what seemed like a most obvious question.  Senator, why do you want to be president?  Instead of a firm and convincing response Kennedy offered a weak and hollow series of sentences. 

The first question of the Wisconsin debate went to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and was one of those obvious ones that a candidate should be prepared to blast out of the ballpark.  Basically, why are Wisconsin voters here in another election less than half-way through the first term of the sitting governor?

Since this recall election is about the undermining of the process of government due to a partisan power play by conservative Scott Walker, one might assume some tough words might have been employed to make that point. 

Instead Barrett repeated his points about a divided state, and used the term ‘civil war’, but failed to connect the dots and drive home the message for the average viewer at home about the reasons a recall election is taking place.   

I do not want to hear about job creation or how neighbors do not speak to each other based on policy differences. While these matters are important the fact that we are racing towards history with this recall means higher ideals about government along with the process used in the Capitol should be front and center.

I am not sure why it is so difficult for the Democratic nominee to make the case over and over about the process being misused in the statehouse in order to pass the collective bargaining billThat is, after all, why this recall is taking place.

We are not at this state of affairs over education dollars or health care.  Those are matters that get debated every two years at election time, and will make for headlines when the next regular governor’s race gets underway. 

This recall election is unique by design, and needs to be treated as such by the candidate wishing to replace Walker. 

I never got the feeling that Barrett wished to drive the message home during the debate.  The governing process should be front and center when it comes to this recall election. Walker over-reached on a bill that he never addressed in the general election in 2010, and then used tactics that ran counter to the way the process normally operates in a bid to get it passed.   

The reason for this recall is not about John Doe probes, or education, or crime rates.  How difficult is it for this point to sink in, and how far away from victory must Democrats be before they understand this?

Since Walker was not pushed back into the fence during the debate, and was able to continue his narrative for this race, there is no other way to judge the outcome of the debate except to score it a win for Walker.

There is a need for something to shake this dismal race up, but I do not see anything happening that will alter the outcome of Walker winning.  At this time I think it very probable that Walker wins by a larger margin then he did when defeating Barrett the first time.

11 thoughts on “Scott Walker Wins First Debate Of Recall Election

  1. Solly

    We continue to disagree on the dynamics of this race. You see the race through the prism (enchanted crystal) of the sixth ward of the east Isthmus of Madison. I submit, that the citizens of Wisconsin, based upon the most recent St.Norberts/WPR poll ( agree with me that while the Pearl Harbor for the pushback was the collective bargaining issue, which you feel should be the centerpiece of the campaign, it is secondary at THIS point to concerns of honesty, integrity, unity and trust. I didn’t see the beginning of the debate of which you speak, but I saw the end, where Tom Barrett asked a direct question to the Governor, what was your out-of-state travel schedule, and will you release it so that the people of Wis. can see what your priority has been, and Wanker prattled on about going to Green Bay, Oshkosh, etc. to visit companies. He forgot to mention that the Oshkosh plant was part-owned by the Chair of the Winnebago Repugnant Party, and had added 12 jobs, after cutting many more than that before (50) during the Bush recession, even though Diamond Jim’s admin. gave them an econ. development grant . To anyone that watched that part of the debate, Wanker’s refusal to answer brings home the point that he can’t directly, honestly, answer a simple question. Security shouldn’t be a concern to release your past, out-of-state travel schedule. The rank hypocrisy of railing about out-of-state union bosses out to get you, while you’re vacumning up $millions from out of state millionaires should be obvious. As obvious as that Wanker commercials out-number Barrett’s 10-1. I don’t know if Barrett will win, schitzophrenic Wisconsin has elected Bob LaFollette and Joe McCarthy, Bill Proxmire and Toby Roth, Gaylord Nelson and Ron Johnson. But I do know, to paraphrase a sign at the capitol last year, that Jed Clampett would say, “If ethics was lard, Wanker wouldn’t have enough to grease a skillet.” That boy ain’t right. He ain’t right for Wisconsin.

  2. badgerbadger

    Sorry, you really have a screwy take on this – I usually think this is a well-reasoned blog, but this post is nothing but whiny

    You really can do better and should.

  3. I write a blog that reflects my thinking on the issues of the day. I wish things could be more rosy this morning, but I call them as I see them. Recall elections are not routine, and need to be treated as extra-ordinary. As such candidates need to frame their message to meet the gravity of the moment–the reason we all here heading towards June 5th.

  4. Alex K.

    I agree with you. I think that the strategy of focusing on jobs and economic indicators, while useful as a supplemental argument for Walker’s removal, is very disconnected from the essence of the recall. Many people in Wisconsin still don’t understand exactly why we are having this election, and because of that are saying they will vote for Walker not because they agree with him but because they disagree with the recall. This isn’t about ending collective bargaining rights, its about dishonesty and a lack of integrity from someone who was elected to work with people to fix the budget, not cut out players and approach things by being unbalanced and choose winners and losers. I appreciate your post.

  5. Pingback: The defining reason behind Scott Walker’s recall election – Milwaukee Political Buzz | « Ye Olde Soapbox

  6. CommonCents

    You must have watched a different debate, Deke. I think that Barrett won and he should focus on what the issue that this election should be about, that is Walker’s dishonesty and a lack of integrity.

  7. MiddletonMom

    I’m not sure why a discussion on a subject of such gravity and importance to the body politic must immediately deteriorate into slurs and name-calling. @ Solly, do you really think you’re going to draw anyone to your viewpoint by the childish interpretation of the sitting governor’s name or the party he represents? You are like one who would prefer that Mr. Barrett’s name be used correctly and the party he represents be accorded some level of respect. Is that really all you are capable of? Doesn’t give me much reason to vote for your candidate. Sassy-mouth rhetoric is not convincing rhetoric, it only damages the position of the original poster.

  8. Solly

    Gee Middleton Mom, I think I’ve seen your posts in other forums, and I’m pretty sure no matter what I called the “sitting governor” you wouldn’t vote for Tom Barrett or even be open to it. I have a deal for you, as soon as Wanker stops appointing woman harrassing, drunk driving persons in charge of his employment relations office, drunk driving sons of supporting lobbyists to multiple highly paid offices for which he has no qualifications, a payroll clerk/wife of the dane county repugnant party to an $80,000+ administrator job, having state-paid employes, (sec. of DWD) manufacture and release jobs numbers conventiently before the election so that he and WMC can quote them as “final” and “official” when they’re neither, have a DNR that wink winks when a former contributor to the Exec. ASSt gets a sweetheart deal slap on the wrist for illegally dumping human waste on fields in close proximity to dozens of households’ drinking wells, when he tells billionaires, or those he thinks are billionaire contributors, the same thing he says in public (drop a bomb, considered planting trouble-makers in protests, would entertain a free vacation in California, divide and conquer, real goal is union-busting and a right-to-work-for-less state, union busting is necessary to balance budget, union busting didn’t save any money (before congress), Wis is broke (asking for medicaid waiver), Wis has a surplus (campaign commercials), outside forces (read unions) are going to hijack the election when he’s spending time jetsetting with his rightwing millionaire contributors out of state, etc. ad nauseum…..When that happens Madam, I’ll consider a different reference to the “sitting governor.” As it was, I thought I was being kind, using definition #3 Bonus, Middleton Mom, when Mittens Romney stops lying about Obama apologizing for America around the world (see Colin Powell calling Sean Hannity on this lie) and that he has made the recession worse (23+ months of job growth), I’ll consider calling him Willard instead. Deal???!!!! In the meantime, with all DUE respect, it’s Wanker

    1. MiddletonMom

      I’m certainly sorry to disillusion you, Solly, but I’ve never posted on a forum before. This was the first time I ever did that. I do post on Facebook from time to time, but almost never on anything political. So – you misread that one. I have met folks like you though, and it does seem that hurled invectives somehow make you feel better. My twin three-year-olds do the same thing and it sounds about as intelligent. They can’t seem to string together a lucid conversation with a viewpoint yet, either, although they do seem to understand each other. Whatever. Enjoy your ire – you seem to revel in it. In the meantime, I’m enjoying reading the comments the original poster offered, and those of some of the other people who are writing in.

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