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How Is It That No One Challenged Tammy Baldwin For Democratic Senate Nomination?

June 14, 2012

I have not written about the Senate race in Wisconsin–from the Democratic perspective–until today.

But the same serious question I have had for many, many months is also the same one I have heard over and over from Democrats who are in the mood to win.

How is it that no one challenged Tammy Baldwin for the Democratic senate nomination?

While Baldwin is well suited for the Second Congressional District, and is very much sympatico with the voters, that is not how she will be viewed in places like Mosinee or Algoma when seeking votes as a senate candidate.  Her liberal qualities we adore on the isthmus will not be what makes her electable in Wautoma.

Everyone likes Tammy Baldwin, and I am one of those who has been most proud to have her as my congresswoman.  For many years she lived not far from where James and I call home. 

There was something very comforting in seeing a member of congress take a garbage bin to the curb, or plant flowers.  I had also known Baldwin when she served in the State Assembly, and came to respect her reading of the background material so to be ready for debating a topic in committee or on the floor.  (I worked with her on one issue before JCRAR dealing with religious symbols prison inmates could have in their possession.)

But there are times when a dose of honesty must be provided to even those we really like and respect.

While Baldwin has the skills and political abilities to be elected from Madison, I am not at all convinced she has the political mojo needed to harvest the votes from across the state that will be required to win.  I am not sure she has the heft and gravitas, even after her terms as a congresswoman, to campaign and speak in a way that makes victory a real possibility for Democrats this fall.  There are times when one has to admit that a seat in congress is about the highest that should be expected.

There never is a shortage of political candidates who wish to move up the ladder, or make a statement about an issue and thereby launch a bid for office.  So what happened in the Democratic senate race this year, where only one office seeker came forward?

While it would be nice for lightening to strike, and a solid victory be gained in November for Wisconsin Democrats, I think it important to ask the question now in the light of summer.

How is it that no one challenged Tammy Baldwin for the Democratic senate nomination?

  1. hankdog permalink
    June 18, 2012 9:49 AM


    I haven’t heard much about Hovde’s social issues, but Neuman and fitz are certainly way far to the right on a lot of social issues government shouldn’t be sticking their noses into, R or D. Just look at their past track records.

    Didn’t Hovde make his $ on Wall St? Now it is dishonest and unfair ? Please explain.

    I’m not a liberal in your sense. I just want an honest, truthful person representing me. I don’t want someone who is just flapping their gums to get a vote with no intention of following up.

  2. Bigdog permalink
    June 17, 2012 9:40 PM


    I agree that Thompson is ego driven. As for the rest, there is a far difference between “right wing” and conservative. Fiscally, all of them are conservative. You won’t hear much about the social side. Hovde especially, is focusing on the populist message of Wall Street and government both being dishonest and unfair. I’m sure liberals like you and Man MKE hate these guys. How did that hate work for Walker? No one else wants to be a Falk or Barrett in this Senate race.

  3. hankdog permalink
    June 16, 2012 7:21 PM


    “moderate populists”, where did you get those drugs. The R’s are running the largest ego in the US (Thompson), a couple far right wackos (Neuman and fitz) and, as man mke says, a rojo wannabe. These are the lamest bunch or loonies the R’s have ever put forth. How I long for Alexander Wiley.

  4. Man MKE permalink
    June 15, 2012 4:17 PM

    Great. Hovde is just Ron Johnson redux, maybe slightly less dumb but no less cynical and crass.

  5. June 15, 2012 11:08 AM

    Because she’s good. But key will be whether she runs on the little fires versus the one BIG fire that fuels all others: campaign finance reform. We have ONE major problem, whether union money or corporate money, and that’s MONEY! Bribes! Neither the left OR right have caught on yet, but let me assure you of one thing: Money Works!!!

  6. Bigdog permalink
    June 15, 2012 12:36 AM

    A more elaborate answer would be that there is no one better than Baldwin in the Democrat’s limited lineup. I doubt she has a chance of winning now that the state is all riled up. They certainly won’t be choosing a very leftist candidate over a host of moderate populists that the Republican’s are running. I call Hovde for the win.

  7. June 14, 2012 3:46 PM

    Simple answer: Because no one thought she could be beaten in a primary.


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