After arriving in Milwaukee, the president was greeted by Col. James Locke, commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, and several Wisconsin politicians. That included Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee.
Burke campaigned at Laborfest, but announced ahead of time she would not participate in the president’s public event, saying it would not be appropriate because it was an official White House stop.
The Democratic President of the United States comes to Milwaukee. The Republican governor shows up to greet him at the airport as he should. The Democratic candidate for governor is at the same event, but decides to completely avoid being seen with the POTUS.
Burke’s excuse for not greeting or appearing with Obama is a farce. She says that since Obama is visiting in his official capacity, it would be unseemly for her to be there since she is campaigning. Rubbish. Obama was here to campaign. Just listen to his speech and that is clear. And even if he was here as POTUS and not the Campaigner in Chief, there would have been nothing untoward about Burke appearing with him.
Even though Burke’s excuse is flimsy, her campaign logic is interesting. It is obvious that she does not want to be linked too closely to the president because his popularity is sagging and his policies are crashing. And even though Wisconsin voted for Obama twice, it also voted for Scott Walker twice. Yet Burke is trying to have her cake and eat it too. She did meet with Obama privately (apparently it is OK to plot campaign strategy with him in private when he is visiting Milwaukee in his official capacity) and tweeted:
“Great chat w/ @BarackObama in Mke abt WI mfging. Look fwd to seeing him again b4 11/4…esp if its after the @Packers beat da Bears – mb.”
I wonder how this looks to the Democrats in the base. Is it a good thing or a bad thing for them that Burke is running away from Obama?