Boots & Sabers

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1738, 19 Sep 15

“predictable rhythm to presidential campaigns”

I find myself nodding along with David Axelrod.

(CNN)There is a predictable rhythm to presidential campaigns that we live, forget and relearn every four years.

For voters, the spring before elections is for playing the field, a time when you date broadly, but not seriously. The summer lends itself to intense romances, impulses that seize you completely, even as you know, deep down, that your companion may be an incorrigible rascal and the romance will never last.

But come the fall, you begin to judge your prospective suitors by a different standard, craving the solidity, character and dependability on which long-term relationships are built.

The Republican campaign of 2016 is beginning to take shape.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was a flirtation of spring, the stolid, eager beaver who briefly intrigued GOP insiders and spiked in polls. They saw Walker as a potential bridge between the party’s raucous, right-wing factions and its traditional corporate base.

But Walker revealed himself to be a great first date — a one trick-pony, belaboring his anti-labor record and promiscuously shifting positions on myriad issues to court Iowa’s rich trough of social conservatives. A lethargic first debate performance hastened the breakup.

1738, 19 September 2015


  1. Mark Maley


    Polling at 1% in latest post CNN poll

  2. Steve Austin

    There has been a lot of twitter discussion on this after the polls released this morning showing Walker not registering (below 1%) on latest CNN.

    I’m not sure how Walker comes back from this because he doesn’t have any pockets of his own money to fall back on. His big corporate donors are likely going to now start putting their bets on Fiorina and Rubio.

    And therein lies part of Walker’s problem. The fracture between the corporate “free trade/big business as usual” crowd and the “working class crowd” that Trump has garnered a large portion of. Walker was thought to bridge that gap but melted down in the crossfire on it.

    I do think the GOP needs to reinvent itself here over the next five-months in some way to bring those two sides back together. The days of a candidate shouting “Laffer curve”, lower cap gains tax rate, lower corporate tax rate!” as their platform are done.

    Santorum made a good point at the early debate the other night when he said in 2012 the GOP celebrated business owners but never workers. There are millions of GOP “workers” out there who are scared to heck about where their jobs and income are going in an “open borders/big business” US economy. And now threats to religious liberty are adding another anxiety to it.

    That’s my issue and I still see it as the lowest hanging and ripest fruit on the tree.

  3. Steve Austin

    One addendum. One reason Walker got over the hump here in Wisconsin in those three elections is because we’ve got a large cohort of hard working “working class” folks here, many in some type of jobs involving labor, manufacturing, etc.

    As that group kept seeing their wages, job security and jobs themselves get outsourced to foreign locations and foreign workers, they’ve been in a very tough time trying to adapt with new work and new jobs, many at lower pay and benefits.

    I believe those folks grew very tired with the every expanding Jim Doyle/WI Dems tax increases across all areas of life here to fund a Wisconsin government worker class that sees MPS teachers retiring at age 52 with massive lifetime benefits or a never ending platoon of MATC instructors pulling down six-figure incomes. Those folks wanted an end to that insanity here locally and is what launched Walker years ago with the malfeasance of the County Board.

    That issue of jobs and wages for families that WANT TO WORK (unlike our Obama class slackers on the dole) is something Walker made huge efforts to address in Wisconsin. And it was a huge opportunity for him nationally. But I think his supporters on the Koch/Stanley Hubbard scale stopped him from addressing these issues. Again there is a big business component that wants cheap migrant labor and has no problem with unfettered free trade. And they shut Walker down on that issue. End of story.

  4. scott

    “Santorum made a good point at the early debate the other night when he said in 2012 the GOP celebrated business owners but never workers.”

    I also thought that was a good point. It’s a little obvious to other folks, but not the kind of insight one would typically expect from a Republican. We’ll see if it gains any traction. My guess is no. It’s going to take some stunning defeats before the GOP starts campaigning on worker’s issues.

  5. Northern Pike

    The 2010 election has very little to do with “Jim Doyle/WI Dems tax increase.” Scott Walker won because he was a Republican running in a very Republican year. He won for the same reason Republicans were winning elections all over the country in 2010. In retrospect, Walker’s winning percentage over Barrett wasn’t that impressive, nor was his reelection percentage against Mary Burke.

    Tommy Thompson won four elections because he was Tommy Thompson. Scott Walker won elections in 2010 and 2014 because he was a Republican.

  6. Steve Austin

    I think you guys (Pike) delude yourself if you try to now use Walker’s inability to get national traction for President in an attempt to rewrite what he’s done here and his Wisconsin success.

    Jim Doyle increased taxes and fees on everything that moved to make sure he could feed his base, the State government employee. And in the process showed a complete disregard for the private sector worker. Pretty much the same thing Tom Ament and the County Board did back in the day.

    I will though continue to break bread with a few of you liberals though on the issue of “big business” hurting the American (and Wisconsin worker). But unionization and more big government isn’t the answer. The answer lies in strong anti-trust laws, strong immigration laws and less burdensome government regulation.

  7. Mark Maley

    Walker dropping out says NYT

  8. Fairs Fare

    Next… Ben Carson? I wonder if Dr. Carson is aware of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on religion. I actually liked him until the anti-Muslim diarrhea spewed from his mouth. This is shaping up to be yet another election season in which Republicans pray on irrational fears. I guess that’s all that’s left.

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