I don't think so.
Tommy's best shot at derailing the Eric Hovde Express - - driven by the hedge fund manager's millions - - is a dramatic, late-in-the-game Scott Walker endorsement, and I just don't see it.
The GOP Senate primary is now a three-man tie - - Tommy, Hovde and the dogged but not popular Mark Neumann - - but it is Tommy whose run is threatened by younger, authentically conservative candidates closer to the GOP base.
And the more that Tommy touts his experience, the more it reminds everyone that he supported state-participation in health care, public financing for rail transit, bigger public payrolls, collective bargaining and government as a solution, not a problem.
And that he played the insider, revolving-door game in DC, working in the health care field he helped manage as a cabinet secretary.
None of which appeals to small-government conservatives these days - - the people who put Walker in office.
Walker is a Tea Partier camouflaged as a Republican. Few Republicans want to be associated with the old-timey GOP which Tommy ran in Wisconsin in another era altogether, and Walker gains nothing from going back there on Tommy's behalf.
Walker would never endorse Neumann given the rough campaign he took to Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, and Assembly majority leader Jeff Fitzgerald, while a loyal Walker water-carrier, is running too far at the back of the pack in 4th place to be credible or to bring Walker anything in return.
We may know more in a few days if Walker decides there's enough for himself in the bargain to endorse anyone and spend some capital. As I see it, Hovde works better for Walker - - the others in the race, less so.
The best Tommy can hope for is that Walker stays neutral; Walker comes out OK with that by not overtly sandbagging any conservative faction.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
I don't think so.