Monday, August 17, 2009

Early Impression: Scott Walker This Weekend's Big Political Loser

Just a first impression, perhaps proven wrong during the 16 months to go until the next Wisconsin Governor is sworn it, but I think that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is the biggest loser in the wake of two-term Gov. Jim Doyle's decision declining another run.

Walker - - the GOP front runner ahead of former Cong. Mark Neumann - - had positioned himself as the anti-Doyle, but is suddenly without his target, foil and number one issue.

Now the office-holder whose record will be picked apart is Walker's, and it is littered with phony budgeting, flip-flops on stimulus grants, broken pension reform promises, campaign contribution reporting gaps, magical revenue projections, and even basic service chaos as the state's largest transit system, an arm of County government, is close to collapse - - with Walker at the helm.

Walker's latest gambit has been to one-up County Board Chairman Lee Holloway's suggestion that the position of County Executive be eliminated.

Heck, get rid of most of County government, Walker suggested.

Cute, perhaps, like a politics-free motorcycle tour around the state, but hardly the basis of a pro-active statewide campaign for Governor.

Election day 2010 is a long way off, but I expect to see Walker on the defensive as he tries to come up with a new game plan.


Anonymous said...

Ohh yeah - an incumbent opponent with a massive campaign chest from years of shaking down every state business, tribe, union, association, public employee, punlic contractor, etc., etc., etc.

Sure it was a real bad day for Scott Walker.


Nice spin Jim - or is it just self-deluded wishful thinking?

Anon Jim

James Wigderson said...

C'mon Jim. You know better. Having no incumbent last year in the presidential campaign didn't stop the Democrats from running against Bush. And defending an open seat is almost always tougher for a party than defending an incumbent.

James Rowen said...

To James: Walker will have to more than run against Doyle. And there is a good chance that during 2010, the economic recovery will be firmly underway, so looking backwards will be of little use.

Anonymous said...

Like all Madison insiders that have a vested interest in keeping things as they are... I grew up somewhat with Walker and from the 5th he was straight as an arrow. After 2 years in Dane County this place operates soley for itself. Isnt it yet clear that JD no longer has the skills needed to make the difficult choices undoing his giveaways to friends and family? THis state needs a change agent and that person isnt anywhere to be found in Dane County.

Anon Jim said...

Let's be honest - the biggest loser is Bab's Lawton.

Why isn't Diamond Jim stepping down and letting her be the Gov for the rest of his term? Would put her in a much stronger position to run.

And how do you want to bet that Bab's was out of the loop with this announcement?

enoughalready said...

I think we can anticipate what lines of attack Walker will employ against Lawton: she is pro-choice, female, and probably (who knows?) elitist. But Walker's own record was always going to be an issue. I think she can more than hold her own against him.