Scott Walker could have learned from Frank Costanza
No ‘Let’s rumble!’
We’ve strapped on the plastic apron, we’re working the bone saw here at the Policy Werkes to figger out Wha’ Happened? We know Republicans under-performed. (See Part #1) But why?
Evers attracted 44,000 more votes Dane County than Madison’s own Mary Burke four years ago. We’ll credit the ground game for which NextGen America takes credit. (More here.) But Evers also claimed 18,000 more votes in Republican fortress Waukesha County than did our Ms. Burke in the last governor’s race.
That would play into the national narrative that Trump was a big turn-off to affluent, well educated women in the suburbs. (Married suburban women voted 54-44% Democrat, according to Politico.) That’s precisely where Democrats picked up their margin in House seats. For that matter, Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Counties never did warm to Trump in the presidential election two years ago. Never-Trumper Charlie Sykes dominated Milwaukee airwaves and even some of his competitors came late to Trump’s table.
The other notion is that Scott Walker did not electrify the election like he did with Act 10, forever his signature legislation. Alyssia Finley may have it correct in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Walker lost in large part because he failed to outline a bold third-term agenda. Instead, he promised more spending on public schools and tax credits for child care, elderly homeowners and college graduates who stay in the state. This liberal-lite platform failed to win over independents or energize conservatives to overcome huge Democratic turnout in the blue bastions of Madison and Milwaukee.
Blaska Policy Werkes implored Walker to forcibly take over the failing Milwaukee public schools. A generation of grifters has used taxpayer dollars to reward political allies and grievance mongers instead of demanding performance.
Got to wonder what kind of outreach Republicans made to the parents of 28,000 Milw school choice kids. The TV spot writes itself: Tony Evers, wholly owned subsidiary of the teachers union, would herd black and brown kids back to the plantation.
Instead, Obama does a rally for Evers at an F for Failed public high school and no one calls them on it. (Well, almost no one.)
Blaska’s Political Maxim #251 — you hit their strength and make it their weakness! How did Tammy Baldwin beat four-term governor Tommy Thompson six years ago! By claiming he had forgotten his Wisconsin roots!
Make your own coat tails
Walker could only ride so long on the public’s disgust with the stink put up by the Act 10 Occupy Madison crowd; 2011 seems very distant today.
Contrast and compare with a Republican in bright blue Maryland. In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1, Gov. Larry Hogan dispensed with the Democratic nominee, former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, 56 to 43%. National Review recounts:
Hogan’s most searing test occurred during the Baltimore riots that followed the 2015 death of city resident Freddie Gray. As protesters coalesced downtown, then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that law enforcement under her authority would “give those who wished to destroy space to do that.”
Over the next 48 hours, stores were set ablaze, cars overturned, and more than 113 police officers injured. … Hogan moved his office to Baltimore, declared a state of emergency, and deployed thousands of National Guard and state-police personnel. [The riots subsided.]
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Candidates need a Big Moment, Costanza-level Feats of Strength, whether it was Chris Christie staring down the teaches union or Ronald Reagan saying he paid for that microphone or Lindsay Graham reaming Judiciary Committee Democrats! Even Paul Soglin directing traffic during the flooding this summer. The more recent the better. Where was Scott Walker’s feat of strength lately?
* Catch Blaska on Ms. Vicki’s show this afternoon (11-08-18) 5 to 6 on 1310 AM radio!