My favorite Madison conservative (really!) blogger, David Blaska, introduces U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin to the rest of Wisconsin:
I was confabbing with Republicans, tea partiers, and assorted conservative wizards in the post-recall glow of victory when the name Tammy Baldwin was spoken aloud.
You would have thought that the host had just announced that there would be seconds on key lime pie for everyone and ice cream, too – so joyous was the sense of anticipation at a second great victory a mere five months after the hard slog of 15 months of recall and recrimination.
For there is no one on the conservative side of the ledger who thinks that Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, can get elected U.S. senator from Wisconsin. Of the four Republican candidates, Tommy Thompson is the clear front-runner, according to the Marquette Law School poll, which was spot-on in predicting Walker to win by 7 points. Marquette has Tommy over Tammy by 8 points.
That margin will only widen. Here is why: the rest of Wisconsin doesn’t know Tammy like we know Tammy. …
Two weeks ago, I blogged, “Something tells me the Wisconsin airwaves and coaxial cables will thrum with images of Tammy Baldwin at the Siege of the Capitol …” Well, that didn’t take long.
This video is now beaming throughout cyberspace, courtesy of the National Republican Senate Committee.
The congresswoman appears on the screen. Her jaw is clenched as she declares, “You’re damn right we’re making a difference …”
But probably not for the better, as far as Democrats are concerned. Wisconsin was turned off by the Capitol protests, as I warned it would be. That verdict will only harden with time.
The Democratic candidate chants “Solidarity.” That is intercut with a snippet of police jostling with unruly protesters, before Tammy returns to the screen to announce that “this IS what democracy looks like.”
Footage of election results the night of June 5 follows, showing Gov. Walker with a commanding victory. …
It is difficult to envision a Wisconsin that:
• just gave a mid-term vote of confidence to one of the most conservative governors in the nation
• less than two years ago flipped both houses of the Legislature from Democrat to Republican
• turned out Russ Feingold in favor of Ron Johnson
• whose Democrat(ic) Party is dispirited and discredited, whose union supporters are financially drained – it is difficult to see how that Wisconsin elects one of the most liberal Democrats in the nation, someone even more liberal than Barack Obama! …
For the first time in 55 years, Wisconsin will have two Republican U.S. senators. We could not have done it without a lot of help from our liberal friends.
I’m not as optimistic as Blaska. One non-conservative that seems to agree with Blaska, however, is Greg Humphrey:
How is it that no one challenged Tammy Baldwin for the Democratic senate nomination?
While Baldwin is well suited for the Second Congressional District, and is very much sympatico with the voters, that is not how she will be viewed in places like Mosinee or Algoma when seeking votes as a senate candidate. Her liberal qualities we adore on the isthmus will not be what makes her electable in Wautoma. …
While Baldwin has the skills and political abilities to be elected from Madison, I am not at all convinced she has the political mojo needed to harvest the votes from across the state that will be required to win. I am not sure she has the heft and gravitas, even after her terms as a congresswoman, to campaign and speak in a way that makes victory a real possibility for Democrats this fall. There are times when one has to admit that a seat in congress is about the highest that should be expected.
There never is a shortage of political candidates who wish to move up the ladder, or make a statement about an issue and thereby launch a bid for office. So what happened in the Democratic senate race this year, where only one office seeker came forward?
At first glance, it appears that Baldwin is to November 2012 what Kathleen Falk was to earlier 2012 — the first candidate to enter who assumed she should be the only candidate. It takes considerable arrogance to believe that being a Madison Democrat will force the rest of the state will bow down to you.
As for who else could have run, perhaps had Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D–Alma) concentrated on being the non-Madison non-Milwaukeean in the (illegitimate and tax-wasting) gubernatorial recall, she could have challenged Baldwin. Instead, Vinehout is positioning herself for the 2014 gubernatorial race, based on the emails I’ve been getting. Which is fine, because the state Democratic Party should probably ban anyone with a Dane County or Milwaukee County address from running for statewide office for at least the remainder of the 2010s.