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McCain/Palin 2010

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on January 18, 2010

We all know that Scott Walker is running to be the Republican nominee for Governor. After all, he’s been running for the past seven years.

What not everyone knows yet is that Rebecca Kleefisch, former TV reporter who is now been reduced to doing video blogs for Charlie Sykes, is now running to be the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor.

Even though it is not likely to ever happen, could you imagine what it would be like if they both happened to not only survive, but actually win, their respective primaries?

It would be like the Wisconsin version of the McCain/Palin ticket that failed so miserably last year.

Walker is, of course, playing the role of John McCain. If you recall, McCain was the Republican presidential wannabe who was never really popular with the Republican voters, but still managed to keep winning the small races until he somehow got the nomination, even though no one is exactly sure to this day how he actually did it.

McCain was actually being competitive until he made two politically fatal flaws. The first was picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. The other was when he made the terrible mistake of stating the economy was strong just as the feds were finally fessing up that we were actually in a recession, and had been for at least a year.

Walker is already running along the same path of McCain. Walker is unpopular with many Republicans. His base is the ultraconservative TEA Parties, which will not be enough to carry him to any sort of victory against even a half-competent rival, like Mark Neumann, much less a popular and savvy one, like Battlin’ Tom Barrett. But inexplicably, he still seems to be leading many polls against Neumann.

Also like McCain, Walker has very little, if any, understanding of economics. He has presented seven budgets so far. Each one has been higher than the last, but yet Walker seems to think that he hasn’t raised taxes. He also hasn’t had one budget that has survived the entire year without collapsing into a state of fiscal crises by midyear at the latest.

Finally, McCain and Walker both have a good trait of giving their opponents lots of ammunition. McCain with not knowing how many houses he owned, or Walker claiming to be strong on public safety when he is furloughing deputies and releasing inmates.

Now, I realize in Wisconsin the gubernatorial candidate doesn’t get to pick their running mate, so Walker is off that hook. However, he could still have the Palin-wannabe Kleefisch foisted upon him, since they are appealing to the same base of voters, the TEA Party/Birther types.

Kleefisch is really a lot like Palin in many aspects. Palin was a relatively no name politician until McCain plopped her on the stage next to him. Likewise, Kleefisch is only known to the TEA Partiers and Sykes listeners (but I repeat myself).

Palin was very popular and gave the McCain ticket a big boost. Until she opened her mouth and was exposed to be not a very good choice. Under media scrutiny, she fell far short of the hype surrounding her. Many Republicans started to cringe every time she did an interview and she helped pull the Republican ticket down, until McCain finished it off with his economy quote.

Kleefisch is already getting some unfavorable reviews from strong conservatives like the blogger Little Miss Sunshine:

This is just a mess.

I’m glad you have a vision for each position, but this is starting to feel like an essay from a kid who didn’t study for the latest 12th grade government exam.

And, we all know it’s Walker you’re talking about, without having to ask. Why not just come out and endorse him?


This is extremely idealistic, that county parties and GOP vols actually care or take initiative. On the contrary. You’re going to have to do the legwork yourself. With this many candidates (what is it, 6 now?), you will fall into the cracks if you expect them to give a rat’s patoot about squeezing you onto any speaking agenda. Get in there, and ROAR woman!


While this may seem a harsh review, it’s not about the lady, it’s about the email sent from a candidate or her campaign for Lieutenant Governor. This is a critical year for the GOP in Wisconsin. I am looking seriously at these candidates, and expect their campaigns to be innovative and fresh, yet with professional, well-written materials and attitudes behind the work they present to the voters.

So far, I haven’t felt the need to hit for the opening night of Kleefisch for Lt. Gov.

2010 is going to be a very serious election year, especially for Wisconsin’s Governor. Voters will be taking to the polls to decide between the hero mayor and a chance to recover from this recession or the nihilistic and ideological Walker/Palin ticket (if they somehow beat the odds and actually make it that far), which would bring the same ruination that Walker visited upon Milwaukee County or that George W. Bush did on the entire country.

But even though this is a serious election, I can’t help but foresee some truly laughable gaffes continuing to come from these two Republican hopefuls.


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