Brace yourself, Cheeseheads; here come the presidentials | WisCommunity

Brace yourself, Cheeseheads; here come the presidentials

Brace yourself, Wisconsin.

Here come the candidates.

Not being part of Super Duper Tuesday has its advantages after all.

Rather than being made irrelevant by the quasi-national primary, Wisconsin voters will be all the more important after Tuesday’s split decision, at least for the Democrats, and probably for the GOP as well.

Don’t look for too much activity this week; there are other fish to fry on the East Coast. But once next Tuesday’s out of the way, you can expect to see some candidates up close and personal (if that’s what you’re looking for.)

Shades of the 2004 general election, when places like Cuba City attracted presidential candidates from both parties. Being a swing state gives you a front row seat.

I have not seen any Wisconsin polling, but my gut tells me that this should be fertile ground for Barack Obama. We’ve always liked underdogs, mavericks, and insurgents here.

I’ve heard rumbles that Clinton’s campaign is bringing in a Wisconsin brain trust/triumvirate that includes John Stocks of NEA, Brian Weeks of AFSCME and Teresa Vilmain, a longtime Dem consultant who ran Hillary’s losing Iowa effort, to try to nail down the Badger State. (That rumor&;s unverified, of course; I&;m a blogger, not a reporter.) 

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bet against that kind of experience. But this is not an ordinary campaign. Super Tuesday may have slowed Obama’s momentum by a hair, but if it had come a week earlier he probably would have won a clear victory, giving the way the voters were moving. If the trend continues, he’ll probably be in good shape here.

I should add the disclaimer that all I know is what I read in the papers or see on cable TV, just like everybody else. Despite 20 years in politics, I never worked on a presidential race and have no real inside connections with either camp, although I know some of the players.

I’ve cast enough protest votes in the Wisconsin presidential primary over the years, since the race was already decided before our turn came. This year, like 2004, it counts. And we have February 19 almost all to ourselves.

Bask in the media spotlight. Dig out your cheesehead and put your candidate’s bumper sticker on it, go to a rally, and we’ll see you on CNN or MSNBC. Make us proud.


February 6, 2008 - 3:29pm