But didn’t Tom get the memo that Mary Bell and Marty Beil already have their preferred candidate?

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says in an interview being broadcast Sunday he is “seriously considering” running for governor should there be a recall election.

“I know there are other Democrats running and I have respect for them. But I think that this governor has done so much damage to this state, I want him to be gone from this job,” Barrett said.

Barrett’s entry into a race that thus far only includes former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Democratic State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout would certainly shake things up, but it wouldn’t be a popular choice with Mary Bell and Marty Beil, the heads of WEAC and AFSCME, two of the state’s largest public employee unions. You’ll remember Bell and Beil tried to dissuade Barrett from a gubernatorial recall run back in December 2011.

So here’s what I’m wondering….given that Tom Barrett lost to Scott Walker in the 2010 gubernatorial election, is he really a better option for Democrats in a recall election than Kathleen Falk and Kathleen Vinehout?

16 Responses to Tom Barrett “seriously considering” run for governor

  1. Mark E. Bye says:

    ,,,and didn’t it take Jim Doyle begging him to get into the ’10 race in the first place?

  2. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Depends if Tom is actually serious about running this time. Hey Tom, this will require some nights away from home, and an aggressive counter to the disgusting acts the Walker boys have pulled. People are going to ask a legitimate question about how much you really want to be in this, especially since you didn’t want to admit you signed the recall petition in the first place. You better be in it to be fierce, Tom.

    Although strangely, he’s now in the “triangulator” role as someone who has cut public worker benefits, so that may play well for a lot of voters who don’t appreciate that the unions seem to be trying to pick their candidate before everyone is in. However, he’d better support the restoration of union rights, and he’d better demand the restoration of public school funding to a decent level.

    I’d rather he stay as Milwaukee Mayor, kick ass on the stump during the campaign with his firsthand knowledge of Walker’s corruption and mismanagement, and have someone like Barca or Kind jump in instead. But someone should jump in soon if they want to challenge Falk and Vinehout.

  3. Jim says:

    I think Barrett would be a solid candidate, he’s not some far-leftist (not that any of the potential candidates really are) he’s reasonable and pragmatic. If we need a candidate to pledge ultimatums to get union members out to vote, then this election is already lost. Barrett could capture the people who bought into the Obama-is-a-socialist-who-wants-to-spend-everyone-elses-money hype that influenced the 2010 elections so much. There’s a few of those people who pulled their heads out of their hind ends at this point.
    And not to diminish Sen. Vinehout at all, she’s got some of these same qualities.
    Either way…it’ll be interesting.

  4. dante says:

    Oh I hope Tom goes forward with this, All of the work that the unions put into the entitlement recall with all of the out of state support they got from the national unions to see their puppet candidate get eliminated would just be pure justice for their actions the past year

  5. james booth says:

    Didn’t the unions already hand pick Falk? Won’t that mean all the ad money will go to her? Wasn’t Barrett’s previous campaigns heavily funded by the public unions? Can he afford to run now? Didn’t Barrett use Act 10 to his advantage as Mayor to solve his budget challenges?

    Either way, I don’t think there’s a candidate that can beat Walker. I suppose Russ could. But he’s smart enough to see this for what it is, WEAC and AFSCME MTI and WEA Trust want their revenue streams back!

  6. Jim says:

    I suppose I can’t complain about the quality of a few of these comments, considering my name-calling.

  7. Jeff Simpson says:

    I would say that if Tom Barrett was serious about running for Governor, the last person he would want to be seen with is Rahm emmanuel. Was Joe Lieberman busy?

  8. Paul says:

    For all the other dancing on this issue, it boils down to one thing for me: Tom Barrett is a great Mayor and it would be a tough blow to this City to lose him.

  9. Jen says:

    “Seriously considering” running, wasn’t sure if he was going to sign the recall petition, thinks calling a special session of a legislature that will include a Republican assembly is enough of an effort to restore collective bargaining – yup, he sounds on fire. Milwaukee can keep him.

  10. Jane says:

    Uh-huh… does no one think it’s possible that the unions identified a person who has a strong history protecting both union and non-union people (not to mention budgets and the environment), and have rallied around that person? People complaining about Falk being “hand-picked” by the unions are forgetting the fact that she’s got an entire career demonstrating her priorities, and that she’s probably more of a pro-environment and fiscal responsibility candidate than union candidate. Either way, she’s got much more to show she’ll be a strong governor than Barrett does, and both she and Barrett would be worlds of improvement over Walker.

  11. Dante says:

    Anyone who thinks falk is anything but a union rep is fooling themselves. She will not fair well outside southern Wisconsin because of her extremists views

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