Many Progressives are less than enthused about Mike Tate’s early endorsement of Mary Burke, as many of them believe that we need to let the primary process run its course. Many of these same people are holding out for a more progressive candidate to enter the race. One name most often mentioned is, Kathleen Vinehout. Vinehout has been hinting at a run for the state’s highest office and is expected to make an announcement in early 2014.
In the meantime, former Trek executive, Mary Burke, is pushing her campaign across the state.
Most recently, during an interview, she expressed that she would make no promises during her campaign. At first glance, this sounds as though she is making a “wishy-washy” start. Upon further examination, is it possible that this is all part of her strategy to make a wider appeal to voters?
In 2010, Scott Walker ran on a platform of creating 250,000 jobs. After his implementation of Act 10, along with other failed policies, Wisconsin’s economy has been sinking like a stone. Ranking 45th in job creation, we are a long way away from that magic number of 250,000. Walker has recently started backing away from that promise, as Wisconsin voters take notice and poll numbers reflect.
Is Burke’s “no promise” strategy actually a dig at Scott Walker? Is she quietly getting into the psyche of Wisconsin voters in a way that they turn on Walker and pull a lever marked “D” in 2014?
Elections depend on a lot of circumstances. 2006 and 2008 were both referendums on George W. Bush. 2010 was a republican wave, brought to us by “astroturf protests” against big government and healthcare reform (all of which was gladly funded by right-wing billionaires). 2012 was supposed to be a referendum on Barack Obama, and maybe it was, but it backfired on the GOP as he was re-elected, expanded his majority in the Senate, and gained seats in the House.
The point is that elections are not just won by a strong candidate (ie. Feingold v. Johnson), but by a “feeling” or “desire” in the electorate at that time.
Most elections are won in the center. Roughly 40% of us always vote Democrat, and 40% always vote Republican. The remaining 20% (more specifically, just over half of that 20%) are swayed by things like the overall “feel of the nation.” This is where Mary Burke is finding her niche. She is a successful businesswoman who is rather middle-of-the-road politically, and she is taking aim at those who feel let down by Walker’s failed promises. Perhaps offering a “refreshing” campaign to lower-information voters.
Many progressives may not want to accept Burke, but we have to ask them to accept her (should she be the nominee) and cast a vote for her. They can continue to protest and push her to the left, but we have to stop the leak in Madison by ousting Scott Walker. Remember, FDR, JFK, and even RFK were middle-of-the-road (some may even call them center-right) before the public pushed them to the left.
As a result of gerrymandering, it will be very difficult for us to take back the State Assembly. With that said, a true progressive wouldn’t be able to get much of anything through our bicameral legislature; but a Mary Burke may be able to stop Scott Walker, plug the leak, and derail his Presidential ambitions. Not to mention, a win in 2014 would put her in good position to win in 2018, where she would preside over the next set of redistricting in 2021.
If we are unhappy with what Walker did to Wisconsin, but we allow him to make it to Washington….YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET.
You can hear our full thoughts here: