In what comes as a shock to no one except for those living under a rock lately, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker announced his candidacy for governor yesterday. In his announcement speech, Walker took a surprisingly negative tone, taking more than one potshot at Governor Jim Doyle. While negative attacks are a part of any political campaign, it’s more than a little surprising Scott Walker chose to focus on attacking Gov. Doyle at a time when he had an opportunity to set a positive tone for his campaign, and I’m not the only one who was surprised by the tone Walker took in his announcement speech. Having read the transcript of Walker’s speech, I can’t help but wonder if he’ll focus his negative attacks on former Congressman Mark Neumann once the Republican gubernatorial race really heats up, because if Walker goes negative early, it could be a fun election year in 2010.
To be honest, the Republican gubernatorial race could take an interesting turn this weekend, after the results of a straw poll at the state Republican convention are released (if a poll is taken). As Cory Liebmann over at Eye on Wisconsin notes, the results of such a straw poll could suck the wind right out of the Walker campaign’s sails if the results aren’t favorable to Walker. After all, Walker’s been campaigning for governor since his failed 2006 campaign ended, and if he can’t manage to pull out an early lead against Mark Neumann, who hasn’t been actively involved in politics in several years, then Walker’s campaign could be in big trouble once the election actually heats up.