If Rebecca Kleefisch is a “professional communicator,” then why’s she so afraid to debate?

According to an interview Republican Lt. Governor candidate Rebecca Kleefisch gave, Kleefisch says she’s a “professional communicator.” If Kleefisch’s claim to be a “professional communicator” is true, then why is she so averse to debating Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Tom Nelson? As I’ve noted before, it’s a shame candidates for elected office here in Wisconsin have chosen to ignore their opponents and deny Wisconsin’s voters a chance to see the candidates engage in precisely the kind of political debate that is the very backbone of our democracy.

If Rebecca Kleefisch really is the “professional communicator” she claims to be, she should be more than capable of handling herself in a debate against Tom Nelson, but I’m betting Kleefisch’s refusal to debate Nelson has to do with the fact that without a script in front of her she’d be exposed for what she really is – a Sarah Palin wannabe with an inability to form a thought beyond the latest Republican Party/Scott Walker talking points.

Emily Mills and Chris Walker have their own excellent takes on this.


Related Articles

11 thoughts on “If Rebecca Kleefisch is a “professional communicator,” then why’s she so afraid to debate?

  1. I think its simply that scott walker is embarrassed by her and her extreme views and knows that it will turn off independent voters.

    1. I don’t think Scott Walker is embarrassed by Kleefisch and her views; he just knows that she’s a gaffe machine.

    1. Um…John did you sleep through the 2008 elections? The tables were turned, Democrats riding the crest of public anger. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      In the vast majority of cases, it’s really obvious why candidates don’t debate. They’ve either read Sun Tzu or intuitively understand the logic behind:

      “Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.”

      When a candidate is a better debater (which is not correlated to the job they do in office) or is trailing, he’ll want more debates. When he’s not or is leading, he’ll want less. Oh, and throw in looks – handsome/attractive candidates tend to want the TV time, ugly ones don’t. Knowledge of the issues helps – but only if you can’t answer in soundbites. Nuanced, complex, honest answers to questions don’t work in debates.

      Objective viewers can certainly lament this – and wish for there to be consistency…for there to be nowhere to hide for any candidate. For the number of debates to be determined by the office they’re running for regardless of the candidates running. Partisan hacks gripe about not enough debates when their guy has the advantage and keep quiet when the other guy does.

  2. There is no question she is Palin, and she does hurt with any indepedent that demands decency and competence (just like Palin did). Also like most GOPs, people like Kleefisch and Johnson only are allowed to show up in very controlled environments, and read from scripts and talking points when they do.

    I saw Barrett has aggressively called this out, and he needs to do more of it. The more we see and hear what these GOPs really think, the better the Dems’ chances. Blind anger and scapegoating is not a governing method.

  3. Does that mean when they lose walker will use kleefisch as the scapegoat the same way mccain did Palin?

  4. Locke, did you just suggest that Senator Feingold is better looking than Ms. Kleefisch? LOL!

    1. I don’t think I did – I don’t think I made any comparison between those two at all. But just to be sure, I’ll go on the record and say I think Ms. Kleefisch is much more attractive than Mr. Feingold. I’d suspect my wife would take the opposing view. 🙂

      Of course personally, I’ve said before, for me, what a candidate looks like might one of the few things that is less of a factor than the letter after their name. If I want to look at pictures of attractive people, there are better places for that than elected officials.

  5. Locke I think everyone on the ballot(for every position) should, by law, have to debate at least once. I think Rob Taylor should be allowed in the Feingold/Johnson debates and I also think Nader should of been allowed in the Gore/Bush debates. The only qualifier being, are you on the ballot!

    If they want to do more and exclude the other parties that’s fine, but they should all have to do one.

  6. I think the Walker/Kleefisch ticket is taking a page from Mark Twain – Better to keep silent and be assumed a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Comments are closed.