Topic of the Week: who can beat Scott Walker?

So the effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker is officially underway, and that got me to thinking:

If the effort to force a recall election of Gov. Walker is successful – which I have every reason to believe it will be – who’s the best candidate to beat Walker in a recall election?

Is it Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett?
What about Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach?
Does former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk stand a chance?

What do you think?


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19 thoughts on “Topic of the Week: who can beat Scott Walker?

  1. Definitely not Barrett, he ran a miserable campaign last time and we just don’t need to go through that again. Kathleen Falk is a capable administrator but doesn’t exhibit the energy level that we need to excite people. Erpenbach is smart and high energy but the tag of being a Madison politician hurts him in some parts of the state. He does come across well on television though and would be a high energy street-level campaigner. He could be a good contrast to sad-sack Walker.

    Dave Obey is a great Progressive politician and could help bring in the vote in the north, which has recently been a weak spot. He knows the issues inside out and isn’t afraid to rip Walker a new one. The only negative factor here is his age. He comes across as a bit surly at times, but that might actually be a good thing, channeling the tremendous anger that voters feel at what the Republicans are doing to this state.

    John Nichols has mentioned Tony Evers, the State Superintendant of Public Instruction, who is also the only Democratic statewide office holder, not counting the comatose Herb Kohl. Evers has the credentials and the experience to pound home to voters exactly how Walker and his cronies are destroying public education in this state. I think this will be a big issue as people realise how larger class sizes and school closings are affecting their children. I have no idea how he comes across on the campaign trail.

    Peter Barca from Kenosha, Democratic leader in the assembly, is a passionate defender of workers’ rights and would bolster the Democratic vote in the south-east. I know that union leaders in that part of the state are ready to line up behind him.

    Frankly I hope a delegation of Democrats gives one last try at convincing Russ Feingold that he has a once in a lifetime chance to help change the course of history, not just in Wisconsin but nationally. His national name recognition would help bring in progressive money to counter the Koch brothers’ financial hosing-down of Wisconsin. I have felt that his earlier disavowal of interest in the race might be a tactic to keep his name out of the media, avoiding attacks until the recall is a certainty. This might just be wishful thinking on my part. He may be at a point in his life where he is burned out with the political game. Who could blame him?

    1. Tony Evers is too sedate to beat Scott Walker, and while he may have won a statewide race, that race wasn’t exactly high profile, so I’m not sure how many folks actually realize who he is.

    2. Dave Obey could have run for governor if he had stood his ground against Sean Duffy and lost, but he didn’t do that. The word up here is that his ego couldn’t bear the thought of actually losing an election so he cobbled together his ” I’m tired ” line, and left us all hanging with only six months to go before the 2010 midterms. Is this the guy you want running in a tough race?

      Russ said again yesterday that he’s not running.

      So even though this will make Jeffs head explode, I think our best bet is Ron Kind.

      1. If Dave Obey decides to run, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democratic establishment (i.e. Mike Tate and the DPW) try their best to clear the way for him.

        Mind you, I’d prefer to see someone else try to beat Walker, because I think Obey did Democrats in Wisconsin a tremendous disservice retiring the way he did.

  2. Barring a last minute feingold entry I want Cori Mason! Which is why I kept calling him Governor last night at the Recall Rally.

    As for who can beat Walker, any candidate with a pro middle class, jobs oriented, collaborative message candidate who promises to restore collective bargaining rights can and will beat him.

  3. Look, if we get 540K signatures, and Walker keeps blanketing the airways between now and when the polls open, people are going to be so tired of him that they’ll vote for anyone at all. The problem we have is finding a way to show how Walker is spending all sorts of Koch money annoying citizens without overloading the airwaves ourselves.

  4. You mean other than me? Cause I really I could beat Scotty by the time May rolls around.

    In all seriousness, NO TWO-TIME LOSERS like Falk or Barrett. They had their chance, and they need to go away. Especially since Barrett seems to be trying to use Walker’s “tools” in Milwaukee, which would just neuter him in a guv campaign.

    Your real answers (not named Feingold, of course) are:

    1. Peter Barca (great blue-collar and small business background, and doesn’t take crap from WisGOPs)

    2. Jon Erpenbach- Great background, true believer in clean government, antithesis to Walker

    3, Ron Kind- Moderate and out-state enough to win easily (if that’s your goal, he’s the guy). Also would get Mr. “I Voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment” sham out of D.C., so he can be replaced with a real Dem.

    Cory Mason wouldn’t be bad, but I’d prefer him to be the guy to blow Van Wangaard out of the Senate, and turn that house blue (huge when you realize it would deadlock Joint Finance and the JCRAR). Mason can then further establish his credentials to be a legit U.S. House or guv candidate later this decade.

  5. I am hoping against hope that when Feingold sees how strong the recall response it (like when plenty of signatures are collected way ahead of schedule, for example) he will decide to run for the good of his state. Let’s face it, if Feingold is our candidate this thing is in the bag. I guess at this point my second choices are Obey (with above weaknesses noted) or Erpenbach, who is a great public speaker, tells it like it is, and is great at rallying a crowd. He is a Madison pol, but he also is a regular, working guy who could appeal to blue collar types out-state.

  6. Has anyone approached Russ Feingold? If so, do you think he’s holding back, lying in the weeds, so to speak.

    If Russ ran for governor, I think the Republicans would shudder in their boots, then claim the holy war begins.

    Russ, Wisconsin needs you. Please consider taking up the call. For all of our sakes.

    1. On top of that, it would be the perfect segue to a presidential candidicy for 2016.

      Please Russ.

  7. I’ve actually heard some rumors lately that Russ took himself out of it so the focus wouldn’t be on him. Keep it on the recall and on what Walker is doing to harm Wisconsin. Keep the right from loading us up with anti-Feingold ads during the recall process. etc…

    Then once that’s out of the way he can step up and say Hey! You know what? I think I’ll run.

    Sounds plausible to me.

    1. I’ve actually heard Russ took himself out of it because he actually enjoys what he’s doing right now.

      To be honest, I just don’t see Feingold jumping into a recall race.

    2. I think it is a great strategy to keep the name out of the line of fire during the Recall. Just think of how the Right could smash and burn any Democratic candidate at this crucial time. Russ is right –our focus needs to be on the recall at this time–and not defending who ever the candidate is.

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