They turned nice guy Tom into angry Tom

This is what I wanted to see from Tom Barrett….

Barrett seemed to change, Nemoir said, when officials with AFSCME and the Wisconsin Education Association Council met with him in late December and tried unsuccessfully to force him to stay out of the race.

“They turned nice guy Tom into angry Tom,” Nemoir said. “He has an edge to him that we haven’t seen before.”

“Nice guy” Tom Barrett won’t win a statewide election against Scott Walker, as we saw in 2010, so I’m glad to see Barrett has a little bit more fire in his belly and a bit of an edge to him, because that’s the Tom Barrett that can beat Scott Walker.


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56 thoughts on “They turned nice guy Tom into angry Tom

  1. I want to see angry tom campaigning in Ashland, eagle river, spooner, rice lake, superior, Sister bay, sheboygan, Eau Claire, LaCrosse, beloit, Monroe, Platteville etc….

    That would bea successful Angry Tom, not one who runs to Madison, hides behind the Senators and doesnot answer any real questions.

    1. And I agree that Tom needs to be out statewide, because the biggest pickups for the Dems in this race will be through 1. Bigger turnout from the Madison area (and we don’t need a reason from Tom Barrett, Scott Walker is all we need) and 2. The Hwy 29 corridor and up North, where they value their public schools and despise corporate shills like Walker.

      Those areas flipped hard to Walker in 2010 vs. 2008, and places like Eau Claire and Wausau easily had enough signatures to recall their State Senators, so hitting that area hard can have a double help of more votes for Barrett/the Dem nominee, and giving a Dem majority in the Senate.

      Remember, all we need is for 5% of the voters to change sides from Walker to Dem, and Walker loses by 4-5%. Between that and more turnout in Milwaukee (voter ID racism) and Madison, this is quite achievable IF TOM RUNS HARD FOR THE JOB.

      1. I suggest that you go to Tom’s website to see that he has been getting around the state already, not easily done for a busy mayor of the big city down in the corner of the state, and with so little time in this unusual campaign.

        And he has been getting a great response upstate — and he has made clear his plans to clear his calendar to do so for the month betweent the primary and the recall election.

        By contrast, we hardly have seen the other Dem candidates in Milwaukee — and, of course, the Milwaukee vote will be crucial, as always.

        1. And I’ve noticed that Barrett has been making swings up North and in Wausau. That’s a great sign, and it needs to continue. If anything, it should pick up.

          Interesting point on how the other candidates have blown off Milwaukee (I thought Falk had been there a few times), essentially conceding it to Barrett, beczause that’s a dumb strategy if you want to win on June 5.

          There are a lot of places that had big swings to the GOP in 2010 that I am convinced we can and will get back. And those places are in area code 715, 920, and yes, 262 (you cut the Walkershaw and Washington County GOP win to 67-33, and Walker can’t win). Turn out, and stay engaged throughout the state, and that goes for both candidate and voters.

      2. And Jake, he just was in Wausau — so it looks like Tom agrees that area is going to be good for us.

  2. The key to winning this election is to drive up turn out in our emerging base region in South-West Wisconsin, retake traditional democratic counties in the northwoods, and only lose the Fox Valley by 1-2.

  3. Well in my view the goal would be to restore collective bargaining rights, not just remove Walker. Forget what he says now, Barrett has shown by his actions that this is not his goal and things will not change much if he wins. Folks may feel better, but all of this work will largely be symbolic.

    This was an epic fight LED by union believers, so for it to result in no change would be a true insult. Thus, I feel Barrett and his ilk are really HIJACKING the movement, swooping in like VULTURES after the hard work is done and picking the easy spoils. That is why CARPETBAGGER is an accurate word. Many in the movement feel totally betrayed, sold out and screwed over. It’s sad and pathetic to see what they have done to this movement….

      1. Okay, Phil – you believe his WORDS, but I look at his DEEDS. He is certainly saying the right things to get elected, but look at what he has done over the past couple of years, and how he has double-crossed unions time and time again. The guy is a vulture in a $1,000 suit – coming in to pick the carcass clean after others have done the real work.

        By the way Phil, I believe Voltaire also said “There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts”.

          1. 1) Revisions to the health insurance of city workers (2011)
            2) Milwaukee teachers Viagra lawsuit – public callout
            3) Gave Walker strategy help for Act 10
            4) Milwaukee city workers pension backstab
            5) Siding with police and fire unions (only)
            6) Silence during budget battle/protests in 2011
            7) Residency requirements for city employees
            8) Soft on school choice

            1. Residency requirements for city employees were in place long before Mayor Barrett took office, so I’m not sure how Barrett backstabbed the unions on that one.

            2. Johnny Boy, so many of your shocking revelations! are just outright lies. Are you making these up or are you falling for them as told to you by someone else, without doing your own research?

              Whichever, you’re embarrassing yourself.

  4. yes Barrett’s committment to overturning Act 10 is “I am going to very forcefully ask them and they will capitulate. So what happens when, if by some horrible chance we dont get the assembly back, they say no?

    Do we get a bBarrett Campaign in 2014 of “well I tried” which will lead us to a governor in 2014 of Don pridemore because the base is sick of fighting for things with no backing fromthe politicians?

    1. Exactly, Jeff – the unions fought incredibly hard to get to this point. To have this opportunity stolen and thrown away because of the SUPPOSED “more electable” line is very sad. I’m sure Barrett’s people are out there really pushing “more electable”, and the media as well as many good Democrats are swallowing it hook, line, sinker and pole.

    2. Jeff, the thing that we all must remember is that in our system of government, the chief executive (in this case the Governor) isn’t like a ship’s captain or a Generalissimo in a military junta. No Governor can step in or save the day without a lot of help, just like Walker couldn’t have made a name for himself without a GOP-loaded state legislature. The problem is that the people whose votes they need to get elected don’t know or don’t care about that.

      The bottom line is that this is, or should be a race for the state legislature. That’s where the real power is. Once the primaries are over, I hope Wisdems is ready with a full court press to support every last Democratic candidate running, especially those running against Republican incumbents. If they don’t, and even if they do it will be time to step away from the Internet, stop “talking about the weather” and start doing something about it. Instead of aiming all of the outrage at Walker, focus it on the GOP incumbents like a magnifying glass on an ant.

      I know that there are some out there who fail to see the big picture, or are nursing grudges about alleged slights who wouldn’t mind handing the Governor’s office back to Walker (until after the fact, of course). Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind that. As long as the legislature is taken out of GOP hands.

      I think it might be kind of fun to have Walker win his recall election only to face impeachment in 2013. Think about it–without a GOP legislature, he’s powerless, neutered. Having an impeachment trial following on the heels of a recall election makes him look worse, hurts the GOP/”Tea Party” brands, and keeps the scandal in the national news through 2013. (Remember that we’re not the only state with teabag government problems.) By that time the investigation might get to the point that we get to see Walker being perp walked out of the Capitol building. Win-win.

    3. Jeff, how exactly is Kathleen Falk going to magically restore collective bargaining for state employees? Threatening to veto any budget that’s sans collective bargaining isn’t the answer, because Republicans will simply delay a budget as long as possible. Granted, eventually a budget would have to be passed, but if you don’t think a Gov. Falk would pay a terrible price for holding a biennial budget hostage over collective bargaining for public employees, you’re crazy.

      The problem with Falk is that she’s locked herself into vetoing the state budget if it doesn’t contain collective bargaining, while Barrett says he simply wants to keep his options open.

      1. Hi Zach, I don’t want to speak for Jeff, but my answer is that she will be LASER FOCUSED and DETERMINED to do so – it will be her sole purpose for being there and she will use any means necessary to restore CB. The other candidates in the Democratic Primary, especially the turncoat from Milwaukee, are not fully committed to this cause – despite their words – and will not finish the fight started last February.

        1. Shouldn’t a governor do more than just focus on one issue?

          I mean, I want collective bargaining restored as much as the next person, but shouldn’t our next Democratic governor also be working on job creation and rolling back the extreme agenda Republicans pushed through over the past year?

          Wisconsin needs more than a one-issue governor.

        2. Oooooh, will she be LASER-FOCUSED and DETERMINED like she was when she left her Dane County job halfway through her term, just because she felt like switching her focus and determined to do something else?

  5. I noticed this as well in the candidate forum and a few other Barrett quotes. If this Barrett was running in 2010, and a few more Dems confronted GOP thuggery this way in 2010, we wouldn’t have the mess that we now know as Fitzwalkerstan.

    It also shows to me that primaries are often a good thing, especially if the incumbent isn’t the one being primaried, because it makes them answer questions and get their name out there. The D.C. Dems pushed people out of the way in 2010, and I think it hurt interest and turnout, as it gave Walker and Neumann all of the media time.

    Between a tougher, better Barrett as a candidate and the fact that the rest of the state outside of the 414 has been exposed to the failure that is Scott Walker, I’d say things are set up pretty well for June 5. Now the Dems just need to get their asses all over the air to remind people of Walker’s numerous failures.

    1. I find this fascinating, because I often saw this Tom Barrett in 2010, but I was here in Milwaukee. Perhaps his severe injuries (from intervening in the attack on a woman near the state fair) and pain cut back on his outstate campaigning? and on his persona?

      More of an impact, though — and this, we must not forget — was the refual of WEAC to endorse our Dem candidate for governor in 2010. That helped to give us Walker. We cannot let union leaders make a mess of this again.

      1. “We cannot let union leaders make a mess of this again.”

        I may be wrong, but the last time I checked, individuals are still allowed to vote their conscience, union or not.

        Endorsements are nice, but a campaign that communicates directly to the individual voter is much better.

        1. Memory Man, I tend to agree with you — except (a) in the case of the teachers’ union, WEAC, and (b) in this unusually short campaign, in which the issue of endorsements seems to be having more impact. Or at least it seems to be the basis of one Dem’s attack on another Dem, and that is just sad.

          In such a short campaign, we have no time for those GOP-type tactics.

          1. Do you mean that WEAC dictates to their rank and file members who to vote for? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.

            This recall election is unusual to say the least. Because of its unique nature, I wouldn’t want to try to guess what will work and what won’t. I’m just thankful not to be a political strategist for any of the recall campaigns.

            So far the loudest voices in the crowd are those who hate one candidate or another in their party because of some alleged slight against a union that they belong to. These voices are as small in number as they are loud though. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in the end.

            1. Do you really think that’s what you read in my comment? Of course not. Stop making up stuff that you pretend that I say.

              I know perfectly well that WEAC cannot tell its members what to do in the voting booth. However, I also know a lot of teachers who look to WEAC’s endorsements.

              And you know as well as I do that one Dem candidate has been making a big deal of WEAC (and other) endorsements from the start, and it is that Dem candidate, not me, who made them a major item on the public agenda.

              I wish that she had not done so, but you’ll have to talk to her, not me, about why the other 86% of Wisconsinites who are not union members are not as high on that agenda. We’ll be hearing all too soon from them about the impact of that on the recall for all candidates and for all of us.

  6. If Barrett wins the primary, he had better spend some time in the parts of the state that are not Madison/Milwaukee. There was a candidate forum scheduled last week in Stevens Point, and only Vinehout and Lafollette said they would attend. I guess the two front runners believe they don’t need our votes, or they think that like Republicans we will “fall in line.” I must say, I would like to vote for someone who seems to respect the voter, and who I believe can and should win. It does look like I may end up voting for Barrett because he has a better chance of beating Walker than Falk does. By the way I don’t remember any chances to see/meet Barrett during the 2010 campaign.

    1. In the last week or so alone, he has been in Wausau (did you contact him in time to coordinate that with a trip to Point?) and La Crosse, I know from his FB page, and I’ve seen posts on other places, too, but don’t recall the specifics.

      Do not count on mainstream media to tell you where he’ll be. I hope that you’re heading to his website and/or FB page. (And I can tell you that mainstream media in Milwaukee also are not always reporting when other candidates are here, so I check their own sites as well.)

  7. I think JB’s answered who is in it for themselves and who is in it fir the movement.

    I would be fine with Barrett it someone would give me a reason besides that he is “electable” I keep having john Kerry visions.

  8. It’s sad that your goal is now hoping Walker gets charges against him. You may get one seat gain in the senate from June- november. Van probably will lose. But the GOP will keep the assembly, and re-gain control of the senate following the November election. P.s. Walker and Kleefisch win 51-48%

    1. Note that if the GOP trolls are already saying this election will be closer than 2010 and that they predict 1 Senate seat lost, that means Tom’s already in great shape, and probably winning in the real Wisconsin, and I’d lay the over/under line on Senate seats at 2 (just say that voting for a GOP= voting for Walker, because that’s why these recall elections are happening anyway).

      If Angry Tom keeps fighting, I think he might win by more than Walker won in 2010. And that’s assuming Walker isn’t indicted by John Doe. If we fight and stand for progressive values, instead of apologizing for them, WE WILL WIN.

      1. Hi Jake, Please don’t buy in and assume that Barrett will win. Barrett is saying what he thinks folks want to hear to get elected, but once he gets past Falk you will hear him talk about how “We’ll try to get CB back, but you never know….”. He is not a true believer, and is a PHONY and late-comer to this cause. Where was he last year?? He was using the Walker BS to hammer the Union Brothers in Milwaukee. Don’t be fooled by this guy – we will be sadly disappointed with him as Governor.

        1. He was in Madison last year with us. You must not have been there, if you didn’t see him; thousands of us did, Johnny Come Lately Boy.

          And Tom Barrett is not come-lately guy. He was my Congressman for decades, he has been my mayor for years, and he has worked hard and come through on every promise for us, never disappointing us.

          He does not make promises he cannot keep, like Falk does about tieing the union rights to the budget — which is what Walker did with Act 10, or did you forget it was called “a budget repair bill” because we were “broke”? — as Tom knows how a legislature works. He served in that branch of government, and in Congress, unlike Falk who has not had a day of legislative experience in her life.

          1. Do you have proof? I don’t remember that he was in Madison. Not that I would expect him to be, him being the mayor in Milwaukee, but was he in Madison?

            1. Well, I stood next to Mayor Barrett at one of the rallies I was at. I hope that’s proof enough, because I have no reason to lie.

            2. I saw him in Madison, I talked to him in Madison . . . but gosh no, I didn’t fingerprint him in Madison.

              Caramel apparently took names and has lists of everyone who came to Madison.

              I thought that only Walker’s people were tracking all of us. . . .

        2. Well Jonny- Well, if Tom’s not doing enough to move in a direction that we in the recall movement want him to, that’s where people like you come in and vehemently remind him what he was elected to do. And remind him that he’s got another election coming up in 2 1/2 years.

          Fortunately, I don’t think we’ll have to do that, because Tom knows the score, and he’ll do the right thing. I kinda know the guy a bit more than you do.

          I understand that this primary might not end up with the winner you want, but maybe that’s because Tom Barrett’s a pretty good candidate who’s running a better campaign than he did in 2010. You have a right to be skeptical, but you also shouldn’t keep your eyes off the ball- winning on June 5. And I think we’re in pretty good position to do so, whether that candidate’s Tom Barrett or if it’s somehow someone else.

  9. I disagree the price that wil be paid, will be the democratic party of WI if collective bargaining rights are not restored. People stopped their lives to sleep in the Capitol to stop from losing them. Try and run in 2014 as a Dem if they are not restored or if you did not do something as drastic as veto a budget.

    By the way campaigning with resident lobbyist Dave obey makes my argument for me.

    1. Barrett will NOT go to the wall to restore CB, as he is not a true believer in them. When the going gets tough – which it will – he will sell the unions down the river in a flash…..

      And, he’s done a WONDERFUL job in Milwaukee, hasn’t he??

      1. J. Boy, I am a Milwaukeean, and yes, he has done a wonderful job for us. Thanks for asking, from wherever you are in Wisconsin, where you don’t know at all what we were facing in our fair city. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of city workers, and they also are grateful that Barrett figured out how to keep them at work and working for the rest of us despite Walker’s huge budget hit at our city to undermine Barrett.

        You are believing Walker’s lies. Are you a GOP troll?

  10. Don’t count on the media to tell you where he is
    The media as we all should know, is sucking up to the big money, and are doing their best to reduce Barrett’s 14 point lead in the primary–as well as the momentum a big win will give him in the governor’s race. Barrett’s ads are on target, as is his comments to the media, thanks to his friends in Chicago. The union idea that big business is always “the enemy” is like the dog who always bites the hand that feeds him: it won’t get the dog better meals, and may get him thrown out.

    1. Is this primary helping? I had imagined more campaigns like Kathleen Vinehout’s and La Follette’s. I thought the Dem. side and the unions would play this whole thing a lot smarter than this. So far I am not that impressed.

  11. Just so you all know…if it isn’t obvious…the “Anon” posting isn’t me (the regular Anon on here).

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