My thoughts on Mary Burke

As I’ve been ruminating over the results of last week’s election, I’ve been critical of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate (see HERE and HERE), and while some of my criticism of Tate was unfair, I do think it’s important to have a discussion about what we Democrats want to see from our party and its leadership moving forward.

However, I have to agree with Jim Rowen of The Political Environment that Mary Burke should be thanked for her run against Gov. Scott Walker, a run that subjected her to vicious personal attacks and smears not only at the hands of a conservative machine hell-bent on seeing Gov. Walker reelected, but also at the hands of so-called “progressives” who would have preferred their “fantasy candidate” or who disapproved of the way Burke entered the race as the presumed preferred candidate of the Democratic establishment.

Mary Burke has said she will not run again for statewide office.

Our loss.

Georgetown University. Harvard Business School. Hands-on corporate experience. Board service for non-profits.

You don’t see too many people with resumes like that in our state willing to lay it all on the line.

I give Mary Burke all the credit in the world for running for Governor.

In an off-year cycle without the benefit of the presidential campaign.

Against an unprincipled, narcissistic, careerist incumbent with access to power and money and a coordinated media and organizational machine for which he shills that her side could never match.

A machine which swift-boated her.

I’m not getting involved in the criticism made by others against Democratic Party officials, or Burke ‘handlers,’ or advisers, or strategies.

It’s Monday-morning quarterbacking.

I am saying that people ought to thank and support Mary Burke for making the run, for putting up with the crap and the inevitable personal destruction which came her way.

You and I feel badly about the outcome; imagine how she feels.

I do not blame Mary Burke for saying one-and-done for statewide races.

I believe Mary Burke’s defeat at the hands of Scott Walker was due to two main factors: the amount of money spent by conservatives to tear her down and a failure on the part of her campaign staff to properly message. Case in point would be the Burke campaign’s severely delayed response to Gov. Walker’s statement during the first gubernatorial debate that Wisconsin doesn’t have a “jobs problem.” While the Burke campaign was quick to attack Gov. Walker for the statement, it took nearly a week (an eternity during a campaign) before the Burke campaign had an ad on TV criticizing Gov. Walker’s statement.


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10 thoughts on “My thoughts on Mary Burke

  1. Generous post. Burke’s messaging throughout was sub-par and whomever was in charge of it (and I hope BB looks into this aspect – Cog Dis says it’s Bjork) should be considered unemployable by the State DPW and future Democratic campaigns. While that sounds harsh, he/she/they simply can’t be allowed to suck up donor dollars and volunteer time if they’re not going to execute on the basics – candidate media preparation, swift counter ads, value-oriented narratives, and focusing on the issues that matter to the base. They had a great story and raw material in Burke and wow, did they squander that opportunity.

  2. Wow, just wow. Vile attacks? Like a Comercial with a swastika in it?

    Jewish democrats must be so proud.

    1. I wouldn’t have expected you to understand the difference between an attack ad and a defense against that prior attack that you have just remarked on. “Living up to low expectations.”© Now there’s a marketing theme.

    2. chris,

      In what world is “wow, just wow.” a sentence? Can you diagram it? Where’s the subject? Where’s the verb?

      What’s a “Comercial?”

      FYI, wingnuts in the comments at JS frequently refer to Chisholm and the John Doe with Nazi metaphors.

  3. Nominating someone who can actually be elected is a “fantasy”? Guess who’s out to lunch? It ain’t progressives it’s the pathetic GOP-light democratic party.

    1. Where was that candidate in 2014? If there was a candidate who could actually have been elected, I’d love to hear your explanation as to why that candidate did not run – and I don’t want to hear the “The DPW cleared the field for Mary Burke” argument.

      The fact is, the Democratic bench for statewide offices is not that deep.

  4. Zach the “fantasy,” candidate sounds a bit like the, “don’t overlook the good in pursuit of the perfect,” and bordering on a repeat of the “purist,” criticism.

    Spoke to that on Nov 6:

    I too agree with James Rowen on this topic instead of evaluating has little worth in understanding or addressing perceived problems. And the link I inserted says best what went wrong for the Democrats in WI and nationally.

    The Matt Stoller links I posted recently explain the problem with the national Democratic Party, as much a party of the political class protecting their masters as is the GOP.

  5. Zach, you forgot to thank Mary for the $5 mil she wasted. Oh I forgot when it’s liberal money it’s good, when it’s rojo’s it bad , and we need to get the moneyed interest out of politics.

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