Handicapping the Recall Election
I offered my take on the upcoming gubernatorial recall election for the blogger David Blaska. You can find all of the responses here.
Here’s what I had to say:
Who’s going to win the recall? I don’t know.
I will venture this: For that sliver of the electorate that is undecided, the recall won’t pivot on the union issue, but on the condition of the Wisconsin economy.
Scott Walker could have a big problem here. It’s not just that the job numbers were so bad in his first year, but the Republicans fumbled two key economic development issues–creation of a venture capital fund and writing viable mining legislation.
Who would have guessed they would be so inept on fundamental business issues?
Walker’s best hope requires a twist worthy of an O’Henry short story: Will there be enough of an Obama economic recovery to lift the floundering Badger economy?
As for the Democrats, their chances of beating Walker will almost certainly decline once they pick a candidate. Their leading hopefuls are palookas–the scarred losers of previous statewide races.
Perhaps party chair Mike Tate can persuade the Democratic candidate to put a brown paper bag over his or her head. It could help.
But wait…if Herb Kohl miraculously changes his mind and runs, game over.
Everyone knows that the wild card is the John Doe probe. All hell breaks lose if Walker is indicted for the shenanigans that occurred while he was Milwaukee County executive.
What the Democrats need — and probably won’t get — is a business-savvy candidate like Kohl who understands the utter centrality of growing the Wisconsin economy.
Bar none, there is no more important issue in Wisconsin today.
Kevin Conroy, the biotech innovator (and the son of a former Democratic Michigan state senator) who briefly considered a gubernatorial run in 2010, might have filled the bill. But his Exact Sciences start-up is at a critical point of development.
Finally, given the chaos of Wisconsin politics, I don’t rule out an intervention by space aliens.
Bat-crazy weirdness–this is the new norm in Wisconsin politics.