TSW #32

Ben Jacobs, The Daily Beast, April 29:

… the [Wisconsin Democratic primary] competition has boiled down to a two-man race between former Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, the 2010 Democratic nominee, and Kathleen Falk… It is a competitive primary, in which both sides are well financed and motivated. There just isn’t much difference between the two.

… Barrett is better known than Falk as a former mayor of Milwaukee and congressman … Barrett, however, is not a perfect candidate either, and has only been in the race since the end of March. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010 against Walker and he lost…

… Wisconsin Democrats still have to sift through their candidates and pick one on May 8. They just may have a difficult time staying awake in the process.

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They may? That’s strange, because I’m pretty damned sure Wisconsin Democrats are wide awake. It’s Jacobs who seems to be asleep. Otherwise, how are we to account for Kathleen Falk, a woman, being named as one-half of a “two-man race”? Or Tom Barrett, the current mayor of Milwaukee, being described twice as the “former mayor” of Milwaukee? He won a third term on April 3, as a matter of fact. There were balloons and everything.

As to Jacobs’ apparent objection to there not being “much difference between the two,” it’s difficult to understand why and how he would expect two generally mainstream, career Democratic politicians to have “much difference” between them.

Finally, Jacobs implies that Barrett is a Johnny-come-lately for being in the race only “since the end of March.” Had Jacobs not been dozing off, he probably would have noticed that there actually was no race until the end of March, when recall petitions were verified and an election announced. Barrett declared his candidacy the very day the Government Accountability Board certified the petition results. Falk had announced back in January, probably to try and thwart Barrett’s name recognition and polling advantage.

Jacobs’ piece bears the cutesy title: “Who Will Take On Scott Walker? More to the Point, Who Cares?” Had he been able to keep his eyes open, Jacobs might be aware that Barrett lost to Walker in 2010 by less than 125,000 votes. I’m guessing that the 900,000-plus people who signed petitions to recall Walker care who takes him on, a lot.

It’s amazing what you can learn when you’re awake, Ben Jacobs. You should try it.