The recall election for Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin should be a typical “special” election for the two major parties – the side that wins will say it shows how the tide has turned their way, while the losing party will use the old line of “move along, there’s nothing to see here.”
While one shouldn’t overhype the Wisconsin election, it would be wrong to ignore the outcome as well.
“I think it’s huge,” my father wrote to me in an email yesterday – and I tend to agree with him.
Let’s look at it both ways, starting with a win for Gov. Walker.
Think about it – Walker will have faced down Big Labor, closed a budget deficit and all but made himself into a conservative hero in the process.
There was even talk on Monday in Washington, D.C. circles about how Walker could be a pick for Vice President by Mitt Romney.
If you’re a Republican candidate, who wouldn’t want Walker coming to your state or district to gin up some excitement before the November elections? He would be a hot ticket.
On the flip side, if Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee can pull out a last minute win, it would be a big shot in the arm for Democrats, from the White House all the way down to the grass roots – and of course for Big Labor.
Organized labor sort of seems to need an election victory – and this would be a big one for them, as Walker’s scalp would be a big political prize that could stir up new enthusiasm for this November.
National Democrats and the White House have surprised some people by trying to stay out of this race, and there will certainly be questions for the President about why he didn’t lend a hand and stump for Barrett.
It’s the typical ‘damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t’ situation for a White House. If Democrats lose, look for them to argue that this race really didn’t mean that much.
In 2010, Walker beat Barrett 52-46%. We’ll see how that compares to June of 2012.