There were no real surprises at last night’s debate between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Barrett took an aggressive stance, because he had to, and Walker just had to not mess up. I half blame the media and the electorate for not demanding more from Walker.
Walker should have to try harder to convince people he should remain in office. Instead he just has to put out there enough obsfucations, dog-whistle talking points, and mis-characterizations of why there is even a recall election at all to distract from not only his failure as a leader, but also his criminality. Oh yes, he should be so lucky to be recalled rather than have to resign due to legal problems.
The hubris of Walker is on full display in the form of Ciara Mathews, his campaign spokeswoman. After the debate she didn’t even bother to answer the questions asked by the media, instead she just spit out her memorized talking points and then ended the session. She declared victory in the debate, but it’s a pretty low bar since Walker spent the evening giving thin and evasive answers, then weaseled out by not asking a question of Barrett.
The citizens of Wisconsin deserve a governor that cares about them enough to prepare and ardently defend his own actions and policies in an arena such as this. But Walker feels he has enough sheep-like supporters that they don’t care that his entire administration and staff is either political cronies or glorified interns.
For a comprehensive accounting of the debate, read this summary by Capper on the “Cognitive Dissidence Blog“.