Tuesday, April 03, 2012

It's Tuesday. There's A Primary

And today the most important place in the world is Wisconsin, the state in which I was born and grew up. I'd like to say I don't recognize the political landscape in my old home state, but I'm old enough to remember the days Joe McCarthy held sway. In any event, both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have been campaigning in the Badger State for the past couple of weeks.

Romney is confident he will win the primary. I suspect he's right. Santorum claims he will not be dropping out even if Romney wins, and I suspect he means it, party elders be damned. So I tend to think this primary is pretty much going to be a yawner.

I will admit, however, to being mildly intrigued by the two candidates' appearances and speeches in Wisconsin. For them, the state is merely a backdrop, a location for them to present themselves to the entire nation. As a result, sometimes they make mistakes, like the one Romney made while speaking at an event Governor Walker had spoken at just minutes before. Apparently they view the economy in radically different ways.

Romney and Walker offered clashing portraits of the economy at a Waukesha County GOP dinner on Saturday.

It was a jarring display of how political imperatives can lead candidates of the same party to examine the same set of facts and reach wildly different conclusions that suit their needs for an upcoming election.

Facing a June recall vote sparked by his fight with unions of government workers, Walker cast himself as the governor whose fiscal restraint has turned Wisconsin’s economy around. ...

Moments later, Romney stepped onto the same stage and -- after the requisite tribute to Walker -- offered his bleak description of America’s economy.

“We know that under Barack Obama, 800,000 jobs have been lost,” said Romney, a candidate in the Wisconsin presidential primary on Tuesday. “We know that under Barack Obama, 2.3 million homes have been foreclosed upon. We know that under this president, chronic unemployment is the worst it’s been in American history.”
[Emphasis added]

The sad thing is that I doubt anyone in that Waukesha audience even blinked.

So at least some of the party faithful will turn out today and cast their ballots, mostly for Mitt. I don't imagine the turn-out will be particularly high for several reasons. The nomination appears to be Mitt's, and there just isn't a whole lot of excitement involved at this point. More importantly, there's another election coming up in Wisconsin that is far more exciting: the one to recall Gov. Walker and several more state GOP legislators.

Like I said: this one looks to be a yawner. Unless, of course, Rick Santorum inadvertently sets his hair-shirt on fire.

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