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Wisconsin’s Wendy Davis

Wisconsin’s Wendy Davis

Not quite a single-issue candidate, but already showing desperation.

The Daily Beast is promoting Mary Burke as the Woman Who Could Beat Scott Walker:

Republicans call her “Millionaire Mary,” but Mary Burke has plenty of assets aside from her wealth to make her a strong contender to derail the reelection of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, along with his dreams of the presidency. Polls show the former Trek Bicycle executive either tied with Walker or trailing by just a few percentage points, while the Republican governor, who weathered a recall election in 2012, looks headed for a closer race than anyone expected….

“The things he has done with women’s choice issues puts Wisconsin right there with Mississippi,” she said over an iced tea Tuesday afternoon. Burke, who was in Washington for an Emily’s List dinner that night, has the pro-choice group’s endorsement, and it is making a big push to elect more Democratic women as governors….

At 55, Burke is a political novice, and in a polarized electorate, that might be a winning formula.

The polling is, indeed, competitive, but Walker has faced such challenges before and prevailed. It’s Wisconsin, so of course it will be relatively close, but close is not good enough and Burke knows it.

So Burke has resorted to War on Women rhetoric that even Politifact Wisconsin rated False:

Politifact Wisconsin Mary Burke Scott Walker Equal Pay

Walker just signed a $504 million dollar tax cut:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, on Monday signed into law a measure that uses the state’s projected surplus to give a tax break of more than $500 million to workers and property owners.

The law puts into place $504 million in tax cuts, consisting of $406 million in property tax relief and a $98 million state income tax break for those in the lowest tax bracket.

A typical state homeowner will see a $100 reduction in property taxes and a worker who makes $40,000 will save about $58 annually, according to the governor’s office.

The collective bargaining changes are paying off to the extent that Burke is not making it a major issue.

Maybe the comparison to Wendy Davis is unfair. Davis is a single issue candidate in a red state.

Perhaps a better comparison is to Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee Mayor who — with national Democratic money and supporters pouring into Wisconsin — was going to beat Walker in the 2012 recall election.

The polling was tight, and Democrats had high hopes that Barrett was the one who “could beat Scott Walker.”

Didn’t happen.

Will Mary Burke fare any better? I doubt it. But it will be a tough fight.


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“At 55, Burke is a political novice, and in a polarized electorate, that might be a winning formula.”

Oh, that is choice. Here we have an admission by the Daily Beast that Wisconsin Democrats have made a hash of their reputation. They cannot bring up any of their better-known politicians against the popular and courageous Scott Walker.

A woman as a political novice against a Republican who has fulfilled promises to cut taxes and has achieved great budgetary success, and who comes off as mild-mannered and won’t go after her like a blundering Neanderthal? Recipe for another “surprisingly large margin of victory” that “no one” predicted.

When I purchased my Trek 500, it was made in the United States, which was a huge selling point for Trek. That was, admittedly, a long time ago. (When I bought my Cannondale, their big selling point was- they were made in the U.S.)

Ask her why they outsourced. Or if they were already outsourced when she took over, why she didn’t bring all Trek manufacturing back to to the U.S.

Burke is not a total political novice, but what political experience she does have was gained in the lefty la-la land of Madison. Having to relate to the real world outside of Madison is going to be a very real challenge for her. Not being a rabid pro-public union candidate is not exactly endearing her to her party’s foot soldiers either. They’ve taken a beating the last few years and are now faced with supporting a candidate who won’t publicly support their cause. Their fatigue and disillusionment is going to play a critical role in Burke’s campaign.

Fundraising is about to become a huge issue since the state Democrats squandered their treasure trying to drive Scott Walker from office through the recall process. No small part of Burke’s appeal to the Dem party leadership in Wisconsin was the fact that Burke is a one-percenter who had initially expressed a willingness to significantly bankroll her own campaign. That seems to not be the case after all and so far out-of-state Dem cash hasn’t come rolling in for Burke.

Henry Hawkins | May 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

If she’s a single issue candidate, it ain’t by choice. Walker has done so well, little is assailable.

I don’t know if the union foot soldiers could have been roused to one more fight after losing the budget battle, the Supreme Court election, and the recall. They were in the wrong, of course, but you have to give credit to them for pouring heart and soul into it. They shut down the capitol, they had demonstrations all day every day, they brought in union help from around the country.

And they lost, and lost, and lost. That’s just got to take something out of them – even if it is only the willingness of the out of state unions to fund help.

Polling six months out is notoriously inaccurate in predicting outcomes. Walker’s previous races were all tight, he consistently out-performs polling. The bottom line is it is hard to beat success with nothing. Burke is nothing.