Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cheese it! - Obama avoids Wisconsin [where union membership has dropped like a rock]
Weekly Standard ^ | June 2, 2012 | Stephen F. Hayes

Posted on 06/03/2012 1:32:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

>>>>The Wisconsin branch of the American Federation of Teachers has lost some 6,000 of its 17,000 members. And membership in the state’s chapter of AFSCME has plummeted from nearly 63,000 to just 29,000 in just one year.

It’s not hard to understand why labor sees these reforms as such a threat and why they see the recall as so important. And yet Obama, if he’s wearing comfortable shoes, is doing so everywhere other than Wisconsin.<<<<<

_________________________________________________

Barack Obama seems determined to avoid Wisconsin.

On Friday, he visited Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a midday speech and three fundraisers. He departed late afternoon for Chicago and three more fundraisers that evening. The president stayed overnight in his hometown and spent Saturday morning at his old home before flying back to Washington, D.C., for a brief stop before heading to Camp David for some downtime.

So just four days before the recall elections in Wisconsin that the state’s Democrats have worked 16 months to win, with potential implications for November 2012, the leader of their party did six fundraisers for himself in surrounding states but couldn’t find time for even a quick stop? Think about it: As Wisconsin Democrats were busy getting voters to cast early ballots Friday and organizing for Tuesday, Air Force One flew overhead twice–from Washington to Minnesota and Minnesota to Chicago.

I’m no political strategist, but I don’t get it.

Conventional wisdom is that Obama is avoiding a trip to Wisconsin because internal Democratic polling, like several recent public polls, shows Governor Scott Walker with an insurmountable lead over Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett. Obama, this thinking goes, risks looking impotent if he makes an appearance for a losing candidate. I suppose that’s correct, and there are certainly downsides to a visit.

But I wonder if the downsides to skipping the state – and skipping it in the way that he did – are not worse. And there’s always the outside chance that Barrett pulls off a surprise victory – in which case Obama would have been celebrated as a difference-maker.

It’s clear that Wisconsin Democrats wanted him to come. In an interview with the Huffington Post on Thursday Barrett responded to Obama’s visit across the state’s border and invited the president to Wisconsin. “We’d love to have him zip over to western Wisconsin,” Barrett said. “I’m happy to meet him for a fish fry.”

No luck. Rather than travel the thirty miles from the Twin Cities for the perch special at the Mallalieu Inn over in Hudson, Wisconsin (or, even better, a burger at Dick’s), Obama went straight to Illinois, where he held a fundraiser at the Chicago Cultural Center “in an ornate, high-ceilinged room where guests in business attire mingled and sipped wine,” according to the pool report. Tickets started at $2,500.

Wisconsin Democrats cannot be happy with the snub. They were “furious” at what they perceived as inadequate support from national Democrats, leaking their frustrations in what looked like an attempt to shame the Democratic National Committee into providing the backing they were seeking.

A few days after that piece ran, the Wall Street Journal reported that national Democrats had advised their Wisconsin counterparts against pursuing a recall in the first place.

Top Democrats now say that when labor groups first raised the specter of a recall, the party's officials urged their allies in Wisconsin to reconsider. "We told them it was a bad, bad, bad idea," one Democratic official said.

A union official said both the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign expressed reservations. "I don't know that anyone was enthusiastic about it over there," the union official said.

The bitterness that has led to such finger-pointing will be much worse if Barrett loses on Tuesday. That cannot be good for Obama. Two groups important to his reelection will feel abandoned by their president: labor and Wisconsin Democrats.

Start with labor. Throughout his presidential campaign, Obama promised that he would be a friend to labor in the White House, a national spokesman of sorts for America’s workers.

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself,” he said while campaigning in 2007. “I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody’s standing in their corner.”

In their corner? The Wall Street Journal reported this week that public employee unions have seen dramatic drops in membership since Walker’s reforms made union membership voluntary.

The Wisconsin branch of the American Federation of Teachers has lost some 6,000 of its 17,000 members. And membership in the state’s chapter of AFSCME has plummeted from nearly 63,000 to just 29,000 in just one year.

It’s not hard to understand why labor sees these reforms as such a threat and why they see the recall as so important. And yet Obama, if he’s wearing comfortable shoes, is doing so everywhere other than Wisconsin.

Yes, it’s true that Obama for America volunteers have been organizing in Wisconsin. And, yes, Obama endorsed Barrett – from Washington.

But how meaningless was that long-distance endorsement? When a reporter asked Jay Carney about it last week, the president’s spokesman said he did not know that his boss had formally backed Barrett.

Beyond that, Obama doesn’t want Wisconsin Democrats dispirited – perhaps even resentful – heading into November. His electoral strategy depends on a win in the state. We know this because his campaign has told us.

In December, Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina laid out the president’s five best paths to 270 electoral votes – the West path, the Midwest path, the South path, the Florida path, and the Expansion path. What’s notable about them in this context: Each one assumes a win in Wisconsin.

That’s no longer a safe assumption, especially if Walker prevails on Tuesday. It’s true that Obama won Wisconsin by a huge margin in 2008 – 56-42. And he’s leading most polling now – with a RealClearPolitics average of 4.7 percent. But Republicans dominate the state legislature and hold the governorship. And the results of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections suggest the state could well be in play again. In 2004, John Kerry defeated George W. Bush by a margin of just 12,000 votes out of nearly 3 million. In 2000, Al Gore beat Bush by just 5,500 votes out of 2.5 million.

An Obama visit to Wisconsin, even if it preceded a loss, would have energized the activists who have been working in the state for more than a year – many of whom Obama will need to work for him over the next five months. And it would have given rank-and-file Democratic voters the sense that their president stood with them on a campaign of such obvious importance to them.

Maybe these folks will quickly move beyond the recall if Barrett loses. After all, five months is a long time to let those wounds heal.

But maybe not. It’s a big chance to take.

Of course, there’s another reason Obama might want to avoid Wisconsin—one that would not likely occur to Democrats in the state or their union brothers. Perhaps the White House understands that the reforms are working and recognizes that they’re increasingly popular among Wisconsin voters. And that, it seems to me, would be the most devastating indictment of the recall yet.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: avoids; cheese; economy; jobs; obama; recall; union; wisconsin; wisconsinshowdown

1 posted on 06/03/2012 1:32:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

My humble guess is that most of the people we saw on TV several months in demonstrations there in Wis....are the hardcore folks. The rest....are like these people who quit the union. It would be interesting to know....as Walker wins...how many ex-union folks voted for him.


2 posted on 06/03/2012 2:26:32 AM PDT by pepsionice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pepsionice

To: Cincinatus’ Wife
My humble guess is that most of the people we saw on TV several months in demonstrations there in Wis....are the hardcore folks.......

I would agree but consider that MANY of those demonstrators came from out of state.

I have sent my ballot in and now await the outcome, praying that Walker wins and wins BIG.


3 posted on 06/03/2012 3:14:00 AM PDT by Progov
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

So these are the hard cores?

4 posted on 06/03/2012 3:24:31 AM PDT by Cololeo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Progov

Hardcore folks that were shipped in from other states, that is.


5 posted on 06/03/2012 3:58:10 AM PDT by Ladysmith (The evil that's happening in this country is the cancer of socialism...It kills the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

The sad truth is that Obama has nothing to lose. He can snub the Dems in Wisconsin and he can snub the unions but, in the end, they will rally around him and pull out all the stops to re-elect him. His base consists of the “hard core” and they are well aware that, in the end, Obama is the candidate who will twist every right and every advantage at a national level to be certain that the independent contractor and individual worker (as well as the average taxpayer) gets the screws put to him so that the unions can suck up every last dollar Obama can send their way.


6 posted on 06/03/2012 4:02:50 AM PDT by onevoter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cololeo

So these are the hard cores?

Yep ... every one ... hard working ... under paid ... under appreciated ... English teachers ... who work long hours for nine months each year (less six weeks off for holidays and breaks) ... who are obviously highly qualified ... who could increase their salaries at least five or six times in the private sector ... but they don't because they are willing to sacrifice for a small pittance ... which the Nazi governor wants to take away!

7 posted on 06/03/2012 4:03:58 AM PDT by Zakeet (Obama loves to wok dogs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

He didn’t have to go. The “first black president”, William Jefferson Criminal, had recently visited the state. Why would they need to see the half-frikken American?


8 posted on 06/03/2012 4:08:53 AM PDT by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pepsionice
Facebook's Union Workers for Scott Walker has 1,000+ fans on it. Doesn't seem like much but pretty gutsy for any of them to admit it, as "tolerant" as the unions are.
9 posted on 06/03/2012 4:09:19 AM PDT by Ladysmith (The evil that's happening in this country is the cancer of socialism...It kills the human spirit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
And there’s always the outside chance that Barrett pulls off a surprise victory – in which case Obama would have been celebrated as a difference-maker.

That is probably why Clinton was there

So he can take credit and in any case he can still show how he tried to help while Obama had cold feet
10 posted on 06/03/2012 4:14:13 AM PDT by uncbob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Look at it this way...reverse the thought process...IF Obama thought Barrett had a ghost of a chance, he would fall all over himself getting there., so he could take the credit, bask in the glory.

That he avoids it, proves he knows Barrett is toast.

Thank the good Lord and the people of WI.


11 posted on 06/03/2012 4:24:37 AM PDT by txrangerette ("HOLD TO THE TRUTH...SPEAK WITHOUT FEAR" - Glenn Beck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cololeo

They absolutely are - provided that you are speaking of those armed union members in uniform standing there...


12 posted on 06/03/2012 4:34:28 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet

The pathetic part of that picture is the glaring mistake in 3rd grade English on that sign...
I HOPE that they are not teachers, but that is probably a forlorn hope...


13 posted on 06/03/2012 4:38:28 AM PDT by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet

She must be from the teachers union.


14 posted on 06/03/2012 4:39:59 AM PDT by Dusty Road
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: bill1952


The pathetic part of that picture is the glaring mistake in 3rd grade English on that sign...
I HOPE that they are not teachers, but that is probably a forlorn hope...”

My son brought a note home from his teacher, “Robert would of done better if he would of studied harder.” The principal called me and said that my reply to the teacher made her cry.


15 posted on 06/03/2012 5:01:22 AM PDT by ryderann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
“I’m happy to meet him for a fish fry.”

There's the problem right there: it didn't meet the FLOTUS "healthy eating" silliness standards.

16 posted on 06/03/2012 5:11:55 AM PDT by aposiopetic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife; afraidfortherepublic; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; ...

Wisconsin: Should we feel snubbed by 0bama? ping.


17 posted on 06/03/2012 5:25:28 AM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cololeo

I can’t tell about the core, but the exterior seems a little soft.


18 posted on 06/03/2012 5:43:49 AM PDT by proxy_user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Hunton Peck

Obama went to Jersey
Obama went. To Taxachusettes
Obama went to Virginia

Three states, three losses.

Obama, please visit Wisconsin tomorrow...pleeeeeeeease.


19 posted on 06/03/2012 5:45:34 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (ABO 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: ryderann

Please share your reply.


20 posted on 06/03/2012 5:57:44 AM PDT by JPG (Don't just talk about it, make it happen.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: bill1952; Zakeet; Dusty Road
In the 70s, I was watching tv coverage of a teachers strike in Chicago, the reporter asked one picketer "what she did at the school". Her reply was priceless and I only wish that I had recorded it, she said, "I teaches English".
21 posted on 06/03/2012 5:58:47 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ryderann

See # 21.


22 posted on 06/03/2012 6:00:58 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Obama versus Romney? Cyanide versus arsenic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
I’m no political strategist, but I don’t get it.

The 1-term Marxist is avoiding another shellacking.

23 posted on 06/03/2012 6:17:36 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Obama’s hides, throws Barrett under the bus, sends Bill Clinton, who can’t muster up, even a crowd of 1000 nutcases in Milwaukee last Friday. Obama is the kiss of death for any Democrat politician. Just watch and see how many Democrats will want Obama to campaign with them. Answer, none!!! It’s late, folks, but the Democrat Party needs to broom Obama right now, get rid of him. Force him to resign, like right now!!! They will not do it!!! So.......Obama will take a good portion of the Democrat Party down to defeat with him in November, 2012!!! On this very site, I have, over and over and over, urged Democrats to rid the party of Obama and his ilk. Just got laughs as a response. Who is laughing now Democrats??? GO SCOTT WALKER, ON TO VICTORY!!!


24 posted on 06/03/2012 6:28:45 AM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX (My only objective is defeat and destroy Obama & his Democrat Party, politically!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Wisconsin branch of the American Federation of Teachers has lost some 6,000 of its 17,000 members. And membership in the state’s chapter of AFSCME has plummeted from nearly 63,000 to just 29,000 in just one year.

Wow...just wow...

No wonder the DNC and the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen...

Walker has already won the battle....he is just moping up....

This shows the absolutely vile hatred of Walker by union leadership...and the mindless waste of money... when even their own union goons are deflecting

25 posted on 06/03/2012 6:51:59 AM PDT by Popman (When you elect a clown: expect a circus...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ryderann

What was your reply and did you send the note back redlined?

The most recent thing I saw that jarred me was “mam” as in “Yes Mam, I will do that at 2pm.”

My assistant now knows better, although I did not make her cry. :-)


26 posted on 06/03/2012 7:06:49 AM PDT by RikaStrom (Pray for Obama - Psalm 109:8 "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: JPG

“Please share your reply.”

This happened about 40 years ago. I wrote “My son would HAVE done better if you would Have taught better English.”


27 posted on 06/03/2012 7:15:20 AM PDT by ryderann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Cololeo

Love the feet. Yes, the over-suckled pigs of organized labor’s “political wing” who base their entire existence on one thing, money laundering via conscripted dues.

This should be unconstitutional....Taxpayer dollars to political opponents.

Go Scott Walker, Win and win big. I still say that the icing on the cake would be less votes for Barrett than signatures on the recall petitions.


28 posted on 06/03/2012 10:44:41 AM PDT by Shady (The undeniable truth of the Obama Administration...The numbers do not lie.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Zakeet

They sure our!


29 posted on 06/04/2012 2:05:02 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Let me ABOs run loose Lou!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson