Skip to comments.COMMENTARY: Obama’s been everywhere — except Wisconsin
Posted on 09/14/2012 6:40:44 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
You know what they say, never send in Joe to do a presidents job.
But thats what President Obama appears to be doing in battleground Badger State, sending his vice president, Joe Biden, to campaign in his stead.
Biden stumped at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Thursday, a week and a half after he spoke to Democratic Party faithful in Green Bay.
Thats exactly two more times than his boss, who has yet to set foot in Wisconsin on the campaign trail.
President Obama has been conspicuously absent from the campaign trail in battleground Wisconsin.
Sure, he stopped by Milwaukee in February for an official presidential visit that had all the markings of campaigning, but he hasnt been back since.
Hes been close a couple of times, picking up campaign cash in Minneapolis and Chicago the weekend before Wisconsins historic gubernatorial recall election in June. And he did send that tweet, an underwhelming show of support backing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett the night before the Democrat was soundly beaten by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in the recall. Last month, Obama was so close to Wisconsin he could smell the brats and cheese curds from his campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa, but the president opted not to cross that bridge.
Wisconsin, so far, is stuck with Biden. And a few from the administration, like the acting Commerce secretary, in on official business.
An Obama campaign invitation making the rounds late Thursday did say the president will be at the Milwaukee Theater on Sept. 22 for a fundraiser, but youll have to pay a minimum of $250 to attend the general reception. Write a check for $5,000, and that will get you into photo and VIP receptions. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that it will cost $25,000 to attend a roundtable discussion with Obama. By the way, thats about half of annual median household income in Wisconsin, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
So, basically, the president isnt campaigning in Wisconsin, hes stopping by to pick up a check.
You would think there would be greater urgency to really campaign in arguably the most contentious battleground state among the eight or so states expected to decide this narrow presidential contest. The RealClearPolitics average of polls has Obama up by just 1.4 percentage points on GOP candidate Mitt Romney in Wisconsin.
Despite the fact that a Republican hasnt taken Americas Dairyland since Ronald Reagan in 1984, Romney doesnt seem to be taking Wisconsin for granted. Hes been here twice since the primaries. His running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, lives here, of course, and has stumped at home three times since he was named to the ticket in early August. Hes expected to be in Middleton this weekend.
Maybe the presidents cocky.
Obama did win Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008. But those days are gone in a state that saw Republicans sweep into the Legislature and the governors mansion in 2010, a state that has pushed back a Democratic Party-led recall attempt, a state that has struggled like just about every other through historically high unemployment and tight credit.
Like the old traveling song Hank Snow made famous, the president has almost Been Everywhere, Man. Hes been to Colorado, Ohio, Iowa, Virginia, Nevada. The exception, of course, Wisconsin.
I tried to ask the Obama campaign in Wisconsin about the presidents conspicuous absence. They didnt call me back. So I took my question to the Democratic National Committee. They, too, seemed shy.
So, I asked a guy whose job is to follow politics. John Rink, political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, told me the problem for the incumbent is finding time to be everywhere on the campaign trail while meeting the obligations of the office. With terrorist attacks on a U.S. embassy in the Middle East, a struggling economy and a stalled Congress, the president has plenty on his plate.
I know that Obama does not want to appear to be following anything close to a Rose Garden strategy, Rink said of sitting presidents who make a series of big announcements in the White House Rose Garden, looking presidential while staying off the campaign trail. That didnt work for President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Rink noted, and incumbents have avoided the ploy ever since.
Still, theres a basic math in play, and Wisconsin, even with its comparatively slim 10 electoral votes, is a key equation in the calculus of this presidential election. Thats why, Rink said, typically you will see candidates hanging out in Wisconsin more than California, rich with electoral votes but spoken for by the Democratic Party.
As of Thursday, Wisconsin wasnt getting much love from Barack Obama, however.
It is beginning to get his money, though.
Obamas campaign this week announced it would begin advertising in Wisconsin.
Romneys money and that of his surrogates has been here for a while through a targeted advertising campaign.
But, in the words of another pop tune, there Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby.
In a battleground state where every vote counts, Obama might find that out the hard way.
Contact Kittle at firstname.lastname@example.org
We don’t need him here.
Wisconsin presidential campaign ping
FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
Obamas been everywhere just like horsesh!t.
ObaMao threw his Rat buddies there under the bus... the attendance numbers would be so abysmal even the lap dog MSM couldn’t paint it as anything but fail for the One.
I could be wrong but if polls have him up by 1.4 I think that really means his internal polls are showing him down by 6-7pts - meaning he considers WI lost and he is not going to waste his time here when he is needed elsewhre. If it was really close he would be here. I hope I am right - I don’t see WI going for him this go around.
You mean he has been to all the other 56 states already?
He hasn’t been to Israel either, but that is okay. He can go after he is a civilian again.
Didn’t they announce he’ll be in Milwaukee within the next 4 days?
He’s not venturing outside of strongholds...he’s in real trouble here if he’s trying to rally his troops in Milwaukee.
Thanks to the activist judge in Madistan, Barry just lost Wisconsin...
Wisconsin is a must win state for Obama. He is probably getting scared that his internal numbers show it in play, especially with Paul Ryan as the VP pick.