While I think very highly of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, I like him right where he is: in the mayor’s office. Of course it’s his right to pursue a bid for governor if he so wishes. Barrett has a real record to point to, both in Congress and in the mayor’s office. He’s been a fine administrator of our city government. And a real hero. I suppose he’d make a good governor. I’m still on the fence as to whether I’d like him to give it a shot. But why not? What’s he got to lose?
Governor Doyle has announced that he will not seek re-election, as you are doubtlessly aware. But he is not quitting early. Instead, will serve out his term.
It’s easy to take a swing at Sarah Palin, who quit early rather than seeing out her term to its end as Doyle is doing. But the comparison warrans being made. By serving out his term and not resigning, Doyle will open up the first truly open gubernatorial election that Wisconsin has had since 1982. Notably, Lt. Gov. Lawton will not gain the advantage of incumbency that she would have gotten if Doyle had resigned early. In a way, I like this better, as it makes for a more intruiging gubernatorial race next year.
Here’s my hunch: a third or fourth-party candidate will come in the race and shake things up, much as Ed Thompson did in 2002. Who knows; maybe the mayor of Tomah will be up against his brother Tom?
The public’s response to the Republican Party will also be curious to see. The Republicans have become the Party of Nyet, and the party that tried to stop the first Latina from reaching the Supreme Court. Who knows what the price will be if they stop government-provided health insurance or coverage from being realized, when a vast majority of Americans would benefit from that.