Saturday, August 14, 2010

Neumann Wins Second Debate By Default

Saturday afternoon, the TEA Party group, Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty*, sponsored a debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Mark Neumann and Scott Walker.

Unfortunately, there was no broadcast of the debate on TV or the radio, so unless you were actually there, there is no direct way of telling who really one.

But I did notice a few things that would indicate that Neumann won this debate as well.

One thing is that he and his campaign were much better prepared. During the debate, one of his staffers was tweeting Neumann's statements and positions for the whole world to see.

Team Walker, on the other hand, didn't even acknowledge that there was a debate scheduled, much less what happened. Jill Bader, Walker's communications director, at least acknowledged it in the form of a retweet, but the rest of it was regarding State Fair. Michael Brickman, Walker's blogger (on the official official blog) has nothing about the debate either. My good buddy, Ashley Moore (aka ashleestarin), Walker's logistics person, has nothing either.

It's like all of Team Walker was avoiding the subject altogether.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sent a reporter to the debate. It was noted that Walker resisted talking about his own record as a career politician, and his dismal record as county executive by attacking Tom Barrett, the presumed Democratic nominee.

Since Walker's campaign was avoiding all mention of the debate, and Walker continues to evade dealing with his failures as county executive, it is likely that he failed in this debate as well.

What was most alarming was Walker's attitude towards education (emphasis mine):

In an interview with reporters after the debate, Neumann declined to criticize Walker's educational background. Walker attended Marquette University but did not graduate.

Walker said he didn't graduate because he got a job and he suggested that in the current economy college students close to graduating might consider doing the same.

What an irresponsible statement to make! Besides the fact that college graduates earn more money, in this troubled economy (which Walker wants to bring further into ruin with his Bush-style economics), it is important for people to have every advantage they can. And a college education is an undeniable advantage.

Perhaps if Walker finished his degree, he would have realized the importance of balanced budgets and of proper and timely maintenance.

Channel 12, WISN-TV, also covered the debate after the fact. In their news video, they unwittingly air a very ironic statement from Walker regarding health care. Walker stated that he did not feel that the federal or state government has a right to tell people what to do with their health care. That is an odd thing for Walker to say, considering that for the first seven of his eight years as county executive, he did the very thing which he claims now to oppose while running the GAMP program.

I must say though that I have a deeper appreciation of the frustration Neumann supporters are feeling. If Neumann wants to win he primary, he will need to continue to press his advantages over Walker, including Walker's hypocrisy and failures as county executive. It can be done without making it appear as an attack, even though Walker's people are so adept at playing the martyr that it is irrelevant of whether Neumann does attack or not.

*NOTE: The name of the sponsoring group has been changed for accuracy.

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