Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Democrats need a serious

candidate, not a sideshow

(DISCLAIMER: I am a contributor, not the operator, of this blog, so these opinions are not necessarily those of the management.)

Yesterday, we noted that two professors, one Democrat and one Republican, say they are going to run a joint campaign for Jim Sensenbrenner's Congressional seat. We called the idea wacky.

Today, The NY Times takes note, treating it semi-seriously.

But lest there was any doubt this is a gimmick, which will be good for some media attention but have nothing to do with any serious chance of defeating Sensenbrenner, here's some of the Times story:

In a show of bipartisan comity rarely, if ever, seen before in congressional politics, Burkee and Walz will launch a joint campaign Web site at and produce joint advertising, bumper stickers and yard signs...

Although only one of them can be elected to Congress, Burkee and Walz discuss their joint campaign in terms of what would happen if “we” win. They said they would continue teaching at Concordia as they served the district’s constituents, bringing back the idea of citizen legislators instead of career politicians...

Seniors from Concordia University and the University of Wisconsin will staff the campaigns...

Gary C. Jacobson, a professor of political science at the University of California San Diego and an expert in congressional elections, said he is not aware of such an arrangement in any past congressional elections, and gave the candidates slim chances in the general election.

“It’s a gimmick that will get them some attention but ... I don’t see how they could possibly expect to win,” Jacobson said..
Then there's this:
The idea for the run came out of a series of lectures Burkee and Walz undertook during the 2004 presidential campaign. The two professors, supporting their respective parties’ presidential candidates (Bush for Burkee and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry for Walz), conducted a series of self-moderated debates around the district to help educate voters about major issues.

Ah, yes, who can forget those exciting Burkee-Walz debates of 2004? Does anyone have any recollection of that, except the two participants?

Their first "debate" of the Congressional campaign may interest the news media, but after that they'll have to set their hair on fire to get any coverage.

If no other Democrat enters the race, Walz will be the Dem nominee. Burkee is not going to beat Sensenbrenner in a GOP primary. Come general election time, without his "running mate," what is Walz's plan to beat Sensenbrenner one-on-one? Do joint yard signs with Big Jim? Run joint TV commercials? Don't think so.

Here's hoping, once again, that a serious Democratic candidate -- one who wants to run a real campaign and try to win, even in this heavily Republican district -- gets into the race.

The voters deserve better than a sideshow.

UPDATE: I added a little more explanation and commentary on Daily Kos post.


Jay Bullock said...

Rest assured, the management doesn't like the WalzeeBurkles any more than you do.

Mpeterson said...

Speaking for those of us who tore off flesh trying to squeeze each bleeding Democratic vote from the moraine of Ozaukee and Washington counties during Bryan K's last few runs -- and who, last year, helped push the 5th CD into the top spot for voter turnout in the United States and made Mr. Sensenbrenner actually RUN for the first time in his career -- anything that throws Mr. Sensenbrenner into the spot light is good. If these two guys can do it, great. It'll be great fodder, if nothing else, for their students.


That "management" doesn't like them? UWM's administration? First, I find that nearly impossible to believe and second, um, who cares? It's not the job of administrators to like or dislike this sort of thing, it's their job to provide adequate amounts of chalk to the remaining black boards. I know they forget this sometimes.


Mpeterson said...

And this is the part where I remind myself to read the full set of posts -- even on other blogs -- before shooting off my mouth. Sorry about that, it's been a long long day.

Concordia? No wonder. I take it all back.

Still, anything to draw Big Jim out must be an improvement in terms of publicizing the guy's faults. They'll still lose, I'd imagine, by the standard 2-1 margin. But you never know.

Again, mea culpa.