Saturday, June 8, 2013

Strong message, not a candidate, is more important for Wisconsin Dems right now

Picking a candidate too soon could cause more damage than good for DPW

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate says we don’t need a candidate for governor quite yet.
Tate said it was good that his party had not yet put forth a candidate to run against Walker. “It does us no good to give him a target to shoot at one day sooner than we should,” Tate said.
Much as it’d be nice to have a definitive candidate to build up a full year and a half before the election, Tate is absolutely right. Having a gubernatorial candidate this early would provide nothing but fodder for Republicans.

That isn’t to say the Democrats don’t have great candidates ready to take on Scott Walker. There are a handful of progressives who’d be perfect for the job, highly capable of defeating the current governor and turning the state around.

But beginning the election season so early risks tiring out the electorate months before they’re set to vote.

It also provides a person for Walker -- and his campaign donors -- to tear down long before the average Wisconsinite is even thinking about the election.

At any rate, there’s something more important that Democrats need to consider, before even picking a candidate...and that’s their message.

What do Democrats stand for? What do they want the people of Wisconsin to think of when they hear the party’s name? The DPW consistently exposes Gov. Walker’s foibles and mismanagement of our state, but beyond that the public doesn’t know much of what Democrats would offer if they had control of the legislature and the governor’s office.

To be sure, Democratic lawmakers have offered alternatives at every step of the way. But the public hardly knows what these alternatives are, and focus is given primarily to why Walker’s vision is wrong for Wisconsin.

The message the party emanates has to be clear. The people of Wisconsin won’t respond to a campaign that simply says Walker is bad. Democrats need to point out, through specific ideas, how they’d change the state for the better while simultaneously showing the dangerous path that Walker’s ideas are leading us down.

We know that both Ron Kind and Tom Barrett won’t be running for governor. That leaves a handful of other possibilities that the Democrats could put up against Walker in 2014. But here’s a suggestion: let’s wait UNTIL January 2014 to start talking about who it should be.

In the meantime, Wisconsin Democrats need to hone their message. They need to point out why Walker’s plans will hurt the people overall, but at the same time explain what they’d do different.

When that message is crafted and perfected, then a candidate who espouses that message should be considered.

1 comment:

  1. A message is important, but I feel a moderate Democrat is a necessary candidate to beat Walker.