Scott Walker's Recall Strategy: Avoid Anyone Who Isn't A Walker Voter Already
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is doing his level best to pretend he's not campaigning at all ahead of next Tuesday's recall election in which he faces Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. In fact, he showed up at a number of campaign events over the weekend—but you had to already be a supporter to know about them ahead of time.
Walker's people would have us believe that though they had no planned campaign events, he just showed up at seven events throughout the state with no advance planning. However:
While [Walker spokeswoman Ciara] Matthews insisted the Racine stop was a last-minute jaunt, county party chairman Bill Folk told POLITICO he knew about it for at least two days.
“And that’s an eternity at this stage in the campaign,” Folk said in an interview, referring to the advanced notice.
By contrast, Tom Barrett, the Democratic nominee, campaigned at a series of public festivals and marched in a parade, trying to engage with voters who hadn't gotten a secret bat signal letting them know where he'd be.
The issue here is that Walker leads slightly in the polls and doesn't want to do anything to change that—like reminding people who don't already like him that there's even an election. This desire also informed his debate strategy Friday night, when he basically tried to avoid being quotable or giving answers that acknowledged the validity of the question or the election, as if the recall process and Barrett himself were minor irritations, not a meaningful obstacle in his life. He took a similar approach to a set of questions from the Associated Press. Given 130 words to answer each of 10 questions, Walker used a total of 379 words for all 10.
Scott Walker's strong desire to avoid appearing before any but committed supporters and discussing his record or his plans for Wisconsin's future should be a strong hint to voters about how he'd govern after June 5 if he survives the recall.