I have an idea that the U.S. Senate race between Tommy Thompson and Tammy Baldwin is about to get down in the mud. WAY down in the mud. Hope I’m wrong.
But if it does get down and dirty, I think I’ll enjoy watching the ads. And I’ll even seek out ads that don’t run in the Madison market.
In some ways, what happened in the Republican primary is kind of like the old rule of radio programming, which goes something like “if you’re going to change format to compete with an existing station within that format, bring a large checkbook, and prepare to lose”.
Tommy, Eric, and Mark (Fitz the lesser was never a factor) were all competing in the same format: conservative. Tea People in the Fox Valley liked Eric better, and he won those counties. Mark “Partial Birth Abortion” Neumann won….ah….I can’t remember, a couple counties way up north where they speak a different dialect of ‘sconnie. And Tommy – well, Tommy flirted with the Tea Persons just enough to get them interested, and carried the vast majority of counties in the state. Tommy was able to navigate the waters well enough to stay just far enough to the right….while keeping Eric and Mark to his right, causing a fractured vote that left none of them with a majority, but Tommy with enough votes to win.
Now that Tommy has vanquished his opponents, he can set his sights on destroying Tammy. Quite a few of my lefty pals here in the bluest county in the state are whispering things like “why Tommy? Why not Eric? Jeez, Tammy, it’s Tommy Thompson. Why didn’t you just stay in your seat in congress forever? The second district would have sent you back there every election, but now….you’ve got to beat Tommy.”
I believe Scot Klug would still hold the 2nd Congressional seat if he wanted it, and hadn’t taken himself out of the race after his promised 8 years, and the seat which had been held by Bob Kastenmeier since the earth began to cool went back to a Democrat. And Tammy’s held the seat since Klug gave it up. But that was back in the days when bat-shit crazy didn’t fly with the electorate, like it often does now.
So Tammy – who will be positioned as a Dane County Liberal HOMOSEXUAL – will take on the guy who, if he isn’t the most popular politician in state history, is in the top 3. Tommy is on first-name basis with folks in all 72 counties. Tammy is on first-name basis with people in…oh, say three counties.
Pocan’s a lock for Tammy’s seat in congress; but it’s gonna be real interesting to see how dirty the Tommy-Tammy race gets.