As expected, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle officially announced yesterday that he wasn’t going to seek a third term in office. Doyle’s NSFW poll numbers clearly hastened his departure, but in yesterday’s speech announcing his decision not to run, he offered up a new reason he was leaving:
When I first ran for governor in 2002, Jessica and I assumed that if I was fortunate enough to be elected, it would be a two-term commitment. As I have thought long and hard about this decision, I have come back to this starting point. As much as I love the job, as hard as I work at it and as much as my team and I have to contribute in a third term, I believe that a governor should limit him or herself to two terms.
This is the norm in this country. The President and most governors are limited to two terms by law. Most others have followed tradition. It has largely been Wisconsin’s practice over its history. I am already the longest serving Democratic governor and by the end of my term will be the second-longest serving governor in Wisconsin history.
So now, Doyle is apparently a proponent of term limits. Two terms, to be exact. This is, of course, after Doyle served three terms in a statewide capacity as Attorney General. Clearly, term limits weren’t a consideration when he could actually continue winning. When his term expires in 2010, Doyle will have spent a total of 20 years – nearly a third of his life – in statewide office.
So Doyle and his wife Jessica decided in 2002 that he would only serve two terms. Maybe someone should call homemaker Joanne Schalch of Middleton, who gave Doyle $50 on June 6th of 2009, to see if Doyle let her in on the plan he hatched with his wife seven years earlier. Maybe Rolen Womack of the Progressive Baptist Church in Brown Deer would like to know that Doyle accepted his $100 contribution on June 2nd of this year, despite having this supposed fundamental belief in only serving two terms. In fact, one can go down the list of any of the $891,136.13 in contributions Doyle has accepted during this election period and wonder – If he was so committed to term limits, why did he raise $1 million over the last three years? Why was he still raising money a month ago?
The answer is simple – this alleged term limit pact with Jessica is pure B.S. In fact, Doyle’s terms were going to be limited, all right – by the voters of Wisconsin. This miraculous death row conversion is merely an attempt to convince us that Doyle is adhering to some larger heartfelt principle, rather than what we know to be the case – that his disastrous stewardship of state policy has made him virtually unelectable.
So if we take the Governor at his word, all the regular folks who donated their money to Doyle were lied to. Unfortunately, politicians don’t come with a money back guarantee.