Que Pasa Republicano? To win again, the GOP needs to appeal to Hispanics

Following the 2012 presidential election, pundits of all stripes began appealing to retroactive prescience to explain what cost Mitt Romney the presidency. Whatever their pet issue, it suddenly became the reason Romney blew it — the Republican “war on women,” climate change denial, etc. Members of the Star Wars fan club thought Romneygot hammered because […]

Political Misdirection: Candidates sometimes reveal more about themselves than they’d like

An old Democratic campaign manager once revealed to me the key to successful public relations: “The more liberal your candidate, the bigger the American flag has to be on his bumper.” It’s a simple illustration of how candidates are free to write their own narrative, no matter the facts. As George Armstrong Custer once said, […]

Wisconsin Unions are No Stranger to Presidential Politics

Last Tuesday night, shortly before Tom Barrett strode to the stage to accept his party’s nomination to take on Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s June recall election, Barrett received a big atta-boy from the White House. In a statement, President Obama announced he was “proud to stand with Tom Barrett,” because the Milwaukee mayor would “move Wisconsin […]

The Making of a Candidate: The Inside Story of How Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson Quietly Became one of the Political Stories of 2010

PART I: ALL OF IT Just by walking down Oregon Street in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it’s hard to tell that the Fate of Democracy in America resides here.  At the end of the street, The Ron Johnson for U.S. Senate campaign headquarters inhabits a large brick building fronted by stately white columns.  The building rests across […]

Consider the Humble Candidates: Who cares if they grew up eating dirt sandwiches?

In an online ad, Republican congressional candidate Dan Kapanke wants you to know he’s a real guy. “Having been born and raised on a dairy farm, I have a pretty good idea of what Wisconsin people value,” says Democrat Ron Kind’s challenger for the 3rd District seat. While it’s a nice sentiment, it’s meaningless. Growing […]

Mike Tate: Truth Teller

I should mention that over the weekend, I somehow found myself at the Wisconsin Democratic convention here in Madison.  I was in the neighborhood, and a couple Dem friends of mine invited me over – so I joined them.  And I have to say, the convention attendees couldn’t have been kinder or more hospitable. A […]

Youthful Indiscretions: Our Politicians are Both Juvenile and Delinquent

The ubiquitous television commercial plays nonstop, making it the aural wallpaper of our lives: Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” remixed over modern beats, reminds us that the fountain of youth can be found in a sweet carbonated beverage. It’s not the first marketing campaign to promise us eternal youth, and it won’t be the last. In […]