Christian Schneider

Author, Columnist

Be Ron Kind, Rewind

It appears the Rod Kindler for Governor campaign has begun.

A couple of weeks ago, after Governor Doyle announced he wouldn’t be seeking a third term, I wrote a column handicapping the potential Democratic candidates.  (A column, incidentally, in which all my observations were verified by Democrat friends of mine – their only complaint was that I wasn’t hard enough on Lt. Gov Barb Lawton.)  In the column, I joked that Congressman Ron Kind is going to go the extra mile to make Wisconsinites forget that he ever served in Congress – including changing the name on his Congressional website to “Rod Kindler.”

Yesterday, Kind began his Don-Draper-style image makeover by releasing a statement almost as comical – although it’s unlikely it was intended to elicit laughs.  From Wispolitics:

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said the fact he hasn’t been part of the political process in Madison could be a strength for his potential guv run.


“Having a fresh perspective, a fresh pair of eyes taking a look at some of these issues can be very, very helpful I think in many instances,” he said.

Unless that “fresh perspective” happens to be voting for blowing trillions of taxpayer dollars on bank bailouts, auto takeovers, bogus stimulus funds, new cap and trade taxes…and the list goes on.  Kind will likely answer questions about his tenure in Congress in much the same way that Black Bush answers questions about Iraq – by knocking over some pitchers of water and running out of the room. (Video NSFW, incidentally.)

Regardless of one’s physical proximity to Madison, doesn’t it actually matter what they’ve done while they’ve been nowhere near the city?  The further you are from Madison, the fresher perspective you have?

By this logic, Kind would be even more qualified to be governor had he spent the last decade in a shack in Montana wrestling grizzly bears.  Fishing salmon out of fresh water streams with his teeth would certainly give him a unique perspective on the Wisconsin state budget.  But is it what we need?

It’s a nice try to change the subject away from his voting record in Congress, but will likely yield bitter fruit.  Kind goes on, saying:

Gov. Jim Doyle’s decision not to run gives candidates the chance to run a “look forward campaign, not a look back campaign. A campaign that’s truly about the future of Wisconsin.”

(This is in stark contrast to the race I will run for governor one day, in which I will promise “a stronger five years ago.”)

Oh really?  A politician wants to run a race talking about “the future?”  How novel.  I imagine if Eliot Spitzer ever runs another political campaign, he’ll probably insist on a similar standard.

I still maintain that Kind is the Democrats’ best shot.  And it’s not like he has any option other than to pretend that this mystical, wonderous place known as “Congress” doesn’t exist.  (I always thought that if Representatives rode unicorns to the U.S. Capitol, it would be pretty cool.  And more likely than the stimulus turning the economy around.)

Oh, and by the way, if you want to see an actual video of a guy wrestling a grizzly bear, here it is.  My favorite line is when the announcer accuses the bear of applying an “illegal” choke hold on the Destroyer – like the bear’s supposed to know the rules.  And the bear puts him in a “bear hug.”  Is there any other kind? Fortunately, he gets a coke at the end for his trouble.  Take that, PETA.

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(This video precipitated a lengthy discussion between me and my friend Jack, who claims he could wrestle a bear if it was muzzled and de-clawed.  I told him he wasn’t accounting for Victor the Bear’s “swiping power,” which might end up being the name of my fantasy football team.)


  1. Kind is also a hard-line abortion supporter. That will have a marginal, but noticeable, effect, too.

  2. Rep. Kind has actually attempted to do something useful. He tried to reform bloated agriculture subsidies and took heat from the corporate farm/welfare lobby.

    Reminds me of the joke that’s applied to farm state Republicans. Whenever they tout the glories of low taxes, less regulations and free markets, they forget the punch line: None of this applies to agriculture.

  3. Rational Observer

    September 3, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Oh, Daddio, how does having a position shared by a majority of Wisconsin residents become a negative for Kind?

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