A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tommy Thompson... Turd?

It's kinda looking that way. Tommy was Wisconsin's governor for almost 14 years, from 1987 until early in 2001 when he was tabbed by President Bush to be the Health and Human Services Secretary. His record was mixed, imo, with kudos going to his strong advocacy for school choice and for his efforts to reform Wisconsin's welfare policies, and some significant Dohs! for his increases in state spending during the flush years of the late '90s that have since helped strangle Wisconsin's public sectors with huge benefit programs we can no longer afford to fund.

But he was incredibly popular in the state, winning election by significant to huge margins in all four gubernatorial elections. So now, perhaps bored in the private sector or lacking sufficient ego stroking there, he is musing about another run for the Governor's mansion. Which would be fine if he were to do it in 2010 (presuming Democrat Jim Doyle wins reelection this fall). But Thompson is eyeballing this fall's election.

The problem being that the Republicans already have a candidate for that office-- Congressman Mark Green of Depere. Green isn't my favorite candidate in the world, but he is a big improvement over our current Governor, Jim Doyle, and Green has put a lot of time, money and effort into his campaign effort.

Thompson suddenly entering the race is pretty much like Foghorn Leghorn muscling his way into the race. "Pardon me son, but I say, I say-uh, let me through son. This is a race for grown-ups, don'tcha ya see son. That's a good lad-- why don't you go see how I'm polling up in the northwoods. Nice kid, but in over his head, don'tchaknow."

Could he be any more pompous, condescending and, well, turd-like?

Well, actually, yes. Here's a quote from good 'ole Tommy, "If I run, I win. I have no doubt in my mind about that. But then I have to govern." The hubris is breathtaking.

Honestly, part of me hopes Thompson enters the race and gets plastered in the fall-- that would be awesome. Except that then we'd be stuck with Jim Doyle for four more years, and frankly, Doyle has been an almost completely umitigated putz as a governor. I actually doubt Thompson will do it-- the rest of the Republicans in the state have to be about ready to tear their hair out, right now-- but even speculating on it to the press is exceptionally turdish.

And for a hoot, check out this interview with Mark Green regarding the possibility of Thompson entering the race. By my count, Kathering Skiba asked the same question-- is Thompson running for Governor-- seven different times in six different ways. Kudos to Green for very nicely deflecting each and every one of those questions. My favorite part of the interview:
Q: So you are completely confident he's not running for governor?
A: I am very confident about how things are going to work out.
Q: That's not answering my question.
A: That is answering the question; it's not in the detail that you'd like. But I feel very good about it.
Heh. Very nice-- my respect for Green went up a notch after reading this. My respect for Thompson, incidentally, has dropped about four notches already, and it'll drop all the way to -2 if actually does enter the race.


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