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View Diary: An interview with Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate (55 comments)

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  •  Add to that the pathetic attempts to "out-Rove" (1+ / 0-)
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    joe wobblie

    the GOP.  I don't know what they were like in other parts of the state but the campaign against Kapanke over on this side was a joke.  I don't think Shilling or her ads talked about February, labor, or democracy even once.

    I just hope they've gotten over their "omg we need to create jobs!!" kick.  I doubt it.

    •  Jen Shilling won (1+ / 0-)
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      in the recall election against State Senator Dan Kapanke by about 10 points, so I'm sure he didn't regard her campaign as a joke. That you did makes me wonder what you think campaigns are for.

      •  To clarify: She won DESPITE the campaign nt (2+ / 0-)
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        joe wobblie, bluecheddar1
        •  Agreed,summer '11 recall campaigns on part of Dems (0+ / 0-)

          were devoid of passion and used empty "middle class" language - no mention of collective bargaining and didn't really educate about Walker's right-wing privatizing schemes/authoritarian acts/peel back of consumer rights and on and on. Dumbed down messaging.  In the case of Kapanke, his routing of  - was it city $? -  to his ballpark/team did not help - I think lots of people were aware of that -  plus I heard his wife got a sweet gov't job he set up for her. And the LaCrosse area is pretty blue now, right? That's what I'm remembering from Kloppenburg vote results.

          •  If you want to criticize the campaigns (0+ / 0-)

            of any of the Dems who lost in the recall elections as not being sufficiently left-wing, have at it. But if you regard Shilling's successful campaign as "a joke", I don't think we have the same sense of humor. Politics isn't exactly like sports, but there are areas of similarity -- one being that most fans thinks they'd be a better coach that the one the team has.

            To state what I'd guess is obvious to everyone, but maybe not: In trying to energize the base, there's always a risk of alienating the persuadable moderates, who are generally low-information voters, and who decide most elections. I didn't work on Shilling's campaign, and they didn't ask my advice, but if they had, I'd have told them only to use left-wing issues (including collective bargaining) with identified or very likely supporters. For stuff directed at all voters -- which is most likely what you're complaining about not having left-wing content -- I'd have advised to message on being in favor of jobs and education, and to use a dog in the commercials.

            If they took advice like mine, by the way, you might never know how hard they pushed certain issues -- collective bargaining, environment, education -- with targeted audiences. (And getting those voters targeted, by the way, is the most useful thing campaign volunteers can do, if there are enough of them.)

            Short version: You can't really tell what a campaign did unless you were workiing on the campaign.

            •  aka talk out both sides of mouth nt (1+ / 0-)
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              joe wobblie
              •  No, not really. (0+ / 0-)

                "Both sides of mouth" implies delivering contradictory messages to different audiences. My advice, and normal political practice, is simply to emphasize different things with different categories of voters. Emphasizing collective bargaining to union employees but not to farmers isn't talking out of "both sides of mouth". Saying you're for something to one group and saying you're against it to another group, that's "both sides of mouth" campaigning.

                If we're going to win elections, we have to be realistic about human behavior. That doesn't mean doing "anything to win" but it means delivering the most effective campaign message we can. Most of the time, that won't be a lot of left-wing rhetoric.

          •  Actually that's exactly the problem (1+ / 0-)
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            joe wobblie

            No one gives a fuck about so-called called scandals, except the Democrats and newspapers who are always looking for "gotcha!" moments.  People love the baseball stadium and it's been nothing but good PR for Kapanke.

            And all this talk about "collective bargaining" misses the point entirely (although the union leaders successfully steered the conversation that way because it, being the thing that ensures they receive their paychecks, is all they care about)- what really pissed people off was the anti-democratic way the politicians were passing these things.  All attempts to explain the ideological motivations of the arch-libertarians (in the social strata that produces people like Paul Ryan) were actively pushed aside by the leaders of the unions and Party.

            But I couldn't agree more about the emptiness of the "middle-class" language.  It might work for New York or California but people in Wisconsin have different values.

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