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Bill Clinton at WWII memorial dedication in 2004
It's always unlikely that a single speech will be decisive in an election, but Bill Clinton's appearance at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, rally for Tom Barrett, the city's mayor and the Democratic challenger to Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election, definitely seems like it will provide Barrett a boost in the last days of this close race. The rally is reported to have been well attended, but most crucially, coming on the heels of a debate in which Walker seemed newly defensive, Clinton's speech adds Barrett's (perceived) momentum and provides a widely reported frame for what's at stake in this election.

Clinton focused on this election as an opportunity to move away from Walker's divide and conquer strategy, saying:

For 100 years now, people have looked to Wisconsin from all over this country to see a place of small towns and vibrant cities, ... to see a place where there were vigorous political debates, closely held elections and then people got together and figured out what the heck to do. And now, they look at Wisconsin and they see America’s battleground between people who want to work together to solve problems and people that want to divide and conquer.
He also highlighted the Right's view of Wisconsin as a test case, a place to begin moving an agenda that's much bigger than Wisconsin or public unions:
I can just hear it now, on Wednesday. All those people that poured all this money into Wisconsin, if you don’t show up and vote, will say, 'see, we got them now. We’re finally going to break every union in America. We’re gonna break every government in America. We’re gonna stop worrying about the middle class. We don’t give a riff whether poor people get to work their way into it. We got our way now. We got it all. Divide and conquer works.'

You tell them no. You tell them, Wisconsin has never been about that, never will be about that — by electing Tom Barrett governor!

While it's unlikely that a decisive number of people will, upon hearing Bill Clinton's words, sit up and firmly decide that they will vote on Tuesday instead of not voting, or vote for Barrett instead of Walker, this speech gives Barrett headlines and puts his narrative prominently in the Wisconsin media as the final GOTV push begins. This is the story in people's minds as volunteers and campaign staffers across the state hit doors and phones to strengthen voters' resolve to turn out for Tom Barrett.

No matter where you live, you can help turn out voters to defeat Scott Walker is by using the Friends and Neighbors tool created by our partners at the AFL-CIO and Workers' Voice. Friends and Neighbors is an extremely effective tool because it puts you in touch with Wisconsin voters you have already connected with online.

Please, click here to help turn out voters to defeat Scott Walker by signing up for Friends and Neighbors. You can sign up either by using your Facebook log-in or by filling out a short form.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 12:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Daily Kos.

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