Unions Embarrassed: Walker win an ‘absolute disaster’ for Obama
Alicia M. Cohn, The Hill, June 7, 2012The Republican National Committee is calling Gov. Scott Walker's victory in Wisconsin's recall election "an absolute disaster for President Obama" in a memo released Wednesday from Chairman Reince Priebus.
"Democrats lost in an election of their own making," he wrote, calling it a sign of things to come. Priebus also happily picked up a comment made by his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), in May, when she told CNN the Wisconsin operation would be a "dry run ... of our grassroots presidential campaign."
"@DWStweets we agree on one thing, tonight's "dry run" in Wisconsin is a good indicator of what's to come in November," Priebus tweeted Tuesday night.
Wasserman Schultz, for her part, tweeted: "Despite the disappointing outcome, [Wisconsin's recall] effort sent Scott Walker a message that his brand of divisive politics is offensive & wrong."
Republicans are piling on President Obama for failing to jump into the race with both feet. After avoiding the race, the president made a last-minute push the day of the contest, tweeting his support of Walker's opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and releasing a video and email urging voters to recall Walker.
But Obama's effort might have been too little, too late — at least, according to Republicans, who suggest Democrats have a right to be angry that the president stayed away from the high-profile fight.
"Let the infighting begin," Priebus wrote in the RNC memo.
"I do think it helps to put Wisconsin in play," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told CNN on Wednesday morning. McDonnell is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which was heavily involved in supporting Walker. McDonnell, a strong supporter of Mitt Romney, predicted Walker's win would translate into victory for the GOP presidential nominee in November.
"The issues in Wisconsin I think are largely the same issues that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are talking about," McDonnell said, pointing to controversy over the state budget and Walker's vision to address the deficit.
Exit polling in Wisconsin indicated that many who voted for Walker in the election were still planning to vote for Obama in November — 51 percent to 44 percent for Romney — and Obama is still narrowly winning the state in recent polls. But the RNC says it now has a strong foundation in the state due to the work they did for Walker, and is building on the last two years of the state going "decidedly Republican."
The voter information gathered during the RNC's door-to-door effort campaigning for Walker "was all promptly added to the RNC's data center," according to Priebus.
"Obama's Chicago team is now including Wisconsin on their list of toss-up states for November, when they have the unenviable task of rallying their base to win a state that has gone decidedly Republican over the last two years," he wrote. "What Democrat activist wants to stand with a president who would not stand with them?"
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), interviewed on Fox News late Tuesday night, had a more colorful way of summing up what seems to be a widespread Republican opinion: "I think that the Democrats there understand that the president’s no-show represents the fact that Obama’s goose is cooked."