In anticipation of a Governor Walker victory in Wisconsin today, the press has suddenly either changed their tune regarding the election or they’ve gone dark.
They will also likely follow David Axelrod’s lead and breathlessly report on the money spent, in order to downplay the win if Governor Walker is successful.
Remarkable that Walker has outspent Barrett by better than eight-to-one yet today's race is still filled with suspense.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 5, 2012
The New York Times frantically backpedals in an attempt to frame the Wisconsin election as insignificant.
As in both of those races — and countless others — the effort to recall Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, is being treated as a kind of early warning system for the presidential campaign this November.
But there are important reasons to doubt whether Mr. Walker’s fate tells us much about whether President Obama’s chances of winning Wisconsin, much less whether it serves as a model for how the rest of the country might be feeling in five months.
That’s not to say it’s unimportant or irrelevant to politics more broadly. There are clearly some lessons that can be drawn by both
sides after the outcome in Wisconsin is known (see below for some of those lessons).
But first, here are five reasons why the results in Wisconsin might not say much about anything except Wisconsin.
All about The One, of course. Hence the frantic spinning. Anything that makes President Obama look bad (namely everything) or puts a crimp in his re-election campaign does not suit and must be pooh-poohed away. And, aha! Later in the article, they regurgitate David Axelrod talking points.
4. MONEY TALKS In the presidential contest, Mr. Obama and his allies may end up getting outspent by Mr. Romney and the “Super PACs” behind him. But he won’t get outspent by nearly the amount that Mr. Barrett’s campaign was outspent by Mr. Walker’s — about 7 to 1.
Thanks in part to a state law that allows unlimited fund-raising during a recall, Mr. Walker raised nearly $30 million, trouncing Mr. Barrett’s fund-raising. Including outside groups, the gap is still wide — $45.6 million spent on behalf of Mr. Walker as of May 21, and $17.9 million for Mr. Barrett. If Mr. Walker wins, the difference may have been the money, and that will be very different in the national context.
Nothing to see here, move along.
— jerseynut09 (@jerseynut09) June 5, 2012
CBS turns into an ostrich sticking its head in the sand and simply pretends it isn’t happening. More from The Daily Caller:
P.S.: As far as I can tell–and I watched it twice–the CBS Evening News did not bury it’s story on tomorrow’s crucial election. They didn’t run it at all. Nothing. Zip. And they say the liberal MSM is downplaying the recall in anticipation of a likely Walker victory. It’s as if Dan Rather were still alive. … Scott Pelley did find time to report that there were no people killed by tornadoes–which I guess couldn’t have been held for a day. You never know when someone will be killed by a tornado, and then CBS would lose the story. … Pelley also featured a longish piece on the emergence of a “core of young cool royals” in the U.K. . But not uncool elected geeks in the Heartland.
When did political battles stop ending on election day? Our First Read take. 16 years and going http://t.co/kzZEMx19
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) June 5, 2012
And today, that drama concludes (or at least enters a different phase) with the gubernatorial recall between Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D). But it’s worth noting that today’s recall in Wisconsin is just the latest chapter in this current Age of Polarization, where the ballot box doesn’t end political debates. It started, in our eyes, with Bill Clinton’s impeachment; carried over into the Bush-vs.-Gore recount, the 2003 California recall, and the aftermath of the 2004 presidential election; and it continued with the collective efforts by Republican state AGs to get the Supreme Court ultimately rule over the health-care law. And in Wisconsin, Walker didn’t want just to balance his state’s budget by reforming pensions; he wanted to crush organized labor and the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, after winning the PR battle last year, labor and state Democrats decide to punish Walker, not just by tying his hands legislatively but with this recall. It’s political combat — and the fight doesn’t end. And it won’t end regardless of tonight’s result.
It’s just polarization! Or something. Plus, Clinton. And meany pants Walker wants to crush people. The results don’t matter! Shaddup, shaddup, shaddup!
FYI, it took four “journalists” to write that. Bless their hearts.
Even the Left is noticing the lack of coverage.
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) June 5, 2012
Sigh. Reign of terror. New tone!
— Reaganesque (@TheReaganWay) June 5, 2012
Indeed. Where is the media? Perhaps all stuck in the well from which they draw Obama’s water to carry.
— John Luginbill (@JohnLuginbill) June 5, 2012
Once again, Twitter and new media are doing the jobs that journalists don’t want to do.