Wisconsin’s Scott Walker became the first governor in American history to survive a recall election on Tuesday night – cruising to victory over Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Walker led Barrett by a 53-46 percent margin – eclipsing his six-point win over Barrett in the 2010 gubernatorial election.
“Tonight we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country, and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders that stand up and make the tough decisions,” Walker told a cheering throng of supporters at the Waukesha County Exposition Center.
Walker’s analysis is accurate – and should remind politicians everywhere that taking on the public sector lobby is every bit as viable as bending to its demands.
Walker came into office last year with his state facing a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. He sought to address that deficit by cutting public sector salaries and requiring government employees to contribute more to their health care coverage and pension fund. He also sought to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees while making future pay raises contingent on voter approval.
In other words he did exactly what we need more politicians at all levels of government to do …
In addition to serving as a repudiation of organized labor (which pushed for the recall election against the counsel of national Democrats, who wanted to wait and take on Walker in the general election in 2014), Walker’s win is also seen as a boost for the presidential prospects of Mitt Romney. After all, Barack Obama won the Badger State in 2008 by a 56-42 percent margin – and polls taken as recently as two weeks ago showed Obama with a six-point lead over Romney in Wisconsin.
Can Romney turn this blue state red?
“There is not a state in all of America where Republicans know more about every voter than Wisconsin,” Republican Party chairman (and Wisconsin native) Reince Priebus told CNN. “And this was a message election about spending and debt and the size of government. That will be the central question of November.”
Pic: via Daylife