Friday, May 25, 2012

Tom Barrett wins the first debate

Walker's refusal to answer questions creates doubt in the current governor's leadership

I could do an in-depth analysis, line-by-line, question-by-question look into who won the recall debate held tonight. Though it would be interesting to assess, it would miss the overall picture of who won the thing -- Tom Barrett or Scott Walker.

My take on the debate in its entirety is this: Walker started out strong. Barrett needed a couple minutes to catch his footing, but he eventually caught back up to Walker.

Well-before the halfway point, however, there was no question that the momentum had changed hands.

Tom Barrett won this debate, and he won it handily. He controlled its direction, bringing up legitimate questions about Walker's record that needed to be addressed. Yet, Scott Walker chose to avoid many of the questions Barrett brought up.

Case in point, the last section of the debate where the candidates were each allowed to ask other a question.

Walker differed the opportunity, perhaps trying to come off as more humble than his record paints him to be. Barrett took the chance to ask about Walker's out-of-state travels, and why he wouldn't release information on them to the public.

In his response, Walker talked about his more recent in-state travels, but neglected to mention whether he'd release information regarding his interstate adventures.

Barrett pointed out that Walker failed to answer the question -- and that's precisely the reason why Walker lost the debate, on this and many other questions he refused to discuss or avoided.

Barrett responded to criticism; Walker tried to change the course whenever it came up, failing to address issues adequately in doing so.

To be sure, both sides are claiming victory to their supporters tonight -- and if you look at it from a partisan point of view, both sides said exactly what their supporters wanted to hear. In this manner, both can reasonably say they "won" -- Walker stood his ground against Barrett using talking points familiar to his base; and Barrett brought up the legitimate points for why the recall was warranted.

There's no reason the right should be upset with Walker's performance. And the left probably feels a jolt of inspiration from the fighter they've wanted to see in Barrett. But when you look at the voters who have yet to decide whom they will support at this time, it seems clear that the guy who is willing to put in the work to restore Wisconsin won.

The guy who didn't want to talk about questions we all have about him, who wants us all to disregard our concerns and just "move on" already, lost.


  1. Denial, a river that runs through WIunion.

  2. scott walker is bad news and i know that and im from michigan!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Then mind your own fcking business, Michigan has huge financial problems and it getting worse instead of better - because of people like you who vote for liberals.

    2. The Governor of Michigan is a Tea Bagging Re-Thug-li-CON just Like Walker; I'm pretty sure the libs did not back Rick Snyder, and if they did, they sure are regretting it now. Your post shows that you are one of the misinformed Fox news sheep.

    3. Sioyah, recognizing the fact that you reside in Michigan, I have only one word in response to your assessment of Governor Walker.


  3. Barrett didn't come anywhere close to winning

  4. Barrett wiped the floor with Walker. Walker looked so unprepared I almost felt sorry for him. He looked like a student who didn't study for the test. Sad to see how over his head our Governor is for the job.

  5. Barrett reflected the total ignorance and senseless vitriol of the recall proponents. He didn't have any talking points regarding his own plans to serve Wisconsin, other than he would "represent the special interest groups", and "talk to everyone".
    Barrett never rebutted Walker's challenge regarding Milwaukee's high unemployment, rising crime rate, or credit ratiny downgrade. For most of the debate Barrett was beating a dead horse, repeatedly trying to "get answers" to questions about Walker's involvement in the John Does investigation, asking for all the email regarding the probe, when everyone knows Walker is legally bound to remain silent on the matter. Barrett totally ignored Walker's point, that it was Walker himself who opened the investigation to begin with. Barrett tried to paint a picture of Walker as a "right wing, Tea Party, world travelling rock star", completely ignoring the fact that, number one, there are many in Wisconsin who support the Tea Party, and number two, Walker has been a visible presence throughout Wisconsin during this whole process, and the national attention regarding the recall is a major deal and harbinger of the 2012 Presidential election outcome.
    Nobody outside of local Wisconsin television news cares about Barrett. Boo hoo.
    Barrett looked like a old, angry white man.
    Try as he might to implicate Walker in the John Doe case, or paint Walker as a greedy capitalist, catering to "billion dollar donors", everyone knows the real reason for the recall.
    It's this:
    A temper tantrum on the part of big government unions, yanking the chains of our Wisconsin Democrat Senators because the original election didn't go their way.
    Barrett completely ignored the elephant in the room in last night's debate. Walker addressed it head on.
    The only people who think Barrett won the debate are the same people who think public union employees are "special", and the tax payers are money trees.
    Barrett will lose this election, and the Democrats will wish they had never taken part of any of it. Mark my words.

    1. Republicans will do what ever it takes to win. It's pointless to argue with you because it wouldn't matter what this man did you would still vote for him. It doesn't matter that out of state intest groups are tying to buy our state as long as you GET YOUR WAY! I have a news flash for you, PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ARE TAX PAYERS!!! See you in church on Sunday!


      This is the most ACCURATE review I've read yet.

      The Libtards just don't get it and never will---it's becoming increasingly obvious that it's best to just get them the HELL out of government, instead of trying to explain anything to them.

      They belong in Cuba-not here.

      They are DELUSIONAL.

    3. I second Rhonda, that is a very accurate review. Walker was calm and straight to the point where Barrett, in usual liberal fashion delusional and in attack mode. Those who think there was ever a valid reason for a recall election are going to believe whatever nonsense spews out of Barrett's mouth. For everyone else, Walker is the clear choice for the winner of the debate, and deserves to be our governor.

    4. But you drink at the troff provided by all. Unions are for creating equality for workers, but when workers decide who sits on the other side of the, who stands for fiscal responsiblility? This has led to outragious power for the unions and when the light of day was put on their benefits and their lack of compromise, there could only be one response. Nobody hates the teachers and other public sector workers, but the actions of the union. Sorry, but what Scott Walker is doing is supported by the majority of tax payers because it's the right thing to do.

  6. Just saw the debate on CSpan. Barrett was excellent! Wish the best to the folks in Wisconsin and hope they vote for Barrett, so they truly can move forward.

  7. Walker hung his head so often in that debate I was getting accoustomed to his bald spot. Barret won, and he won most where it counts, with the last question. Walker refused to answer how much time he had spent out of state fundraising. Walker spends most of his time being a Rock Star out of state trying to further his political career and only stops by Wisconsin to make a public appearance now and then. Anyone in Madison will tell you he's never there. He's using Wisconsin as a stepping stone to Washington. Wants to be the Tea Partie's Golden Child.

    1. I am laughing so hard because I noticed this too! Maybe one of his billionare friends can buy him some Rogaine. Putting your head down is a sign of weakness, and DISHONESTY! He is a criminal. The eagle scout tried to cheat in an election in Marquette and was kicked out and now he's at it again.

    2. LOL! Spot on. I never realized he was balding until this debate!

    3. You know, I think it's hilarious that out of all the tough issues Wisconsin citizens have to sort out, you choose to obsess over Walker's time out of state fundraising, and his "rock star" status.
      Walker stuck to the issues of importance to adult Wisconsin citizens.
      Barrett was busy trying to pound worn out public union sound bites and vague platitudes.
      Barrett looked like a fool.
      He never mentioned once what his plan would be for Wisconsin. Oh, except to make sure the public unions knew he would cater to them.
      The John Doe investigation is a dog and pony show, whose lead investigator signed the recall petition, and has a "Recall Walker" sign in his front yard. It's been 2 years and they still can't pin Walker, because he's innocent. The only reason the left insists on keeping it alive is because they have to have something to distract people from allvthe good Walker has done.
      You keep on worrying about who funded Walker, and keep on ignoring the reality of the public union corruption, who by the way, contributed loads of money to the recall effort, and the grown ups will work with Governor Walker at getting Wisconsin back to fiscal stability.
      By the way, Mayor Barrett is known for his short work days.
      He really is a disgrace pointing his finger at Walker and accusing Walker of "not rolling up his sleeves and getting to work".
      Walker will win. If only because it's a statistically impossibility for a majority of voters are that breathtakingly ignorant.

  8. Instead of rising above the fray I wish Walker would have asked Barrett a question. How would you have fixed the 3.6 billion dollar hole without raising taxes.

  9. Hey Chris Walker, your analysis is a joke!

    Barrett is a liar, and a hypocritical sanctimonious arse who used Walker's ideas to balance Milwaukee's budget.

    Milwaukee is the armpit of the state, run by an armpit of a politician - TOM BARRETT.

    1. Agreed. Barrett needs to take the log out of his own eye before he can point out the splinter in someone else's eye.
      And public union employees who are having tantrums over not being able to double dip into their pensions, get paid for driving time to work, and get paid for being a warm body, need to take their blanket and their binky and go to bed.

  10. i think-therefore i'am a demacrate

    1. I think, and find that most liberals can't, so they simply continue to be bad at maths, none-to-good at written communication, worse at logic, and really stink when it comes to maintaining a limited governmental structure intended to keep us free to live out our lives without fear of the tyranny of the selfish, lazy masses who only want bread and circuses while Rome burns.

  11. It is all about leadership, Barrett is a real leader and Walker is far from it! Why could Barrett look at Walker during the whole debate, and Walker could barely and rarely make eye contact with Barrett - signs of guilt and deficiency. On June 5th hopefully Wisconsin can remove this cancer that has torn our State apart!

    1. Barrett's a leader alright. He led Milwaukee into high unemployment, a credit downgrade, increased taxes, and rising crime rate.
      All of Wisconsin's cities saw a drop in unemployment since Walker took office, except for Milwaukee and Madison.
      Barrett can't brag about one thing he's done to improve Milwaukee.
      If you want another Doyle, vote for Barrett. You poor things.

  12. I think the conversation needs to rise above liberal=unintelligent, lazy, communistic, crazy etc. Either way the election falls, we will have a divided state in two weeks, and I don't think anyone can deny that right now. It is OK to fiercely support your candidate of choice, but I think you need to be respectful of each other as citizens. Anger on both sides of the issues has created the environment where neighbors can't talk to neighbors anymore and we need to think about the leadership we need to guide us through this. Do we need someone who handed out pink slips to mile county employees "as a stunt" as Walker admitted to doing as county executive? Is it someone who can't tell his boss "Wisconsin taxpayers" how he spends his time while his on our dime? Someone who doesn't have the decency to admit his real agenda before and election, and who admits he wants to "divide" our state. Someone who's team uses government resources to do campaigning? If you want to vote for Walker based on the limitations needed to be imposed on unions I understand. We shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking though that we will have a united state with the kind of leadership that uses stunts and abuses power in order to force an agenda on the people of wisconsin. The recall was much more warranted than the recall that got Walker in as county executive in the first place, and the people deserve to be able to vote for someone they believe can "lead" a path forward. The best comment of the night is that it is "easy" to punish your political enemies and no matter who wins I hope we can start talking at the table together, rather than doling out more punishment to those on the losing end. We need to become united, we need to move forward together.

    1. Thank you for your most sane response. Thanks to the way Walker handled his first year+ in office, one half of this state is not talking to the other. And when they do talk, it's swearing and name calling. THAT'S the legacy Governor Walker is going to leave Wisconsin.

    2. It was the public union employees who divided the state when they insisted on a recall. Walker did nothing to warrant being put out of office.
      It was the public union employees, and their supporters who crashed the Capitol every day and night, intimidating Senators, getting fake doctor's excuses and littering the place.
      It was public union employees who converged on Governor Walker's home, terrorizing his kids and harassing his neighbors.
      It was the public union employees who sent death threats to Republicans, threatened to boycott businesses that didn't hang their union signs, and disrupted ceremonies like lighting of the Christmas tree, sending one of their children up to Walker with a "Christmas card" that read "RECALL WALKER, have a merry Christmas".
      It was a public union employee who poured beer on a Republican civil servant, posted private phone numbers, emails, and addresses online, encouraging anyone to harass the victims, even to call their place of employment and lie to the boss about them.
      It was a public union employee who shot at a private contractor at his home, after vandalizing his car by painting on it, "RAT".
      It is public union employees and their supporters who have cost the state 13 MILLION DOLLARS and burdened the tax payers further because they don't want to contribute to their own pensions and health insurance plans, even though it's less than the private sector employee.
      It's the public union employee bosses who want to take the choice of paying dues and deciding not to be in a union away from hard working citizens, and who sold them down the river by making them think the union bosses cared about "workers rights", when the only thing the union bosses cared about was keeping the union dues flowing into the coffers to fund their political agenda to gain more power by increasing member numbers, building their personal pyramid scheme on the backs of the workers, while they sit on their asses making hundreds of thousands of dollars, and "do lunch" with Obama.
      I want everyone to be able to sit at the table and talk like reasonable adults too. But I won't sit and try to reason with criminals. Until public union employees acknowledge the corrupt and criminal behavior of their own union organizations, by union bosses and organizers, this state will remain divided.
      Honest citizens don't play with criminals, and they don't negotiate with them either.

    3. Rhonda, I wouldn't doubt you were one of Walker's employees surfing the web on the taxpayer's dime again bolstering Walker's image with that overblown diatribe of yours.

    4. "Anonymous", maybe your words would have some viability if you actually were brave enough to reveal your identity.
      I wouldn't doubt you were one of the OWS protesters, defecating and urinating in public, given your inability to understand budgets and non -substainable entitlement programs for "special interest" groups.

    5. Keep looking at Walker through your rose colored glasses. Hopefully some day you can visit him in jail.

  13. Tom Barrett is a sissy-boy. He'd run Wisconsin into the ground like he did to Milwaukee. He's a loser. He has no idea how to lead. Scott Walker is a leader and will win this recall election. Thank God for Scott Walker !!!!!

  14. If you want another governor like Diamond Jim Doyle vote for Barrett. Barrett believes in same -sex marriage and that's against the Wisconsin State Constitution and against state LAW. Barrett believes in abortion - killing babies. If you want jobs, a better Wisconsin economy, honest and smaller government, Scott Walker is your man. The good taxpayers of Wisconsin will come out in droves to support Scoot Walker. I can't wait for June 5th. Good-bye Barrett..

  15. Chris Walker, your critique of the debate illustrates just how out of touch liberals are when it comes to deciphering fact from fiction, or monitoring the political atmosphere of this state.
    Barrett made a crucial error when he chose to use the debate as a vehicle to implicate, accuse, and insinuate, instead of compell, illustrate, and inspire.
    To go into a debate with a strategy that exclusively employs charging your opponent with wrong doing, regardless of the absence of fact and lack of verifiable documentation, only revealed Barrett's weak position in this race, and at the same time made Barrett look small and petty.
    Barrett needed to draw support from voters who were on the fence, or persuade those leaning towards Walker, that he was the better choice.
    He failed to do that.
    He failed because all of his talking points have been rehashed by the media and the pro union social media, ad nauseum.
    There was nothing new here. It appeared as if Barrett had a script written for him by the public union, and he never veered from it.
    At the post debate press conference, this was made even more obvious when several reporters asked why Barrett didn't expound more on what he would do FOR Wisconsin.
    Barrett spent all his time blustering about what he claims Walker did TO Wisconsin, in direct opposition to verifiable fact.
    The Wisconsin people aren't stupid, but obviously Barrett and his campaign manager think they are.
    Barrett's performance in the debate was an insult to the intelligence of Wisconsin voters, and clarified for many Barrett's intention to serve special interest first, and the private sector last.
    Epic fail for Barrett.
    Even if your world view contradicts those of the Walker supporters, the fact that you are unable to see the poor strategy of the Barrett camp in this campaign, is alarming.
    How can Barrett expect to solve real problems in this state, bring people together, and persuade others to his side, when he cannot even come up with a viable campaign strategy?
    I'm not surprised Milwaukee is doing so poorly.

  16. Wow, looks like Chris hit the mark if all the wingnuts are frightened enough to be plugging up the comments page with pre-printed spin.

    This is why I put a moderation on my comments, because now that this thing is even and Barrett has clear momentum (as evidenced by his whupping of Walker Friday night and the huge early voting in Milwaukee and Madison), you'll see Walker's paid hacks try anything to increase the noise to confuse people. Too bad for them that it ain't gonna work.

    Good breakdown, Chris.

  17. You Barrett supporters are so stupid. Tom Barrett wants to force down our throats a $65 million street car that the taxpayers will have to subsidize for years to come....probably forever. He refuses to have this put on a referendum so the taxpayers can reject it.....and they will reject it. We do not want Barrett's stupid money-sucking street car. If he becomes governor he will tax us to hell. Tom Barrett is a tax and spend liberal with no plan for Milwaukee or Wisconsin. Tom Barrett with turn Wisconsin into a tax hell again!!!!! Wake up before it's too late. We must all vote for Scott Walker and keep Wisconsin on the right path.

  18. Just watched the second debate. Tom Barrett is done, gone, dead - stick a fork in him. Scott Walker just wiped the floor with him. Actually felt sorry for Barrett....NAH !!! What a loser.

  19. Tom Barrett is a buffoon. The guy is a total idiot. And he wants to be governor.....I don't think so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!