The North Shore Exponent in a two part series is examining the impact of Creigh Deeds being thrown under the bus by President Barack Obama over his campaign for Virginia Governor. This part examines how a swing state like Wisconsin could be affected.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Creigh Deeds, the Democratic Gubernatorial nominee for Virginia was thrown under the bus by Team Obama in a effort for the President to shield himself from the lackluster campaign. The decision by Obama sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party across the nation and sent a message to top-flight candidates for Governor, US House, and US Senate to fully embrace the President’s agenda.
As of publishing this article on Monday, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, a top Democratic candidate for Governor dropped out of the race citing personal reasons
With that in mind, this decision in Virginia will be motivation to outgoing Governor Jim Doyle to ramp up his effort to find a candidate for Governor that will fully embrace the agenda of Governor Doyle and the White House. This was the top reason that Creigh Deeds was thrown under bus by Team Obama. White House staffers said to The Washington Post on Friday that Deeds did not fully utilize the resources of the White House and allied organizations like the Democratic Governors Association.
Because Governor Doyle does not want a similar story in Virginia to happen in Wisconsin, you can bet the Governor is on his way towards getting Dick Leinekugel to run for Governor of Wisconsin on the Democratic ticket. Over the weekend, WKOW-TV in Madison reported that the current Commerce Secretary could be filing his papers to run for Governor. Leinekugel was appointed by Doyle in 2008 to replace outgoing Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer who resigned over wasting taxpayer dollars in a travel expense scandal. Leinekugel could be the candidate that fully embraces the agenda of President and Governor Doyle, and this could mean that the White House, the Democratic Governor’s Association, and the DNC will give big dollars to a candidate like Leinekugel in exchange for sharing that vision. Also, JSOnline recently reported that the White House had high praise for Mayor Barrett, as basically whoever Governor Doyle chooses would get the highest return of investment from Team Obama.
Wisconsin is a top priority for both Republicans and Democrats in 2010 as BizTimes reported that the DNC could spend over $8 million in the race for Wisconsin Governor alone not counting what the DPW or the DGA will throw in. A source close to the Walker Campaign told The North Shore Exponent that their campaign is planning to spend $10 million alone on the race not counting what money the Republican Governor’s Association or the RNC will raise. With how it was known that the DNC wasted a lot of money in Virginia this year, Governor Doyle will make sure that the money the DNC and the DGA spends is well-spent to his satisfaction.
Whatever Doyle does with the DNC and the DGA can be perceived as an attempt to distance himself from current Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate. Tate was known to be a supporter of Barbara Lawton according to Democrat Party insiders. The Wisconsin Radio Network last week reported that Doyle and Lawton never had a rosy relationship in their seven year reign as Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Because of Doyle’s strong relationship with the White House and the DGA, he will be motivated by Tate’s known support for Lawton to out-maneuver him in getting people from the DNC and the DGA to raise funds for his chosen candidate for Governor. Because whoever Doyle picks will be a moderate candidate and run on a pro-jobs platform, this could shut away progressive backers in the party who were supporting Lawton.
The news on Friday and on Monday will indicate that Governor Jim Doyle will use his connections in Washington to divide up the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Joe Wineke, the Past Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin was credited for his success to unify the competing factions in his party together. However, the Current Chairman Mike Tate will have his back up the wall as he will be dealt with a serious situation in which moderate and blue dog supporters would bail out on the current Chairman to support the Doyle-backed candidate. This means progressive voters may stay home this election season as Doyle would throw both Tate and Lawton under the bus.
Tomorrow, we will examine how the Deeds-Obama fallout impacts states with open seat Governor’s races.