Obama Didn’t Go To Wisconsin Because He Was Busy

Several times during the final weeks of the Wisconsin Recall Election, Democrats and labor activists complained, mostly quietly, that the President was not coming to the state to campaign with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Indeed, at one point before Election Day, the President was on the ground in states bordering the Badger State, but made no effort to visit the state. In the end, the President’s involvement consisted of a tweet in support of Barrett at 7pm the night before the election.

Well yesterday in an interview with a Green Bay television station, the President explained why he didn’t show up to support Barrett. It seems he had better things to do:

Well, the truth is that as President of the United States, I’ve got a lot of responsibilities. I was supportive of Tom and have been supportive of Tom. Obviously, I would have loved to see a different result, but the broader principle is that we want an economy that is not focused on a few at the top, but is a broad-based economy that invests in our future, that makes sure we’ve got a strong education system that is thinking about workers and their ability to pay their bills. Something in everything I do shows those are values I care about deeply. And we’re gonna be fighting very hard in Wisconsin, just like we have in the past, to make sure that’s the kind of government people get.

Now, it’s true that Obama has a lot to do as President but, as Allahpundit points out, he still managed to fit in 13 fundraisers during the two weeks before the election, including four in the two days beforehand. He’s the leader of Democratic Party. If he wanted to go to Wisconsin and campaign for Barrett, it would have happened. Clearly, the White House and the President’s political advisers decided that risking Obama’s political credibility on a race that looked as if it was a loser a month before hand wasn’t worth it. No matter how much it annoyed Wisconsin Democrats. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that national Democrats were urging their counterparts in Madison not to go forward with the recall at all. But saying you were busy? Kind of a lame excuse, Mr. President.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Nikki says:

    Well yesterday in an interview with a Green Bay television station, the President explained why he didn’t show up to support Walker.

    I think that should be Barrett.

  2. @Nikki:

    Gah. Yes. Fixed

  3. Nikki says:

    What did you want him to say? That the recall looked like a long shot to begin with, so he decided to reserve his political capital for a fight the Dems could win? That would look better? What should he have said?

  4. JKB says:

    Well, as your post points out, there was no money in it for Obama. All the cash in Wisconsin was going out instead of coming into Obama’s pockets.

    He was to busy. Next, it’ll be he had to wash his hair. Wisconsin, he’s just not that into you.

  5. @Nikki:

    I recognize that he can’t really say that, but everyone who was looking at this honestly knows that. And the National Democrats who were telling the Wisconsin party to back off the recall were probably right from the beginning.

  6. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yes and hindsight is 20/20 vision. So I guess the point of your post is simply to call Obama lame for his too busy excuse. Ok.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    It became apparent about 4-6 weeks ago that Walker was going to coast to a 7 to 9 point win so I can think of no reason why Obama should have gone to Wisconsin – it’s Politics 101.

    I suppose that he could have said that he ‘had a headache” or “the dog ate his trip itinerary” but being busy is good enough for me.

  8. Vast Variety says:

    This is one of those time where your going to loose no mater what you say. I can’t really think of anything Obama could have said that would have been better.

  9. Herb says:

    And there’s always the possibility that Obama thought he’d be more liability than help. Can’t admit that either in an election year. (Vote for me, I’m a liability!)

    But I think that’s a big part why Obama didn’t get involved. As soon as Obama hit the tarmac, every birther and white supremacist in Wisconsin would have registered to vote.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It gets even better. Allah noted that for one fund-raising trip, Obama literally flew over Wisconsin.

    Even more entertaining: the guy who outspent McCain 3-1 in 2008, the guy who’s held more fund-raisers than any other president (even 2-termers), is still getting outraised by Romney.

  11. JKB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Obama literally flew over Wisconsin.

    Do you think he ordered them to dump the waste tanks? It would make a great head lines. “Obama poo poos Wisconsin”

  12. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Busy or not he’ll have to be there in September and October. Obviously on several levels that helps Romney.

  13. Jim Treacher says:

    @Nikki: He definitely shouldn’t tell the truth.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It gets even better. Allah noted that for one fund-raising trip, Obama literally flew over Wisconsin.

    Allah?

  15. Tillman says:

    In the end, the President’s involvement consisted of a tweet in support of Barrett at 7pm the night before the election.

    I can imagine an aide saying, “Won’t that look callous and half-assed?”

    Stay classy, Barry O.

  16. G.A. says:

    What did you want him to say? That the recall looked like a long shot to begin with, so he decided to reserve his political capital for a fight the Dems could win?

    He could not help himself from talking smack when it first started..lol Remember when Walker told him that he should worry about his own economic problems… hahahahaha….

    And he was in Minnesota and Chicago at fundraisers. Maybe he flew in a L shape around my state….For LOSER…haha dudes toast.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Sorry, AllahPundit from Hot Air.

    I think.

    Yup, it was even cited in the article AllahPundit cited.

    So just four days before the recall elections in Wisconsin that the state’s Democrats have worked 16 months to win, with potential implications for November 2012, the leader of their party did six fundraisers for himself in surrounding states but couldn’t find time for even a quick stop? Think about it: As Wisconsin Democrats were busy getting voters to cast early ballots Friday and organizing for Tuesday, Air Force One flew overhead twice — from Washington to Minnesota and Minnesota to Chicago.

    So yeah, Obama had time to attend fundraisers for himself and fly OVER Wisconsin, he didn’t have time to stop in the state and help out whatshisname… Barrett?

  18. G.A. says:

    whatshisname… Barrett?

    that’s backwards, backwards Barrett….

  19. Jon says:

    @JKB: Barrett didn’t want the stink of a rotten Washington Red Herring to taint his recall chances any more than possible. Obama could not risk supporting Barrett strongly, then risk still losing in massive fashion.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    He didn’t have time to support an obvious loser. Walker coasted to an easy victory.
    Smart politics.