Governor Scott Walker’s candidacy, while disgraceful, delivered one of the most important political lessons in decades: basing a campaign on attacking working people just doesn’t work – no matter how much Koch Brothers’ money you throw at it.
Regular working people—all of us—want a candidate who will fight for us. But when regular people saw he wanted to fight against us, well, you saw his numbers drop down to zero within days of outlining the one plan his candidacy was built upon.
The horse race politics are missing the point. The saddle doesn’t matter. The reins don’t matter. Even the jockey doesn’t matter. The horse was simply a loser. The real story of the past two months is a single messaged candidate whose single message failed miserably.
There are many political illiterates and right-wing consultants who don’t understand that unions aren’t narrow niche organizations. We’re mainstream. We represent the interests of our members—Democratic, Republican and whatever. That’s why Walker’s numbers dropped among Republicans likely to vote in primary elections. Most of those folks are regular working people, too, and anyone who wants to trash unions and working people will find the same results.
Though Scott Walker will retreat from the national spotlight, working families in Wisconsin will look to further his retreat from any spotlight. Walker’s failure is a victory for all working people.
Going forward our focus is fully on the candidates still seeking to lead our nation. We’ll soon see who gets the message.
Keri A. Shanks, Senior Secretary
AFL-CIO Communications Department