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As polls show chances of a Walker win rising, national Democrats maneuver to spin the recall as a "Wisconsin-specific moment, not a national referendum."


Democrats downplay the impact of a Walker win

As polls show chances of a Walker win rising, national Democrats maneuver to spin the recall as a “Wisconsin-specific moment, not a national referendum.”

MADISON, Wisc. — “I’m voting against Walker!” fumed a waitress at a steakhouse in downtown Madison late Sunday night, referring to Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his bid to survive a recall election Tuesday against Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.  She went on to explain that the Republican governor “was a big reason I had to leave the University of Wisconsin when I was a junior last year.  My professors were canceling classes so often to go out in the square [site of the State Capitol] to protest his program [requiring some public employee workers to contribute about six percent of their salary and 12 percent to their health insurance premiums], that it just wasn’t worth it for me to go to college anymore.”

Gosh! While one was tempted to suggest to the waitress that her anger should be vented on the professors themselves for choosing to protest rather than teach, it is simply not worth it — not in Madison, capital of Wisconsin and a university town, long considered a hotbed of American leftism.  There are reports of numerous barfights at local establishments stemming from the mere mention of the name “Scott Walker.”

On the Monday before the nationally-watched vote on Walker’s fate, supporters of both the governor and Barrett are out early brandishing placards along the John Nolen Highway that goes through Madison.

With less than 24 hours to go before the voting, both sides are fully engaged and enthusiastic.

However, with even left-leaning polls giving Walker a slight lead and unaffiliated polls a larger advantage, state and national Democrats are beginning to repeat the mantra that even if the conservative GOP governor wins Tuesday, it won’t matter in terms of national politics or the November chances of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

“It’s a Wisconsin-specific moment, not a national referendum,” veteran Wisconsin Democratic strategist John Lapp, told the Wisconsin State Journal Monday.

In Washington, Democratic National Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said recently that “[b]asically, there aren’t going to be any repercussions nationally, if Wisconsin voters decide to stick with Walker.”

Asked about Wasserman-Schultz’s remarks, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters: ” I think that there are issues obviously unique to that state and issues unique to the spending that’s happened in that particular matter that would suggest that she’s right, but I haven’t discussed it with the president.”

Unlike Bill Clinton, who recently came into the Badger State to stump with Barrett, President Obama has yet to appear with the Democratic nominee.  Asked whether Obama has so much as endorsed Barrett, Carney replied that he has not talked about it with him and “you’ll have to contact the [Obama re-election] campaign.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ??the man who knows everyone in Washington? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what??s going on in the nation??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ??Gizzi on Politics? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ??Gizzi??s America,? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com