If insulting Wisconsin's beer tradition isn't bad enough, Scott Walker's most recent ad gives Democrats an opportunity to talk about Tom Barrett's best political attribute: The ass-kicking he took at the state fair in defense of a grandmother and her granddaughter.
A Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor has begun running ads in which he dons boxing gloves and vows to "go the distance" against the likely Democratic nominee, who was viciously beaten outside a fairground last year and left with serious injuries.
Scott Walker's campaign said Tuesday that it didn't intend to make reference to the August 2009 attack outside the Wisconsin State Fair that left Tom Barrett, Milwaukee's mayor, with injuries to his head, mouth, face and hand. Barrett tried to help a screaming woman struggling to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from being taken by her drunk, belligerent father.
And no, Mike Tate, the Dem Party chair who adores negative attacks because "if you're not punching your opponent in the face, it's much easier for him to hit you," did not shrink away from an opportunity to call accuse Walker of weaselry:
"I think he looks ridicuous and I think it really is tasteless," said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate. "Walker does seem to be mocking the fact that the mayor, frankly, almost gave his life to intervene in a domestic violence situation."
This reminds me of a scene in Game Change, when advisers to Hillary Clinton are discussing possible attack ads against primary opponent Barack Obama, one of which accuses him of being a flip-flopper, and portrays a chameleon changing color to convey the point. However, one of the wiser hired guns protests, predicting that voters will see the "changing colors" as a reference to race.
The difference, of course, is that Clinton decided not to run the ad.
But what do I know? In both 2000 and 2004, the Bush campaign successfully tarred and feathered war heros (McCain and Kerry) by using their military records against them. Perhaps Walker will hint that Barrett is too traumatized by the fight to serve, or for that matter, that he is putting other victims of drunken thuggery in harm's way.