The Sauk County Republicans are not the only ones resistant to Dick Leinenkugel's entry to the party. GOP Party Chair, Reince Preibus, apparently doesn't consider the beer baron a member of the team either.
Though Feingold has re-elect numbers that Priebus said are "in the toilet," the GOP chair said the party still needs candidates with a great message, saying Johnson, Wall and Westlake all have a great opportunity to persuade voters Feingold doesn't deserve another term.
Reminded that he left Leinenkugel off his list, Priebus was a little less complimentary.
"He filed ... as a Republican, he's coming to the convention and the delegates will have an opportunity to hear him out and take a vote on endorsement," Priebus said.
Ouch. The only consolation for Leinenkugel is that in Wisconsin independents can vote in primaries. But this is yet another illustration of Leinenkugel's need to quickly define his candidacy, and create an explanation for his time working with Democrats. If he keeps waiting, his opponents will define him as a flip-flopper before he has time to come up with a Republican-friendly narrative.
This is the narrative he should run on: When I was asked to serve for Doyle, I was encouraged by the spirit of bipartisanship, and I hoped to bring some much-needed common sense to the government of my beloved state. Unfortunately, after over a year in that position, I came to the conclusion that my priorities and that of the administration were irreconcilable, and therefore I resigned. Now I hope to promote the values that Doyle ignored in the U.S. Senate.
The problem is, even that argument is unconvincing, since Leinenkugel was never on record as opposing any of Doyle's biggest economic policies. In fact, he supported some of the most prominent ones. And he headlined fundraisers for Democratic candidates RECENTLY!
Flip-flopping is hard. You have to do it right. Mitt Romney got pretty far running against pretty much everything he'd ever stood for, but he also had an enormous amount of money and a large support-base to work off of. In addition, the national GOP was not interested in shunning his candidacy. Leinenkugel is not getting any institutional support or grassroots support. His candidacy is off to a very lame start. Right now the only thing distinguishing his candidacy is his name. He lacks a unique message, and so far he doesn't appear to have any special charisma that will put him above the other candidates.