I'm not ready for a commitment. It's not you, Democratic candidates for governor, it's me.
With more than a million signatures filed to force a recall of Gov. Scott Walker and 845,000 to recall Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, the question turns to who will be the Democratic candidates against them. Let's not decide that just yet. Here's why.
But before we get to that, let's acknowledge the great work done by Mike Tate and other Democratic and union organizers. There's an old Will Rogers joke that goes, "I belong to no organized political party. I'm a Democrat." I've used that line more than once, most recently just last week. But in all seriousness, the organization of this effort was nothing short of brilliant.
It was smart and unusually disciplined of my party to keep the focus on Walker throughout the signature drive. Potential candidates have held back and they should keep hanging.
As soon as Walker can train his unlimited resources on a Democratic standard bearer, it will be no holds barred. Walker can't win by running a positive campaign, but only by painting his opponent as even scarier than he is. It will be bloody.
So bloody that if you listen to all the pundits, the Democrats shouldn't nominate any of the 14 senators who left the state to delay the vote on the governor's union busting bill. Apparently that doesn't poll well with swing voters. They also shouldn't nominate anyone from Milwaukee or Dane counties. You know how the rest of the state feels about those places. (Except for the times when they voted for Jim Doyle, Russ Feingold, Herb Kohl, and, hey, Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen now that I think about it.) They also shouldn't nominate anyone with any kind of political record whatsoever.
This narrows the field to a man named Orville Kowalski of rural Rosholt. Problem is that Orville usually votes Republican, and he really doesn't want to move to Maple Bluff anyway. Also, he has a bad hip.
So with Orville out of the running we're back to the long list that everyone's seen. It would be best for the Dems to keep it that way for as long as they can. The less time the Walker folks have to make this about the Democratic candidate and not about him, the better the chances will be for success.
It will take months to get through the certifications and the legal challenges. The best strategy is to keep a lot of names alive for as long as possible.