Josh Kraushaar at National Journal describes it thusly in a post entitled Red Flags All Over for Obama in Wisconsin
President Obama wasn’t on the ballot in Wisconsin, but Gov. Scott Walker’s decisive victory in last night’s gubernatorial recall is a stinging blow to his prospects for a second term. The re-election was a telltale sign that the conservative base is as energized as ever, that the Democratic GOTV efforts may not be as stellar as advertised, and that the Democratic-leaning “blue wall” Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania will be very much in play this November.
Does this mean Obama loses Wisconsin? No. The polling shows a 6-7 point lead. He won Wisconsin by 13 in 2008. No Republican has won Wisconsin since Reagan over Mondale in 2004. What it does mean is that Obama will have to spend money in Wisconsin that he didn’t have to in 2008. He will be forced to defend his win in what should have been a safe state. And that is one of the things that Team Romney seems invested in, forcing Obama to play defense in traditionally “Blue” states, a notion that John McCain did not do. If Obama is spending time defending blue states, that means less time for attack in Red states.
For all of Obama’s political talent, he’s been a major drag on his party since taking office. In 2009, Republicans won two hotly-contested gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, with the victors (Chris Christie/Bob McDonnell) now on Romney’s vice-presidential short list. During the heat of the health care debate in 2010, Scott Brown picked up Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in deep blue Massachusetts. Later that year, Republicans regained control of the House, by winning a whopping 63 seats while picking up six Senate seats. And now, Walker wins the recall by a bigger margin than in the 2010 election, which was already a watershed year for Wisconsin Republicans.
It’s no wonder most Democrats seem to want to keep Obama at arms length. Obama is not the albatross around the neck: he’s the guy who killed the albatross.
And the news gets better of PBO. CNSNews reports that some 38% of people in union households voted for Scott Walker, which led to a meltdown by MSDNC’s Ed Schultz, demanding an explanation. Unfortunately for Ed, few people watch his show, which mostly comes in third on cable, just ahead of Headline News, and almost 5 times less than Bill O’Reilly.
The Hill reports that Obama is “fretting” after this stunning loss. And James Taranto highlights Progressives trying to spin this as a win for Obama. And Walter Russell Mead explains how bad this is for the unions
The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everything it had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.
The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.
And it failed.
One of the liberal talking points is that the pro-Walker forces outspent the pro-union folks 8-1. Liberal wonks are saying that Walker outspent Barrett by something like $34million to $4million. However, as Beitbart notes, unions and outside forces spent about $21 million on this recall effort. According to liberals, though, that evil Citizens United decision (which exempted unions, as well) allowed evil corporations (which provide evil jobs, ya know!) to make sure Walker won. No mention as to Obama buying the election in 2008. Or Obama trying to buy the 2012 election. Let’s not forget that Obama was fund-raising in California while Democrats were losing in Wisconsin.