Makes it a two-horse race.
If you want Donald Trump’s endorsement, you need to check at least one of three boxes:
🔲 Media personality — as was TV doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania or best-selling author J.D. Vance in Ohio.
🔲 High-profile politician — former U.S. Senator David Perdue in Georgia.
🔲 Millionaire — Which explains why Trump tapped Tim Michels — who could probably buy and sell the entire Trump family — for Wisconsin governor.
What is Donald Trump’s endorsement worth? Results so far this primary election season are mixed. Trump spurned Timothy Ramthun, the most rabid election denier of the five seekers of the Republican prize. Man has no money and the profile of a backwoods moonshiner. (Admittedly attractive to a subset of Republicans.)
The WI State Journal quotes an “expert” to say that it’s “a devastating blow” to Rebecca Kleefisch, the putative leader. No question, Becky wanted it. She put out a lit piece in time for the state Republican convention last weekend touting her crush on Trump.
Let’s concede: The Trump pick helps Michels but not at the expense of the little spitfire. The former lieutenant governor is the only one who’s won three statewide races (including beating back the Act 10 recall). Becky owns the trifecta of conservative interests: Right to Life, big business (WMC), law enforcement (most of the sheriffs and several police unions, including those in Milwaukee and Kenosha). Add a fourth: bear hunters! (They have their own lobby? Who knew?!) If the Trump endorsement hurts anyone, it is Kevin Nicholson. The guy is still trying to find a lane. The fifth candidate is one Adam Fischer of Oak Creek, who says a lot of the right things but does not check any of our three boxes. Unchecks them, actually.
The Head Groundskeeper just said the Trump pick helps Michels. Some of the grey lab coats at the Policy Werkes argue that it hurts, as well. Lest we forget, Donald Trump lost the 2016 Republican primary to the last man standing at the time —Ted Cruz, who’s even harder to like! In 2020, Trump under-performed all eight congressional candidates in losing (yes he did!) the state. (If there were 2000 mules they harvested actual ballots from real voters.) Countenancing the insurrection of January 6 (2021) and his general unsavoriness continue to sully the Trump brand.
Allow teachers to defend their classrooms
Ohio State Senate passes a bill that would allow teachers to arm themselves in school. Individual school districts would decide if they want armed teachers. (More here.)
A certain kind of liberal logic: “Wisconsin man allegedly threatens to shoot lawmakers who vote to arm teachers” after Speaker Robin Vos signaled he’s open to that common sense idea. (Arming teachers, dammit!) (Read it and grin.)
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Here in Wisconsin, one endorsement means loads more than Trump’s. It belongs to Tommy Thompson. Our guess is he keeps it in his pocket.