Steve Hayes reported Saturday on President Obama's refusal to get his hands dirty—or even to get Air Force One's wheels dirty—by landing on the soil of the great state of Wisconsin prior to Tuesday's recall election between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett.
Now Politico reports: “After staying conspicuously absent from the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, President Obama finally engaged tonight—with a short message on Twitter signed with his initials: ‘@BarackObama It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. –bo’”
But won't Obama's tepid tweet make things worse? Obama was so determined to avoid damage to his "brand" that he didn't show up in Wisconsin to rally the troops in what's likely a losing cause—but then, stung by the criticism that he was ducking the fight, he has a staffer tweet a message that he's "standing by" Tom Barrett? Really? "Standing by" is in fact an apt description of what Barack Obama's doing. One wonders whether other Democratic elected officials and parts of organized labor will similarly "stand by" Barack Obama in the fall, focusing instead on other races and fights important to them? It would be a nice irony if disarray in Democratic ranks were to be a side effect of tomorrow's recall election caused by the Democrats.
Meanwhile, for the next 24 hours, every conservative reformer, everyone who admires Scott Walker and hopes his example will inspire other politicians across the nation, is alternately holding his breath in anticipation of the results, and humming "On Wisconsin" as he goes about his tasks.
UPDATE: Jeryl Bier, proprietor of his own blog, makes a good point:
I think it's also significant that President Obama said "He'd make..." and not "He will make a great governor," as is the general practice when endorsing a candidate, to speak as though he will be successful. "He'd" sounds an awful lot like Obama's own "if/when" moment a few days ago (http://t.co/hBlLoCRx).