Only five more days till the Wisconsin recall, and surprisingly—given Governor Scott Walker’s advantage thus far on the money and polling front—it looks like it’s going to be a tight match. But as exciting as the race will be, that doesn’t mean it’s time to crown it the Great Predictor of the 2012 Presidential Election. This isn’t a referendum on President Obama, and the petri dish of local politics on display in Wisconsin isn’t translatable to the national level in the way political journalists and commentators want it to be. However, there is one way the Wisconsin recall can be seen as the pre-party to November. If Democrat Tom Barrett squeaks out a victory, there’s a persuasive argument to be made that all the big money being funneled into conservative super PACs and groups by Mary Poppins-pocketed billionaires doesn't necessarily determine the outcome.
Democrats have been scared by the prospect of being outspent on races all across the board thanks to the heavy lifting of Karl Rove and Co., but if they can prevail in Wisconsin despite their contentious primary and the magnet-like qualities of Walker’s campaign chests, maybe superior organization and voter outreach can still trump super spending. If the opposite outcome occurs and Walker stays in office, Democrats will have to take the hint and up their game. Besides the Obama campaign, which has a physics-defying ability to raise unthinkable amounts of dough, Democratic fundraising on the super PAC and labor front has been ... pitiful. A Walker victory won't mean that Obama’s certain to lose, but it should prove a wake-up for all the slumbering bundlers and donors who have yet to give to 2012’s close races.
So They Say
"My God, this is right out of Breitbart's playbook. I love it! I swear to God, if he roller skates into the DNC convention, or hijacks an Obama press conference—if he does either one of those I’m going to give my kid’s college money to his super PAC.”
—Brad Thor, conservative novelist and Santorum supporter, responding to Romney's Solyndra presser
Daily Meme: The Jobs Numbers Cometh
- John Cassidy: "I hate to ruin your weekend, but let’s be honest: Mitt Romney now has a good chance of being the next President."
- James Pethokoukis: "The May jobs report was a complete and utter disaster for the economy and, perhaps, President Obama’s chances for reelection."
- Nate Silver: "The bad economic numbers over the past weeks are sapping Mr. Obama of the edge he might have had on Mitt Romney."
- Jon Chait: "Disaster is in the air, and some Americans are already skipping to the part where they feast upon human flesh."
- Barack Obama: “We will come back stronger; we do have better days ahead.”
- Mitt Romney: "This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another."
- Nancy Pelosi: "With today's jobs report, it's clear that we have work to do."
- Eric Cantor: "It’s time for us to own up here, the policies that have been coming out of this administration have not worked."
- Felix Salmon: "Obama is bizarrely reluctant to talk about anything which rhymes with 'stimulus.' As a result, the current dysfunction—and horribly weak jobs market —is likely to persist for far too long."
- Kevin Roose: "If you're not a CNBC pundit or a Beltway gabber, the most depressing thing in the report has to be that 300,000 net people joined the ranks of the long-term unemployed."
What We're Writing
- Abby Rapoport reports that things are looking better in the fight to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
- Jamelle Bouie covers the implications of today's jobs report for the Obama and Romney campaigns.
What We're Reading
- Conor Friedersdorf writes that we've always talked too much about Obama's biography.
- John Cassidy grades Obama against the Bush legacy.
- The Economist looks at where the race stands in the swing states.
- Businessweek follows some long-term unemployed people as they take the hard slog back to the workplace.
- Amie Parnes reports on the Obama campaign's efforts to scare rich liberals into action on the fundraising front.
- Although he'll never have the chance to savor it, Romney has a delectable-looking cocktail named in his honor.
Poll of the Day
While today's jobs report was a letdown, Gallup released poll data indicating that consumers have continued to be spending at higher-than-average rates. May was the third month in a row that consumers reported spending more than $70 per day on average; the only other time since the economic downturn when spending has been so elevated was the 2011 holiday season. If the political scientists are right that growth in disposable income is one of the most important factors in elections, the fact that consumers are feeling flush might provide some solace to despairing incumbents around the country.