Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

I vote for a later primary date


Paul Soglin gives a preview of what Wisconsinites can expect between now and February 19th.

February 19 will produce the most interesting Wisconsin primary since 1968, when the weekend before the votes were cast, Lyndon Johnson, withdrew in the face of a pending debacle. In the meantime, the national press core will celebrate the Dairy State for two weeks as they descend on the cow pastures and the court houses, the university campuses and the small town grills.

Some candidates will kiss babies, the smart ones will pose for photos with cheeseheads.

We wanted attention; we’re about to get it. Robocalls, Tom Barrett sightings, local politicians making meaningless endorsements, radio ads, television ads, spooky music backgrounds, Bill Clinton (hide your daughters!), Eugene Kane columns about Barack Obama, Joel McNally discussing the black experience, Mayor Larry Nelson actually staying in Wisconsin, Barbara Lawton sightings, Illinois residents making a nuisance of themselves (usually they wait until the weather is nicer), national media showing pictures of cows, stupid sports references, George Will wearing a cheesehead, Owen Robinson columns, endless citizen interviews, local television fawning over whatever candidate deigns to speak with them, twisted political metaphors using the words “frozen tundra”, newspaper and television references to Kennedy campaigning here in 1960, gratuitous references to Wisconsin’s “progressive” tradition which have nothing to do with the Progressives, endless amounts of junk mail, schools allowing students to campaign on class time, teachers taking students on political “field trips”, rallies at Serb Hall, B & C class Hollywood celebrities (hide your daughters!), unwashed hippie protestors, and endless amounts of Russ Feingold.

A presidential primary in June would’ve spared us all this.

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