My Case for Mitt Romney
Alecia T. Williams
Last night, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin prevailed in the historic recall election. Polls closed at 9:00 PM ET and within minutes, the media started feeding a frenzy reporting that exit polls indicated that the race was “too close to call.” Within an hour, however, the polling numbers indicated that Walker had indeed won and by a much larger margin of victory than was assumed. He won by 7% points.
|AP Photo/Morry Gash|
Those in the media have been quick to point out however, that although Walker won the election, the exit polls did reflect some “good news” for President Obama. Those who participated in the exit polls were asked to choose between Obama and Romney. The exit polling data showed if the election were held today, Obama would carry Wisconsin by a 52-43% margin.
I am glad to hear that the White House can exhale. They should really take comfort in those numbers. Because as last night’s final election results indicated, those exit polls are very reliable.
Today, the spin of this election is in full swing. Despite big name endorsements from Bill Clinton and DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wassermann Schulz and also, despite a massive grassroots effort by Unions and Democrats to oust Walker, the tone of the left is much different today. The left is now arguing that this recall election was just a little “local” election that won’t really impact the November race.
|Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP|
I guess that is why it is now easy for them to justify the blatant absence of Obama’s participation in the race. Oh wait, I stand corrected, he did tweet his “support” late Monday night.
Although the left would like us to believe that this election was inconsequential to national politics, make no mistake about it, the White House cared about this outcome. Despite the brave face today, there has to be a growing concern.
In 2010, candidate Scott Walker ran on a message of fiscal reform and accountability. Once in office, Walker kept his campaign promise and immediately began to address a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. He proposed a bill limiting the ability of public sector unions to bargain collectively over pensions and health care. Furthermore, Walker wanted to limit the pay raises of public employees to the rate of inflation.
Ironically, Walker’s message was that of “fairness.” He wanted public sector union employees to pay the same fair rates comparable to those outside the unions.
Walker wanted state employees to make a greater contribution to their pensions and said that without fiscal changes to the budget, thousands of state workers risked being laid off. He argued that the changes would save the state of Wisconsin $180 million a year.
|Image from nymag.com|
In just over a year, Walker’s reforms helped private businesses create thousands of jobs. His fiscal restraints turned a $3.6 billion budget deficit turn into a surplus. He did all of it without increasing the role of government and he accomplished it without raising taxes. Furthermore, he prevailed over big unions.
Scott Walker pushed for a smaller, less involved government. He pushed for fiscal discipline and responsibility. He wanted to diminish the power that unions have in dictating how his state’s budget is allocated. His efforts were beyond successful.
Yesterday’s vote shows the value in fiscal reform and accountability. Yesterday’s vote also shows that big unions voices are not as powerful and influential as once thought.
Why does the White House care? Two reasons.
1) President Obama is pro-government. He thinks the role of the government should be bigger not smaller. His limitless spending spree of the past 3 1/2 years reflects a politician who believes that government spending is the answer to our economic fragility. He hasn’t insisted that his party members limit their spending to the confines of a budget and that simply reflects someone with little regard for our astronomical debt.
|Obama with Bob King, President of United Auto Workers (Getty Image/Chip Somodevilla)|
2) It is also no secret that this president is pro-union. His policies have always been loyal to the union vote. For example, his efforts to bailout the auto industry primarily benefited the United Auto Workers Union. Since taking office, Obama has had countless meetings with union leaders to discuss the country’s economic recovery and how it will impact the standing of various unions in their respective communities.
|Hector Sealey, Safety Director, Construction Corporation, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (Carolyn Kaster/AP)|
As a result, the unions have been fiercely loyal to Obama. Their support and financial backing helped him win the White House in 2008. One can’t help but ask if their admiration and loyalty will be as strong this time around. The president’s absence in this Wisconsin fight shows that his fear of a loss was greater than his desire to help his friends win a desperate fight for their cause.
Did Obama’s silence sour his relations with unions?
As I have said before, it is becoming increasingly clear that this president is more concerned about saving his own job than he is in saving ours.
This recall election mattered.
I am not about to say that Wisconsin is now a red-leaning state—the last time Wisconsin voted for a Republican President was in 1984. I hardly see that changing this time around, but why this election mattered is that the fight for a smaller, more accountable and fiscally responsible government prevailed.
|Image from Washingtonpost.com|
This is the heart of Mitt Romney’s message. It goes without saying that the White House is hoping that support of that message won’t trickle beyond the borders of the badger state.
I think they are fooling themselves to ignore that it already has.