Then along comes Mary
And then along comes Mary
And does she want to set them free, and let them see reality
From where she got her name. – lyrics The Asscociation
The first announcement of Mary Burke’s interest to run as the next governor of Wisconsin came back in late August, and was met with cries of “foul” and accusations of favoritism on the part of Dem Party head Mike Tate
The first stage of the Mary Burke liftoff was posed as a question in the Sunday Capital Times:
Governor material? Mary Burke has a track record of executive experience
At Trek, the Waterloo-based company founded by her father in 1976, Burke oversaw the opening of offices in seven European countries and later developed its forecasting and strategic planning department.
The article on the front page of the Sunday paper was not a declaration of the candidacy of Mary Burke, but a tune up or testing of the air pressure in Bontrager Race X Lite Hardcase tires ($49.99 ea.), while at the same time, Walker was polishing up his Harley Road King in anticipation of “the 110th Celebration”.
Before Mary Burke would announce her candidacy she had to pass through the grueling qualifying rounds: the Liberal Reliability Trials, Dirt Jumping, and admission to the Union Cycliste Internationale.
Then there would come the question writ large – Why would a person who pulled down $6.8 million from 2008 to 2012 want to exert the effort to bother?
As of yesterday, her bike helmet is in the ring
Well, you have to start somewhere. Nothing too controversial or policy oriented in the Mary Burke roll out video. It is so squeaky professional, creepy corporate, and hollow hallmark cards as to qualify for entry into a tourism propaganda contest.
Well you have to start somewhere.
The “Stand with Walker” GOP have already launched web site “The world according to Mary Burke” which is a cork board filled with sticky notes: “We’re Screwed”, “Out of touch”, and “Madison Millionaire”.
What about Kathleen?
A surge of blue tells me your love is strong
Each spring my life is starting anew
And I will be waiting for you – lyrics The Byrds “Kathleen”
The first time I saw Kathleen was when she took the stage in the Richland Center Art Center in her primary campaign for the recall election. She starred in a improvised skit in which she charged in and bowled over Scott Walker. It was so “Wisconsin”, so wonderfully human and simple that it made you smile with a common warmth. Kathleen’s roll out of her candidacy is so grassroots that it will not fit on a You Tube video – leave that to the corporate business types. No. Kathleen is Kathleen and is best known up close and personal.
It remains to be seen whether a good, old fashioned, non-corporate, grass roots campaign can gain legs after two years of media control imposed by Walker. Glossy, corporate, video has become the new normal communicating who a politician is or what they believe. I hope Kathleen finds her legs.
The contrast between Mary and Kathleen is so strident that we can only hope they will face off in a primary to teach each other by contrast and make them both better candidates with a good, old fashioned and respectful debate of issues.
Kathleen’s plans are not to be found in a You Tube video, but in a comment on a post in Blogging Blue. How wonderfully appropriate:
For supporters of Kathleen Vinehout, this is what a friend of hers from Alma advised me today: Mary’s announcement today doesn’t affect [Kathleen’s] activities or plans, she is seriously considering a run, that a primary might be a good thing, that people want a voice in who gets elected, and she will continue moving around the state over the next three months talking and listening and will make a decision sometime after the first of the year.
In the meantime…we should spread the word to as many of her supporters as possible to spread the message – and keep spreading it – to 1) send a run Kathleen, run message to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Voters for Vinehout, P.O. Box 1274, Eau Claire, WI, 54701 with 2) a donation of $20 – twenty dollars because the face on the 20 dollar bill is Andrew Jackson, our first grass roots president who came from the rural west. That is something tangible that everyone can do. It is a lot easier to ride a wave that has already started to move.