Barrett vs. Kind (what do they have in common)

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Kind has virtually no money to run a state campaign on. Only a pittance of the money he’s raised for his congressional campaigns can be used to wage a campaign in the Badger State. Last I heard it’s somewhere south of $40,000. Nevertheless, after more than a decade in Congress, Kind no doubt has a strong network of state contributors, especially in his western district.

Starting from scratch, it’s unfortunate for Kind that he doesn’t know as many people in Madison – there are plenty of lawyers and lobbyists, the types who fund Doyle’s campaigns, who are willing to write $10,000 checks. It’s not that Kind or Barrett won’t be able to win their contributions come the general election, but Lawton will likely have an advantage among them in the primary. At this point, she is the only likely nominee of the Democratic Party. Giving to her is less of a crap shoot.

Barrett similarly has an array of big money interests in the Milwaukee area who’d like to get on the mayor’s good side by making a contribution. You can even give him a contribution and hope he loses – especially if you’re interest is more local.

I do believe that Barrett’s story of heroism at the state fair will play an important role if he does run for governor. It is great publicity and it will affect the gut response to Barrett, especially from people who aren’t familiar with him. The non-partisan electorate often votes based on subtle gut reactions to personal characteristics of the politician – is he/she trustworthy, does he/she seem genuinely good or smart? By listening to his speeches, watching his interactions, a voter attempts to guess. Barrett’s act makes the guessing unnecessary for many – it is evidence that he has a trait that is very rarely attributed to politicians: courage.

I think in a race where both Kind and Barrett run, Kind will be overshadowed by Barrett’s publicity and overwhelmed by his fundraising.

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One Response to “Barrett vs. Kind (what do they have in common)”

  1. Run Ron Run! Says:

    It is no secret that Ron Kind has been keeping a close eye on the Governor’s office for a few years as well as one of those Senate seats. If he runs for Gov. and doesn’t make it through the primary, so what? He will no doubt then run two years later for Kohl’s seat and will have only increased his state-wide familiarity. Plus, as you mentioned, he will have that federal campaign coffer stocked and ready as he can only spend a fraction if he runs for Governor. I don’t know much about Kind, as I suspect most people outside of western WI don’t. So why not run now because if he loses, I (and others) will only know him better for when he runs for Senate.

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