Could any politician have come up with a better news story?
The mayor had gone to the fair outside Milwaukee on Saturday night with his sister, two daughters and a niece. As the group left and walked to Barrett’s car, they heard a woman screaming for someone to call 911, police said.
Police said the woman was a grandmother who was trying to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from a 20-year-old man, an assault authorities characterized as a domestic dispute.
“The mayor stopped and said something (to the man) like, ‘Let’s all cool down here, I’m going to call 911,'” the mayor’s spokesman Patrick Curley said. “He said it one or two times according to him. When he took out his phone, that’s when the suspect attacked him.”
The suspect hit Barrett in the head and torso with a metal pipe. Barrett apparently fought back, fracturing his hand when he punched the suspect.
“I think he hit the guy,” Curley said. “I don’t know where, but it was hard enough, whatever he hit, to fracture his hand.”
Tom Barrett is either the biggest hero in Wisconsin politics since Robert La Follette or the biggest crook since Tonya Harding. Either way I think this story beats the hell out of whatever Republican recently misinterpreted his marriage vows. Just imagine: Mayor pays deranged man to attack him. If the suspect squeals a simple look at his criminal history will make the allegation more comical than credible.
How could this story come out at a better time? Right as Democrats start to think about possible successors to Gov. Jim Doyle, one of the three or four big names in the running gets days of free, laudatory press coverage. It’s the kind of story that people who don’t even care about politics can get into. Months from now, after the thousands of press conferences and photo ops from whoever plans to run, this event will stick out like a diamond in the rough for the masses.
Scott Walker may have gone from door to door as a child so that Old Glory could grace the skyline of a small Iowa town, but at the ripe age of 54, Tom Barrett defended the integrity of the Wisconsin State Fair by protecting the safety of an elderly lady and a young child. Like I said – could it get any better?