Tonight, part of my state just nominated this guy to be their Republican nominee for the United States Senate. He served as Governor here for fourteen years, then left that post to spend the first four years of George Bush, Jr.’s presidency as head of Health & Human Services. In 2008, he spent nearly four and a half months as a Republican candidate for President, before getting 7% of the vote in Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll, and dropping out of the race the next day.
Most interestingly, he was a key member of ALEC before really anyone know what it is. “Myself, I always loved going to these meetings because I always found new ideas. Then I’d take them back to Wisconsin, disguise them a little bit, and declare that ‘It’s mine,’” he told an ALEC conference in 2002.
He’s 70 years old, and his mortality would never allow him to gain any influence or traction in the Senate. Which is all well and good, because Tammy Baldwin will be a great Senator repping Wisconsinites in D.C. once she’s elected in November.
Replacing Tammy in her seat will be Mark Pocan, a perfectly fine legislator, but a bittersweet choice, since his victory tonight was at the expense of my friend Kelda Roys, who faced him in the Democratic primary. She was elected to the state Assembly in 2008, rapidly became caucus chair, and did a fantastic job of being the people’s representative in our statehouse. I don’t know what’s immediately next for her, but whatever it is, she’ll be fucking great at it.