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Jewish World Review
Feb. 28, 2011
/ 24 Adar I, 5771
GOP 2012 hopefuls are getting in touch with their inner Cheesehead
While presidential primaries are typically centered on Iowa and New Hampshire, it would appear the start gun has been triggered in Wisconsin, putting the state in the lead for maximum 2012 impact.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) seems to be drawing the envy of other Republican governors with White House aspirations. The bold step of forcing state public employees to "share the pain" and sacrifice a smidgeon of their benefits package, paid for by the largesse of taxpayers, as a means to balance budgets and cut into deficits, appears to be the first wave of the contest.
New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie led the way but until now has shied away from White House ambitions. Ohio's John Kasich is following suit, and Indiana's Gov. Mitch Daniels is walking back comments indicating he "salutes" Indiana Democrats for hiding out in Illinois along with their Wisconsin counterparts and now seems to be getting in touch with his inner Cheesehead. Tim Pawlenty created a video of support for Walker, and Mike Huckabee is touting a section in his book, written a year ago, saying public employee benefits are killing state budgets and need to be dealt with aggressively.
It's a crowded bandwagon.
While the issue of blatant union-busting is a substantial political hurdle for Walker and others, a successful effort to lasso runaway state finances is a winner, and other 2012 presidential and vice presidential hopefuls seem to know it. If the governors can realize their fiscal goals with a minimum of pain, voters will be grateful and relieved. If President Obama can't rein in the deficit and balance budgets, and a host of GOP governors prove they can, the 2012 presidential race will be a contrast: between Obama's negativity and blame and a Republican's can-do record of results.
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JWR contributor Cheri Jacobus, president of Capitol Strategies PR, has managed congressional campaigns, worked on Capitol Hill and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. She is a columnist for The Hill and appears on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News as a GOP strategist.
02/14/11:Patriot Act needs diligence
06/15/10: Republican girl power
06/01/10: The petulant president
05/26/10: Party like it's 1994
04/26/10: For animals' sake, or yours
04/19/10: My friend Michael Steele should resign
03/16/10: Waste, fraud and abuse
02/24/10: Put down the shovel
12/22/09: Hurry up and slow down
11/24/09: Jury of peers
11/10/09: Czar light, czar bright
11/02/09: Reid's landmines
10/26/09: Public option for Congress
10/19/09: Big Brother wins
10/13/09: Dancin' DeLay
09/26/09: Paterson under the bus
09/14/09: Start over, Mr. President
© 2009, Cheri Jacobus