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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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(Photo: CPAC)

Cheeseheads on parade at CPAC

Cheeseheads were a big hit in Washington D.C. at the recent CPAC convention.

The buzz was that Wisconsin politicians and political leaders had a leading role in the Conservative Political Action Conference  that seemed part pep rally and part post-mortem on last year's presidential election for Republicans.

Let's look at how Wisconsin represented itself at the right-wing confab.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner started things off when he  told attendees to look to Wisconsin for a winning formula for future elections. No doubt he was talking mainly about Gov. Scott Walker and not Rep. Paul Ryan, who lost on the Romney ticket.

If you asked winners like President Barack Obama and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, they would probably say Wisconsin was pretty agreeable to Democratic candidates, too.

Walker made headlines at CPAC by suggesting to the political website Politico  that he was open to a 2016 run for president and admitting he's not going to pledge to serve out his entire term if re-elected governor in 2014. It seemed a bit presumptuous to some, both his assumptions about his next governor's race and his personal appraisal of his chances as a viable presidential candidate in 2016.

Some don't think Walker will run for president without first picking up a college degree. I don't think that's too big an issue; you can get a college degree over the Internet these days. 

Paul Ryan was a favorite at CPAC with his usual budget slashing ideas and insistence on reducing the federal budget even if valuable social programs get lost. But after losing in 2012 and his fellow Republican Walker gearing up for a presidential run, Ryan might have lost his window of opportunity. 

I guess we'll see. 

CPAC was billed mainly as the GOP response to claims that the party lost because of weak candidates who didn't communicate their message effectively to voters.

Given that speakers like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin and others were prominently featured and a rising GOP star like N.J. Gov. Chris Christie wasn't invited, it's yet to be proven whether the GOP learned from its mistakes last time around. 

Talkbacks

TheyThink | March 19, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. (report)

Wisconsin is 'agreeable' to Democratic candidates once every 4 years. The time in between typically belongs to Republicans.

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