By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jan 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

So, the signatures have been turned in and despite all the panic and angst from the right wing of talk radio, we are probably going to have an election for governor.


Personally I think you ought to recall someone for criminal behavior or moral behavior so outrageous that we all are repulsed. Not just because someone does something you disagree with.

But recall it is. And, as a card carrying Democrat (that's not true. I don't belong to the party. As Groucho said, I will never belong to a group that would have me as a member) I'm worried about this election.

Who the heck is going to run against Scott Walker?

Where is the next generation of candidate? Where, please, where?

Right now it looks like we have three candidates to run against Walker. I know all three of them and I like them all.

Tom Barrett may run, for the third time. He was a great congressman and if he had stayed in Congress he may well have ended up Speaker of the House at some point in his life. He was that good a legislator and that good a Democrat.

Kathleen Falk, the former Dane County Executive, may run. She is the poster child for the way out there left wing of the town of Madison. She's run before and didn't catch on.

Not even close.

Tim Cullen may run. He's a great guy. He was a state legislator and then went to work for Blue Cross, made a bunch of money, retired and became a state legislator again.

These tree all have several things in common. First of all, they are all of the same generation. Barrett is 58, Falk is 60 and Cullen is 67.

More important, though, is the fact that all three of them could make it seem like the changing colors of a stoplight is a spectacular fireworks show. Boring doesn't begin to describe these three giving a speech. When they say "Let's go get 'em" most people lay down on the couch.

Where is somebody around 40 or 45 years old who has a vision for what this state ought to be, what it ought to stand for, where we should go, together.

Where is our Scott Walker? He's 44. He has passion and vision. He can explain his vision. He's not a great speaker, but he's pretty good. "Wisconsin Is Open for Business" is not a bad slogan. Not a bad line at the end of a speech.

I disagree with almost all of Walker's ideas and actions, but I have genuine respect for his bare-knuckled political skills. I hope the Democrat, whoever it is, wins. But gee whiz, I hate to go into this battle with Barrett, Falk or Cullen.

We need someone like Barack Obama when he was a candidate. Someone who can give you chills. Someone with the energetic passion of youth. Someone who makes "Yes We Can" an anthem. Someone who makes you want to get off your ass and do ... something. Anything.

County Executive Chris Abele is a very attractive leader. But he's more of a manager than an inspiration. I'd vote for Abele for governor in a second and I think he'd be a great governor. But I'm also happy he's going to stay as the county executive.

Whoever wants to beat Walker is going to have to be a great campaigner. I mean a truly great campaigner. He or she needs that energy and a vibrant command of the English language. The candidate needs good young people around and a couple of old heads for perspective.

It would be a shame to go through all this work and then have Walker blow the Democrats out of the water because they couldn't find a candidate to match him.

But as I look at the Democratic cupboard, it seems pretty bare to me.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.