Friday, May 12, 2006

Tommy Talk

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is fronting another story today on Tommy Thompson's political future. The big news in this one is that Tommy might make an announcement as early as this Sunday.

Side-Note: I imagine the thought of the big announcement coming on "Sunday Insight" makes Sykes drool. But considering it's pretty clear Sykes and the part of the state GOP he represents don't want to see Thompson run, I doubt that would happen.

The fact that Tommy doesn't like Doyle inhabiting the governor's mansion has received a lot of play in the discussions of a potential Thompson gubernatorial bid. So has Tommy's insatiable appetite for the public spotlight.

But what hasn't been discussed too much as a reason for Thompson to run is Mark Green. If Thompson was confident that Green would beat Doyle and take the state in the direction Tommy approves, it would seem to negate Thompson's concerns about Doyle as governor.

When asked by the JS whether he thinks Green can beat Doyle, Thompson responded: "I hope he can."

Compare that with Tommy's perception of a race between himself and Doyle: "I know I can win. I know without a doubt. If I run, I win. I have no doubt in my mind about that."

If Tommy's love for Wisconsin is as real as he makes out, it may be too difficult to choose hope over a sure thing.

It's unfortunate the JS didn't ask Thompson about his perceptions of Green as governor. I imagine we'd get a stock party answer, something about how he has great confidence in Green as a leader of the state, but it's still a question worth considering. Not all Republicans are alike, and based on what Green has so far made his campaign mostly about -- slashing government revenues at all costs -- it seems Green and Tommy are not in the same conservative boat.

It's doubtful that Thompson would run for either the US Senate or the presidency. He would have a tough and expensive battle with Kohl, while he would almost surely lose a presidential bid.

And if there's anything that Thompson doesn't want to do, it's lose.

UPDATE: For more Tommy talk, see here and here.

LATE UPDATE: Playground Politics offers an interesting theory that a Tommy gubernatorial run now might be intended to set-up a Tommy presidential bid later.

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