Everybody else has weighed in with why Gov. Scott Walker beat the recall effort against him, as personified by opponent Tom Barrett.
Beyond what I and a few online friends have discussed, namely, the long time lag at state level between recall push and actual vote (the California recall of Grey Davis and the 1921 recall of South Dakota's governor were the last successful gubernatorial recalls), I have to otherwise agree with the Washington Post — Tom Barrett was part of the problem, and by extension, so was the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
Really? (To riff on Saturday Night Live.) You nominated a two-time loser retread who couldn't even carry metro Milwaukee?
Speaking of that, the Post blog, may be right about Barrett's relative lack of appeal. He didn't win any exurban Milwaukee counties. But that just means he didn't appeal to independents, not why. And, per folks like AFSCME who tried to get him not to run, perhaps the bigger problem was him not playing to the base well enough.
That said, this has to be a gut check for state Democrats. Barrett let Walker frame the debate. If he's really considered the best candidate for statewide office, you've got a thin bench.
And it's a gut check for unions, too, in Wisconsin and elsewhere. (In Wisconsin, Barrett pulled just 63 percent from union households, to boot; maybe AFSCME had good reason to be concerned. "Losing" Milwaukee police and fire unions didn't help.)
And, have you heard Dear Leader even use the word "union" recently?