WSAU NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Dan Mielke is… average looking. He looks more like a farmer than a politician. Sean Duffy looks like he belongs on television… and he has been. More than ever, looks matter in politics. One of the reasons why Duffy is the preferred candidate among most Republican leaders is that he looks good. There are some, but not many, policy differences between the two. But Duffy would certainly be a stark contrast to David Obey, now 72 years old.
Republican party leaders think he can give Obey a much tougher run than usual. And many believe that Duffy is the stronger candidate. Duffy has already attracted some national attention. And getting on the national party’s radar is the key to getting more campaign cash.
One of the jobs of party leaders is to avoid primaries when possible. There are many cases of good candidates losing the general elections after facing a bruising, expensive primary fight. GOP Party leaders in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District are trying to avoid that. They gave their endorsement to Duffy last weekend.
Traditionally party leaders may work behind the scenes to pick candidates, but when a primary seems certain, party brass usually stays on the sidelines. I can understand who GOP leaders are not enthusiastic about Dan Mielke as a candidate. He lost by 26-percent two years ago. Still, Mielke is an improved campaigner, and he does have a core group of followers. They will ask whether Dan Mielke deserves a fair chance at the party’s nomination, and why party leaders are trying to short-circuit the process.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau