Brandon Savage, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-area Democratic operative who is a political ally of conservative Milwaukee County Executive Chris “Boss” Abele and candidate for Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) chairperson Jason Rae, reportedly stated on Facebook that he thinks that U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin will lose re-election in 2018 if a Democrat wins the 2016 presidential election, in fact, Savage went as far as to name the individual who he thinks will defeat Baldwin:
Right now, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is thinking, “why would I settle on running for (Milwaukee) mayor in 2016, when I could run for US Senate in 2018 and take out (Tammy) Baldwin?” If (Hillary) Clinton is president, Dems have a guaranteed bad midterm. The end result is simple: US Senator David A. Clarke, Jr.
Please note that it’s possible that someone other than Hillary Clinton, such as Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, could win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination and go on to win the general election.
For those of you who don’t know who David Clarke is, he’s the ultra-conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff who keeps getting re-elected to his current office by running in Democratic primaries and getting Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary for him. If Clarke were to run for a partisan statewide office, he’d likely run as a Republican, since he’s a staunch supporter of gun lobby groups like the NRA and is a member of far-right groups like the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), additionally, it’s very hard for someone like Clarke to run in a statewide Democratic primary in Wisconsin and get Republicans across the state to vote for him in a Democratic primary. Clarke has made no secret of the fact that he’s considering running for other offices (most notably Milwaukee Mayor in 2016), so Democrats and progressives in Wisconsin need to be prepared to strongly oppose Clarke if and when he decides to run for either another term as Milwaukee County Sheriff or for another office.
For Brandon Savage to essentially throw Tammy Baldwin, who has served Wisconsin to the best of her ability for the past two years and has built up a mostly progressive voting record as a U.S. Senator, under the bus by saying that he thinks that she’s going to lose re-election to a far-right nutjob like David Clarke even though it’s nearly four years until she’s on a Wisconsin ballot again (if she decides to run for a second term in the U.S. Senate, which is likely) is absolutely disgusting. Furthermore, Savage’s doom and gloom remarks about Baldwin’s re-election chances is indisputable proof that Savage, Mike Tate, Jason Rae, and the rest of the failed Democratic leadership in Wisconsin and their allies aren’t concerned one bit about winning elections in a critical swing state to the Democratic Party. Also, regarding Savage’s comments about how he thinks that the 2018 midterm elections being a “guaranteed bad midterm” year for Democrats, it’s nearly four years away, so it’s practically impossible to predict what the political landscape in this country would look like then. It’s worth noting that, in 1998 and 2002, the incumbent president’s party won a net gain of seats in at least one chamber of Congress, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for a Democrat to win the 2016 presidential election and then for Democrats to do well in the 2018 midterm elections.
In fact, Savage’s doom and gloom comments about Baldwin’s U.S. Senate re-election chances may have been a huge turning point in the race for DPW chair, given that Savage is backing Jason Rae for DPW chair and, therefore, Savage’s remarks are something that Rae will have to answer for. If Tammy Baldwin decides to endorse a candidate for DPW chair, she might not endorse Jason Rae over Savage’s remarks about her re-election chances, although she probably won’t endorse Joe Wineke, given that Baldwin defeated Wineke in a 1998 U.S. House Democratic primary in the Madison-based 2nd District of Wisconsin. This could be a big opening for someone like Jeff Smith or Stephen Smith, the two other candidates currently in the race for DPW chair, Mary Lang Sollinger, who is likely to run for DPW chair, or one of the several possible candidates who are considering running, such as Lori Compas or Tanya Lohr. Of course, Baldwin’s vote is only one vote out of (likely) several hundred at the DPW convention in June (and that’s if she’s a voting convention delegate), and it’s certainly possible that a DPW chair candidate can get elected by defeating a Baldwin-endorsed candidate. However, Baldwin is the most high-profile Democratic elected official in Wisconsin, so any endorsement by her could have an effect on swaying any undecided delegates.