Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Yours truly is there, representing WTMJ Radio, covering the Republican National Convention along with Charlie Sykes.
It was the Sunday of Convention Week, and everyone was gathered at a special on the ocean spot for brunch.
Recorder in hand, I thought I’d approach Sue Ann Thompson for an interview.
I asked Governor Tommy Thompson’s wife if she was disappointed that Bob Dole had picked someone other than her husband to be his running mate.
Then came the shocker. Mrs. Thompson told me she was delighted at the results because, and I quote, “Tommy isn’t ready for prime time.” She didn’t rule out the possibility of higher office for Tommy (and I use his first name because we are friends and he is affectionately referred to that way) sometime down the road.
I found Charlie, I think at the salad bar though memory fails, and told him what I just heard. I thought Charlie’s teeth would fall out. We agreed that we’d play the audio of my interview on his show the next morning.
The point: Family always plays an integral role in whether politicos run for certain offices. That’s why, for weeks, I’ve thought Tommy Thompson would not run for the U.S. Senate, even though I firmly believe he’d send Russ Feingold packing.
Now comes word Tommy will finally announce before a crowd of thousands of Tea Party members Thursday in
Never one to shy away from the limelight is our former 10-time governor.
That leads me to wonder. Suppose Tommy was NOT going to run. Simple. You type out a quick, easy statement, e-mail it to the press, and be done with it. You don’t show up to a thunderous, emotion-driven gathering only to be the guy who lets the air out of the sails by saying no.
At an event like Thursday’s in front of that many people starved for dramatic change, and I mean real change in Washington, you show up proclaiming news that will blow the doors off and send people into pandemonium and put Russ (Run and hide under the mattress) Feingold into the fetal position, right?
Does Tommy upset some conservatives when it comes to certain social issues? You better believe he does.
Don’t kid yourselves. Those same conservatives would vote for Tommy in a heartbeat over Feingold.
Face it Republicans. Face it conservatives (They can be two different animals). Our only chance against Feingold is Tommy. If Tommy speaks Thursday and the soufflé drops, kiss our chances goodbye.
I’d consider voting for Mr. Leinenkugel, but he’s been soiled by his 18-month association working under Jim Doyle. That’s like Dick the Bruiser leaving Crusher to tag up with Mad Dog Vachon (Wrestling fans will totally understand).
And I’ll admit as I have on television. This is a sad moment for Republicans if, when the country is screaming to toss liberal Democrats out on their ears and Feingold, like all the rest, is mighty vulnerable, that we can’t find a viable candidate.
Mark Neumann is running in the wrong race. Before I started filling in at WISN, Neumann did the honors, and spent every minute of every show blasting Feingold. I would have preferred Neumann go for the Senate and not engage in an internal duel with the person I believe will be our next governor.
Back to Tommy.
A few years ago, Tommy rode his motorcycle in a Harley-Davidson anniversary event in downtown
“Run, Tommy, Run.”
It didn’t matter what the office was: Governor, President. The crowd still was enchanted with arguably the most popular governor in the state’s history.
Tommy told Jennifer and I and I know he was sincere that he was genuinely touched by the support he still garners, years after he left the governor’s mansion.
I have no inside information about what he will say Thursday, no more than WTMJ-TV’s Charles Benson did today when he said Tommy won’t run. I do know this. A Tommy run for the U.S. Senate is a dynamic that changes everything. Suddenly, Democrats starting with the Senator himself will go into panic.
This would be a real race, no disrespect to the already announced GOP candidates. Smart Democrats, and there are some, will admit that Thompson would be tough to beat. Foolish Democrats, of which there are many, would go into denial and scoff at Thompson’s chances.
And that is exactly why Democrats should fear the coming of November.
Tommy couldn't possibly disappoint all those believers Thursday, could he?