President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave to the crowd at the Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Penn.
Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty

Dems on board with Scott Walker’s 2016 message

It’s probably safe to say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) didn’t expect the reaction he received with his election message yesterday.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to use President Obama’s relationship with Hillary Clinton this morning to critique the presidential Nominee backfired on Twitter. The Republican governor tweeted a photo of Obama and Clinton hugging, writing, “If you like the past 8 years, vote @Hillary Clinton.”

Many Twitter users characterized Walker’s tweet as an inadvertent endorsement of Clinton and Obama. Walker’s tweet was the No. 1 trend on Twitter’s Today and Election 2016 sections.
The Republican governor’s reasoning isn’t hard to figure out: as Walker sees it, President Obama is awful and unpopular; Hillary Clinton and Obama share many ideas and priorities; and it therefore helps Republicans to tie the Democratic leaders together. From the perspective of those inside a GOP bubble, this must seem like an effective election message.

But outside that bubble, it’s a very different story. In fact, Clinton and her campaign team are quite pleased to be associated with the president – Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are two of Clinton’s most effective surrogates – and would have been just as likely to publish Walker’s tweet as Walker himself.

Jesse Ferguson, a member of Clinton’s press team, actually did retweet the Wisconsin governor’s message, saying, “I’ve never said this before but #ThanksScott.”

The president just isn’t as unpopular as Walker wants to believe. As of this morning, Obama’s average approval rating is over 52% – a level unseen since 2009 – and climbing. Clinton and other Democrats aren’t running away from him; they’re urging him to help with their 2016 campaigns.

As for whether or not Americans “like the past 8 years,” Walker may not fully appreciate the public’s perspective. A CNN poll released last week found that most Americans believe “things in the United States are going well, a sharp uptick in positive views and the best reviews of the country’s trajectory since January 2007.”

Eight years ago, Democrats were only too pleased to tie John McCain to outgoing-President George W. Bush because the two-term Republican had an approval rating in the 20s and the public appetite for a significant change in direction was obvious. Whether Scott Walker realizes it or not, 2016 is not at all similar to 2008.