I've described Scott Walker as being like a slippery salesman selling snake oil. One of the best examples of this is how he will shamelessly use just about any gimmick. The latest example of this is his "brown bag lunch tour". Not only is this a mere gimmick, but it isn't even his own, it is a recycled one.
An anonymous Republican advised me that this new gimmick includes a direct mail component that is a total knock off on a 1998 Republican campaign. In fact, I am told that the Walker brown bag thing includes a mailing from SCM and Associates, a direct mail firm based on the east coast. This same firm did a very similar "brown bag" campaign (scroll down) in 1998 for U.S. Senator George Voinovich. It even included a brown bag accompanied by a letter from the candidate's spouse, bragging about his "thrift". Again, almost from beginning to end, the Walker gimmick follows the exact same template.
Since the theme of the "brown bag" gimmick is "thrift", I have to wonder how thrifty Walker was in spending campaign money on this recycled concept.
The knockoff nature of Walker's "brown bag" campaign is not the only part of it that is totally disingenuous. Walker piles on by listing three points on his brown bag, none of which could conceivably apply to him.
- "Don't spend more than you have" says the Walker brown bag, even though he is frontloading three years of Milwaukee County borrowing into one year in his current budget. The last time that I checked, "borrowing" means that you are using money that you don't actually have on your own.
- "Smaller government is better government". This even though his own budgets call for increased government spending. This is nothing new for Walker; it goes all the way back to his days in the state legislature. This is also the big backer of George W. Bush, who did his best to expand government while using rhetoric saying the opposite.
- "People create jobs, not government". This from someone that is relying so heavily on the federal stimulus to fund his Milwaukee County government program that he says will create jobs.
Walker is clearly willing to use any gimmick in the book and then pretend that it is his own. Likewise, he is perfectly willing to say and do anything to get a vote, no matter how disingenuous or deceptive. In this most recent example, he actually does both at the same time. Recycling the gimmick while also recycling his slippery rhetoric.