Is Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO, already trying to lower expectations about the outcome of the Scott Walker recall election?
With four weeks to go, unions and anti-Walker activists have already poured millions of dollars into the effort of recalling the governor, and now, it seems like they might be preparing for the worst-- that it has all been for naught.
Speaking on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers," Trumka began by asserting that everyone will "come together" after the election, which was in response to being asked why the union-backed candidate is not the frontrunner. That's a tempered response considering that at the beginning of March he maintained that Walker was presenting people with the "un-American" option of keeping your job, or "[giving] up your rights."
But Trumka continued, notably, by asserting that the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove will likely have an undue influence in the process.
To many on the right, blaming the Koch brothers has almost become a joke, since the pair have been accused of everything from controlling the Tea Party to, in the words of "Koch Brothers Exposed, "[buying] any congressman, [funding] any lie, [fighting] any law, [busting] any union, [or despoiling] any landscape." They are seen as a scapegoat for the left when things don't go its way.
The Washington Post, seemingly, interpreted Trumka's comments in much the same fashion, especially when it came to whether Wisconsin would be a test for the fall. It describes the interview:
Perhaps in anticipation of a disappointment in Wisconsin, Trumka sought to downplay the importance of the vote as a political test.
Walker “is still very, very unpopular,” Trumka [maintained]. “He is permanently unpopular because he took on and he attacked workers rather than creating jobs.”
“Whichever one of those wins, everybody’s going to come together,” Trumka said, adding later: “We’ll take out Scott Walker.”
Whether Walker wins or loses, Trumka asserted, the unions have already succeeded in intimidating other state legislators and governors into not following the same route as the embattled governor.
"Would you like to take this fight on?" he asked. "A year after you were in office, would you like to be in the fight of your life, spending $25-30 million to hold onto a seat that you were supposed to have for four years . . . would that embolden you? Not if you're sane and rational it wouldn't."
While Trumka is still technically saying he thinks Walker will be defeated, it is difficult not to notice that he also seems to be lowering expectations for the actual vote, by assuring his supporters that they have already "won" in spirit on many of the issues.
In the assessment of the Washington Examiner: "Trumka and Big Labor have devoted themselves to defeating Walker. If he wins, they lose, and so such a statement can only be taken as hedging against a loss."