Wow. Where to start?
The “it’s gonna be a late night in Madison” notion was virtually over by the end of Happy Hour — which no doubt did cause some very late nights instead in Washington and Chicago. With little or no happiness at all. And naturally there were also the comparisons to the vibes of the night Scott Brown took down the Kennedy seat in 2009. More on both of these dynamics shortly.
The real story is: what happened this spring in Wisconsin was not a recall election at all. Pure and simple, it was a mulligan. A childish do-over. Moreover, it was a battle of government union members and their families against pretty much everyone else. And when that really crystallized in the minds of the voters, the unions’ cause was doomed. The name Tom Barrett is irrelevant here. The biggest losers last night — and there were many — were big labor generally and public service unions specifically.