A year ago, the view out my office window took in the roiling masses as they protested new Gov. Scott Walker's legislative demolition of the political status quo at the Capitol across the street. The scene is serene these days, at least on the ground, but the political year looks to be just as contentious as last, only this time the fireworks will take place on the political hustings.
Enter the scene - or should we say reenter - Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin's erstwhile governor for as long as he wanted to be, back from trying his political mojo on the national scene and now angling for a ticket back to Washington as Wisconsin's junior senator. He has his work cut out for him, as described by contributor Erik Gunn in "Meet the New Tommy Thompson." (The "old" Tommy Thompson once unexpectedly popped into an Isthmus editorial meeting just to impishly say hello. He was an affable guy.)
Thompson, referred to by one commenter in the piece as "a reasonable guy," surely understands that "reasonable" does not fly in the current version of the Republican Party. He, like Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, finds himself having to deny the pragmatic, political self that made him a viable candidate in past general elections while he contends with true believers from his party for the nomination. It's going to be interesting.
Erik Gunn knows interesting. He's contributed to Isthmus a number of times, starting back in 1995. With a master's degree from the journalism school of Columbia University, he has worked for a number of daily newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune and The Milwaukee Journal, as well as Milwaukee Magazine and other publications. He blogs on the media and contributes to other media properties, including the Kenosha News. You can see what else he's done by visiting his website.