Former longtime Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) is joining the call among Democrats to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2012. He would also consider running as a candidate himself in such a recall — but would prefer to see candidacies by either Sen. Herb Kohl, who is retiring in 2012, or Milwaukee Mayor and unsuccessful 2010 Democratic nominee Tom Barrett.
However, Obey also said that when he has talked to the other two men about running for governor, they politely told him to stop “pestering” them about it.
Obey told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board that “there is so much anger out there” against Walker, predicting that Democrats would successfully collect enough signatures for the effort. (The Dems need to collect over 540,000 signatures, plus a significant buffer that campaigns routinely collect in order to protect against signatures being disqualified over one imperfection or another.)
At the same time, Obey touted Kohl and Barrett as alternative candidates to himself:
Obey said Kohl’s business background would be a big plus, as would the belief of many voters that the retiring senator is essentially a nonpartisan candidate.
As for Barrett, “it’s hard for me to recall anyone I’ve met in politics . . . who is as good at working with other people as Tom.”
Obey also alluded to his own volatile personality, describing Barrett as having “a sweet disposition that I do not have.”
Obey was originally elected to the House way back in 1969, at age 30, picking up a Republican-held seat in a special election. He then continued in Congress for the next 41 years, before retiring in 2010 — after which his seat was picked up by Republican Sean Duffy in the GOP wave.