President Bill Clinton speaks to supporters of Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke during a campaign stop in
the Wisconsin Governor race Friday in Milwaukee.
Former President Bill Clinton tried to energize fellow Democrats
Friday in Milwaukee, where strong turnout could be a deciding
factor in a close governor's race between Mary Burke and
Republican incumbent Scott Walker.
Recent polls show
Burke and Walker in a dead heat, and both parties have been
seeking star power to help get voters to the polls. First lady
Michelle Obama has made two trips to Wisconsin for Burke, and
President Barack Obama will campaign with her Tuesday in
Milwaukee. Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected
to make a second visit to the state next week to back Walker.
remains a major draw and powerful fundraiser nearly 15 years after
leaving office, joked that he's like a retired racehorse pulled
out of the barn during tough elections "to see if I can get
around that track one more time." But it's not clear whether
even he can give Burke the edge she needs in a race with few
undecided voters. Most of those in attendance Friday described
themselves as strong Democrats who already planned to vote for
imagine anybody whose mind is not made up," said Beth Kutka,
61, of Eagle, who came with several friends. "But I think it
is the turnout that is important ... hopefully rallies such as
this will support, will encourage people to vote."
gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke waves to a crowd of
supporters during a campaign stop in the Wisconsin Governor
race Friday in Milwaukee.
before Clinton, urging the crowd to knock on doors and make calls
to get others to vote. "Eleven days, that's it," she
said. "We have got to leave it all out on the field."
Clinton said it
shouldn't be a hard choice for voters when they compare the
state's economic recovery to that of the U.S. as a whole.
Wisconsin is one of few states with fewer jobs now than in 2008,
notes Wisconsin has gained 110,000 jobs since he took office in
January 2011, while Burke counters that it has 50,000 fewer jobs
than when she led economic development efforts under former Gov.
"You want a
governor who will get you more jobs, and you want a governor who
will get you better paying jobs," Clinton said Friday.
The crowd laughed
when he added, "If you look at who's best qualified to do
that, this is not a hard decision."
Most of those in
the audience Friday were old enough to remember when Clinton was
president and expressed admiration for him personally.
Kurt Genich, 64,
of Racine, said he had spent several hours already going
door-to-door for Burke and would do so again the weekend before
the election. He said he'd encountered few people who were truly
undecided but worked to shore up support among some with a
"borderline" commitment. And, he urged everyone to vote.
watched what Scott Walker has done to the state, and I don't agree
with his policies and methods of what he's gone about doing,"
he said. "We need to get him out of there."