Saturday night, I spent about 15 minutes talking to Jack Daly, a longtime conservative activist who is a leader of the Draft Sheriff David Clarke for U.S. Senate committee. They want the Milwaukee County sheriff, who has attracted a nationwide following from his appearances on Fox News, to challenge Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin in 2018. It didn’t take Daly five minutes to make me see what a brilliant idea this is, and the last 10 minutes of our conversation was mainly me raving about how the Clarke for Senate campaign would immediately become a national focus to energize conservatives in the 2018 midterm elections.
This isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to be a political genius to see how vulnerable Baldwin is. In 2012, she only got 51% of the vote against Republican Ron Johnson in a presidential election year with Obama at the top of the ticket to drive turnout among Democrat voters. Looking at the exit polls, Johnson actually got a greater share of the white vote (50%-47%), but Baldwin got 91% of the black vote. What do you think the numbers would look like in a Baldwin-Clarke matchup in a midterm year?
The dividends of such a matchup won’t be limited to Wisconsin. Baldwin is not only a woman, she is a lesbian, so that in the attempt to defend her seat, her re-election campaign will attract millions of dollars in contributions from feminist, abortion and LGBT groups and activists — money and effort they can’t spend elsewhere. And if Clarke runs, he’ll attract many millions of dollars from a nationwide army of conservative small donors — many giving $50 or less — so that his campaign will be driven by the kind of grassroots energy that elected Trump.
If Clarke runs, he wins — I have no doubt about that — which means all the NARAL and Planned Parenthood money spent in the attempt to defend Baldwin’s seat would be a complete waste on a doomed Democrat.
If one of the most high-profile Senate races in the country in 2018 features a black conservative as the Republican candidate, what does that do to the liberal media narrative of the GOP and President Trump as racists? It destroys it, completely, like the A-bomb wiped out Hiroshima.
And, yes, Sheriff Clarke is deeply conservative — he can quote Antonin Scalia by memory — and yes, Donald Trump loves the guy:
“David, we are very proud of you. What you’ve done is incredible. . . .
The first time I saw you on television a couple of years ago
I said: ‘There’s a man who is absolutely terrific! He gets it.’”
That’s one of the many endorsements for Sheriff Clark from the draft committee’s website, which also includes quotes from Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Ginni Thomas and others. This campaign could be a real game-changer in terms of shifting the national balance of power by consolidating the populist/conservative majority in Midwestern states like Wisconsin which Trump won in 2016. If the GOP can build reliable electoral majorities in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — in 2018, 2020 and beyond — the possibility of Democrats recapturing either the Senate or the White House would become a faint and distant hope for liberals. And if Republicans can elect black conservatives like Sheriff Clarke, they take away from liberals one of their most cherished toys, the identity-politics hustle of race-baiting. Let’s do this thing.