The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice, the newspaper’s political gossip columnist, reports state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) sought Steve Bannon’s endorsement before Kevin Nicholson. Nicholson was rewarded with an endorsement for his promise to vote against Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Majority Leader in the Senate. Vukmir refused to make such a promise and came home empty-handed.
A few months after Nicholson declared victory in the Bannon primary, extensive embarrassing quotes from Bannon appeared in a book about the Trump White House, including criticisms of the First Family. Bannon was denounced by President Donald Trump, given the nickname “Sloppy Steve” and declared quite crazy by the president.
Vukmir pounced, calling on Nicholson to repudiate the Bannon endorsement, something he has refused to do so far. Other campaigns around the country previously endorsed by Bannon have taken the president’s side, but not Nicholson. Instead, Nicholson has tried to deflect the criticism by pointing out that Vukmir sought Bannon’s endorsement, something her campaign has never denied.
In the latest story, Bice decides to quote two anonymous Bannonites extensively to get the dirt on the Washington meeting between Vukmir and Bannon. Apparently, there are no juicy divorce cases for Bice to follow right now. The fact that Breitbart isn’t credible even when it is on the record doesn’t deter Bice from getting the gossip. Doesn’t Bice have an editor willing to check him on this? Or is it because Vukmir is a Republican, Journal Sentinel Editor George Stanley is okay with lower standards than Page Six in the New York Post.
Regardless, we’re not given anything new in Bice’s story that’s credible or newsworthy, and all Bice actually confirms is something that has been known publicly for months: Vukmir sought Bannon’s endorsement.
It was stupid of both Nicholson and Vukmir to seek the Bannon endorsement, but it doesn’t change the situation today. Nicholson has the endorsement and has refused to criticize Bannon. Vukmir, on the other hand, has made it clear that she stands with the president. Saying, “She sought Bannon’s endorsement first!” doesn’t change that, it just makes Nicholson, his supporters and the Bannon people sound like babies.
Somebody at the Nicholson campaign needs to grow up and be willing to criticize allies when they do or say something crazy (like when the Club for Growth criticized the state budgets under Governor Scott Walker). Vukmir seeking an endorsement isn’t news; Nicholson’s obsequious behavior after getting an endorsement is the news.