Coming attractions: Blaska in a Tommy Thompson commercial?

I was an extra in the great pageant of history.

That will be the title stamped into the moroccan leather-bound collector’s edition of the Blaska autobiography. Available for download on the latest mobile device.

“Can we get going? Blaska is demanding overtime.”

That was my hero and benefactor Tommy G. Thompson at Gus’s Diner on the far west side of Sun Prairie on Tuesday. He was taping a video spot for his U.S. Senate bid and the crew was fussing over some detail.

The camera crew set up on one end of the diner, bathing the counter with its round red-padded stools with bright light. Tommy sat on the end stool, facing the camera. Your humble scribe sat one empty stool down – in between TGT and my friend Jerry Derr, Bristol town chairman-for-life and president of the Dane County towns association. (He’s foreground in the first picture; TGT campaign manager Ryan Burchfield is at left.)

I estimate the crew, which included a make-up artist, must have captured 20 takes taped over an hour – all for two spots: one for 30 seconds, the other 15 seconds. You will hear Tommy promising to end Obamacare and get the jobs coming.

The diner’s chrome and kitsch reminded me of the movie Back to the Future, which wouldn’t be a bad theme for Tommy’s campaign. (No extra charge.)

Owner Gus Selimi and his waitresses enthusiastically introduced themselves to The Big Guy. Sun Prairie has been fertile ground for Tommy Thompson for years. The campaign just needed people to sit still for an hour in the immediate background without touching the food. (Needed as props.) I think we did our jobs well, although at one point the sound technician came over to hush us, saying Tommy’s microphone was picking up our conversation. I also cheated on the french fries.

I went out to Gus’s not certain I would make the cut, given that I had developed a big goober of a cold sore on my lip that, I was certain, would light up the screen like Rudolph’s red nose. On the other hand, I doubt the viewer will see much more of ol’ Dave than the hump of his back and the crown of his UW Badgers baseball cap.

Freeze it right there: that’s your great-grandfather’s cap! My descendants will be so proud.

The other shoe has dropped

AFSCME endorses The Kathleen. That follows WEAC’s endorsement for governor in the presumed recall election. Both were quid paid for the quo of The Kathleen’s promise to hold the next state budget hostage to restore government employees at the top of the food chain. The anointment of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal union is further evidence that Kohl and Feingold are staying on the sidelines. If Barrett makes the race, he would have to win a Democratic primary without Big Labor.

A lone post rider is searching the Mississippi bluffs to find Alma, Wis., to inform Kathleen Vinehout, hobby farmer, that the war is over.

Keep money out of politics

Unless it’s Herb Kohl’s, in which case, money is the purpose, not the means.

“Suppose Herb got into the race. He could easily win the primary by spending 5-10 million dollars but then what?  … what would he do as governor? I have no idea where he stands on major issues and, I suspect, neither do you.” – Fighting Ed Garvey.

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

“More and more, I’m hearing discontent – and in some cases, downright panic – from Wisconsin progressives about who is running against Scott Walker and who is not. … Unfortunately, [Falk is] not the greatest candidate in the world, and Walker would have a very good chance of beating her. … Progressives aren’t exactly jumping up and down for Barrett.” – Matthew Rothschild in The Progressive

On the other hand, the same could be said about the Republicans’ presidential candidates. I don’t need to feel tingles down my leg but I would like to feel something.

A huge non-story

Voter I.D., that is. Voted Tuesday. Only a circuit judgeship on the ballot. Showed my driver’s license and signed the book. No problem-o. Two extra steps, admittedly, but the eight poll workers ought to be able to handle a heavy turnout. Here’s what impressed me: the signature box in the registration book is positioned to face the voter while the name and address face the poll workers sitting across the table. No need to turn the book to and fro. Somebody was thinking.

Some “voter suppression.”