Yesterday we gave you the Biggest Losers of 2012--now here are the Biggest Winners of 2012:
5--The UW Oshkosh Titans Football Team--An undefeated regular season, a WIAC Conference title, a trip to the Division III Final Four, All-American honors for quarterback Nate Wara and Coach of the Year consideration for Pat Ceroni were all big wins on the field. But the Titans also were big winners off the field as well. In my previous 11-years here at WOSH, I had received ZERO calls from listeners wondering if we were going to have the UWO Football game on the air on Saturday. After the win over Whitewater, such calls were a weekly occurrence. And when the Titans got to the playoffs, we got calls every day from listeners wondering if they could catch the game on WOSH. Our internet listenership also skyrocketed during the playoffs--as alumni across the country tuned in to follow the Titans. It will be interesting to see if those alums open up the wallet more to support the program and the University in the coming few months as well.
4--Governor Scott Walker--Not only did Walker survive a recall effort backed by every major labor union in the country, he got a bigger percentage of the vote than he did in the 2010 election. The victory instantly made him a rising star in the Republican Party--a status Democrats had guaranteed during the recall wouldn't happen. In addition, the Governor saw immediate budget benefits from Act Ten in all levels of government and property taxes went up less than one-percent across the state. Walker also got back a GOP majority in the State Senate--meaning relatively smooth sailing for legislation during the rest of his term.
3--New Guard Republicans--There's nothing like an embarrassing drubbing in the national elections to make a party reconsider it's direction and leadership. From the ashes of 2012 will rise the next generation of leaders: Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal--who realize that the economy, the budget and the deficit are the real problems that need to be addressed in this country--and not who is marrying whom. This new generation will come out looking even better as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell continue to embarrass themselves in the Fiscal Cliff "negotiations".
2--President Barack Obama--Despite a continued economic malaise, increased long-term unemployment, further weakening of US influence in the world and a total inability to get anything done in Washington for most of his first term, the President still easily won re-election. And by not offering any real solutions and just promising more of the same for another four years, he enjoys a very low bar for expected performance in the second term as well.
1--The Oaklawn Elementary School Community--Gone is the embarrassing dump that served as a learning institution for kids on the far north side of Oshkosh--as voters overwhelmingly approved construction of a modern facility on the existing location. The Oshkosh School Board finally learned from past mistakes by listening to the people that would actually be served by the new school and giving up on trying to locate it in an area where nobody actually lives. Then, lower-than-expected construction costs meant the kids get a CyberCafe as well--instead of taxpayer relief. Perhaps the lure of a new school will help a decidedly downtrodden area new life.