Election 2016: Walker v. Everyone Else

Arthur  Schaper
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Posted: Jan 07, 2015 12:01 AM
Election 2016: Walker v. Everyone Else

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a rising 2016 GOP Presidential nominee. Pro-life, pro-limited government, pro-American Exceptionalism, Walker has three statewide successes in progressive Wisconsin. While Reagan gave speeches to the AFL-CIO, Walker reduced public sector union influence. GOP moderates as well as conservatives like Walker, a Ronald Reagan on steroids.

Some of the comments I have read against his chances include:

As for Susana Martinez, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki, their biggest problem is that aside from some news headlines most of America has no clue about their records as Governors, something they will need to get out to Republican voters and they will need to put their spin on their records.

How true is it that Walker's record is unknown? Mother Jones takes a Walker run seriously enough, that they predict he could be the GOP nominee and next President, not that they uber-leftist periodical is thrilled with the possibility. The Huffington Post is teasing out the Wisconsin Governor's intentions, as he allegedly wiped away Washington D.C. challengers as potential candidates. If there is a reason why so few know about Walker’s significant accomplishments, consider this damning indictment of the mainstream press, uninterested in reporting good news for conservatives. Walker’s announcement for President would change all that.

Still, how does a Walker bid measure up in hypothetical match-ups against other Republicans?

Looking over the panorama of polling among potential contenders, Real Clear Politics has Jeb Bush sitting pretty, with the highest numbers, a composite advantage, with even Congressman Paul Ryan scoring better than his governing compatriot. MSNBC records that midterm voters have a generally favorable view of a Republican winning the Presidency, but which one? 13 percent of voters polled that Walker would make a great President. Not very promising.

Putting aside Jeb Bush, what other potential contenders could take on the base, embrace the establishment, and get the grassroots growing in their favor? One consummate conservative with strong fiscal and social stats, leader of the more populist/libertarian wing of the GOP, is US Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

At CPAC 2013, Paul the straw poll winner finished at the top. His CPAC speech did not gather the steam or acclaim of Walker’s entrance, but he had filibustered the Obama Administration into forcing an answer on domestic drone strikes. While Jane Fonda can breathe easy, Senator Rand talked up the federal invasion of individual privacy, an issue which would win over young as well as disillusioned liberal voters. Unlike Walker, his presentation and delivery are creative and engaging. From signing large refund checks to the U.S. Treasury to pro bono eye surgeries for poor Central Americans, Paul is the expert PR man, much like another President (Hope and Change). Then again, Mother Jones dismissed Walker’s lack of charisma, describing the Governor as a great white shark who lingers but strikes savagely without notice. Paul introduced a national Right-To-Work bill. Walker accomplished union reforms.

US Senator Marco Rubio followed Paul in the CPAC straw poll. Similar to Walker, Rubio overcame long odds against an incumbent statewide candidate, who ran as an Independent and still lost. Unlike Walker, Rubio faces challenges from Establishment Jeb’s probable bid. They will compete not just for votes but donors in the Sunshine State (and nationally). Rubio also faces Tea Party heat for cosponsoring the 2913 Obamacare of Immigration bills. The bill died in the House, and may have killed Rubio’s Presidential bid.

Then there’s US Senator Ted Cruz, honored as the CPAC 2013 Keynote Speaker. Brilliant and bombastic, his political theatrics have not proved as effective as Tea Party fellow Paul, but he can debate to silent defeat the most ardent of liberals. However, he lacks Walker’s savvy to unity distinct interests within the Republican Party. Presidential candidates must transition from firing up the base to winning over quizzical independents and intrigue disaffected Democrats. Walker worked with colleagues, increased their numbers and influence in Madison. Cruz as political celebrity is magnetic, but does not draw otherwise differing political forces. He remains one of the most hated members of the US Senate.

Besides senators, how does Walker compare to other governors? Ohio’s John Kasich is testing the waters with a Balanced Budget Amendment initiative. To his hurt, Kasich took the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which Walker derided as a fool’s bet, and will sour primary voters. Academic favorite Mike Pence of Indiana, with a consummate conservative record, does not Walker’s distinction of three statewide wins in a blue state. Susana Martinez of New Mexico did not speak at CPAC, but delivered a nuts-and-bolts, Here-I-am-and-why speech at the 2012 RNC convention. A former Democrat who defeated Democratic incumbents in the most Hispanic state in the union, her minority, female, and conservative credentials would ingratiate her with the untapped pool of potential voters warming up to the Republican brand. Decisive and articulate, Martinez (if she chooses to launch a campaign) could displace Walker’s opportunity, or be a welcome vice presidential candidate on Walker’s general election ticket.

Aside from an unjust lack of press, plus Bush’s lead lingering by the day, Walker’s potential is growing Presidential every day.