Topic of the day: Scott Walker's rising star

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13 2014 12:19 p.m. MST

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gestures as he speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in this Saturday, March 16, 2013 file photo. It may seem early, but the diehard activists who attended the three-day conference are already picking favorites in what could be a crowded Republican presidential primary in 2016.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker may end up being the next presidential hopeful for the Republican party, according to Slate’s Emma Roller, who in a Wednesday column, anticipated “The Rise of Scott Walker.” Walker will face his third gubernatorial race in four years in a state that “voted for Walker in June, then voted for President Obama in November of the same year.”

Roller predicts that the turmoil Walker faced in the elections and especially the recall elections could help his national brand if he is to win this November.

“For Walker, the recall is in some ways the gift that keeps on giving," Charles Franklin, who runs the Marquette University Law School Poll, is quoted in Slate as saying. "The recall established him nationally in conservative circles, gave him much more visibility nationally than he would have had otherwise, and most importantly let him have a national fundraising base."

According to the Washington Times’ Jennifer Harper in her Wednesday article, Walker is the only potential candidate acting presidential.

“Maybe there’s a reason why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, called his recent memoir ‘Unintimidated,’” Harper writes. “While Republicans cluck and dither over personal ideology and cautiously flirt with a master strategy for the 2014 midterm elections, Mr. Walker has cut to the chase. He gets it. The clock is ticking. Get busy. Pick up a weapon of choice and move forward.”

It would seem that in the aftermath of Christie’s “Bridgegate” many see a need for a new plausible frontrunner.

Speaking of Walker’s book and the now-damaged Christie, The Blaze points out in a Dec. 23 article that Walker contrasts himself as a “gentler but battle-hardened and more conservative” version of the New Jersey Governor.

“While he never comes out and says it, Walker’s book reads like a direct shot across the bow of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie,” The Blaze's Benjamin Weingarten writes. “He lays out the case in substance and style as someone who successfully took on powerful unions, won elections by garnering the votes of so-called ‘Obama-Walker’ voters in a blue state and reformed entitlements while pushing Wisconsin’s deeply red budget into the black, all with a plain-spoken Midwestern sensibility, that he should be the Republican presidential choice over Chris Christie.”

As well, New Republic’s Nate Cohn wrote on Dec. 1 that "unlike Chris Christie or Ted Cruz," Walker could unite the GOP.

“Right now, the Republican Party is an increasingly factional place, divided between north and south, establishment and grassroots, tea party Conservatives and practical Conservatives, religious right and business, libertarians and populists,” Cohn wrote. “Walker has the irreproachable conservative credentials necessary to appease the tea party, and he speaks the language of the religious right. But he has the tone, temperament, and record of a capable and responsible establishment figure.”

Last June National Journal’s Beth Reinhard asked, “Is Scott Walker the GOP's Sleeper Presidential Candidate?”

While he’s not as nationally known as, say, a Rand Paul, "there's a flip side to Walker's lower profile,” Reinhard wrote. “By not serving in Washington, he can steer clear of the contentious debate over immigration reform” and other partisan battles that would serve to only bring down his cross-party appeal.

And the "sleeper" candidate he may be. A poll conducted last November by CNN didn't even show Walker as a viable candidate. Yet, in a GOP contender poll by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, released Jan. 29, 2014, Walker garnered six percent of the vote.

As well, Teaparty.net and Contract from America released the results of a tea party poll on Feb. 11 where Walker came in fourth, clinching 70 percent of tea party support.

It is very possible that come Nov. 5, the GOP may have a new favorite in the upcoming 2016 horse race, commencing two years of campaigning.

Erik Raymond is experienced in national and international politics. He relocated from the Middle East where he was working on his second novel. He produces content for DeseretNews.com. You can reach him at:

eraymond@deseretdigital.com

@RaymondErik

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS