David Atkins examines the case of
Minnesota Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. He thought, and I agreed, that Walker was the most dangerous candidate among all the Republicans, because he combined a good chance of winning the presidency (as a result of big money and establishment and rabid base support) with having a record that promised he would be truly vicious in his policies.
For a long time I was betting on Scott Walker. It made sense both on paper and terms of GOP establishment/base dynamics: Walker is a governor (usually better than a Senator) who survived withering liberal attacks to gain re-election. He’s an economic royalist above all, which should endear him to the billionaire class that wants all the money while impoverishing everyone else. He’s also nasty, vindictive and mean-spirited, willing to insult and attack teachers, college professors, women, minorities and just about anyone else on the “politically correct” hit list.
But Walker’s fall from being the top-ranked Republican contender two months ago has been spectacular. On April 1, he was leading with an average of 17.3% but as of yesterday, he was down to an average of 1.8% with the latest poll taken after the debate (see item #6) showing him as an asterisk (i.e., not even zero) along with Jindal, Graham, and Pataki.
He seems to have been done in by lackluster performances in the debates and an ineffectual campaign. As Atkins says:
So instead of overlapping nicely with the GOP establishment and its base, he turned out to be not establishment enough for the billionaires, and not charismatic and aggressive enough for the base. He’s seen as something of a phony with an inability to project the raw animal confidence a successful presidential candidate needs. Which is frankly fortunate for the left, because I still hold to the position that despite his economic failures in Wisconsin, Walker would still probably be one of the GOP’s most dangerous general election candidates–and one of their most vicious and destructive presidents.
As is usual when a campaign falters badly, news reports highlight the campaign’s missteps and those stories predicting the end are already appearing, not a good sign for him.
I was eagerly looking forward to Walker’s formal exit soon. But it happened quicker than I expected. Walker’s campaign announced today that he is “suspending” his campaign and a press conference is scheduled for 7:00pm Eastern time.
Candidates these days rarely end their campaigns, they merely ‘suspend’ them. This enables them to avoid closing the books and continue to use the campaign to continue to raise funds and avoid having to settle all campaign debts.
Walker’s exit is excellent news indeed.