Bye, bye, Scott

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.


  1. DonDueed says

    Apparently he’s urging other candidates to get out of the race, too. Even the ones God told to run, I guess.

  2. Lonely Panda, e.s.l. says

    David Atkins examines the case of Minnesota governor Scott Walker.

    I think you mean Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

  3. says

    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.

    Thank Trump!

  4. dano says

    I appreciate the thought that the great Scott Walker is from MN but indeed others beat me to the punch line as he is from the state of never ending cheese products.


  5. Mano Singham says

    Sorry about the Minnesota/Wisconsin mix-up. As I was typing that post, I was thinking about how similar Walker’s fall was to that of Minnesota’s governor Tim Pawlenty back in the 2012 race and my doggone subconscious took over. My apologies to Minnesota folk for saddling them with someone as odious as Walker. That is the Wisconsinites’ cross to bear.

  6. Chiroptera says

    Mano Singham: that Walker was the most dangerous candidate among all the Republicans, because he combined a good chance of winning the presidency…

    I agree. I, too, am relieved to see him out of the race.

    …with having a record that promised he would be truly vicious in his policies.

    Actually, what frightened me isn’t his viciousness but that he seems to have the political skills and competence to get his viciousness enacted.

  7. parasiteboy says

    I think Walker’s state level support will depend on if the billionaire Menard (who owns and runs midwest Home Depot type store by the same name) abandons him.

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    According to Gawker, there is/are other reason(s) for Walker walking.

    Of course it’s because God told him to.

    “I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor’s words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways. Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.

  9. StevoR says

    Wisconsin ranger Walker just doesn’t have the right ring to it does it?

    Nor does President Walker. Especially gien hsi polocies and record.

    Surprise to see this klown go out so early -- but sure not disappointed. Even if it is race for runner up.

    Who’s gunna be next to go and when? One klown car that can’t be emptied and fall apart soon enough.

  10. Nick Gotts says

    I was betting on Walker as well. I don’t know who to expect at this point.
    Maybe Kasich? -- doublereed@8

    No, The rational bet at present is on Trump. Not that I think he’s by any means certain to win the nomination, but he’s much better placed to do so than any other single candidate. Not only has he been well out in front for some time, he’s shown that explicit bigotry is still popular with the Republican base, and the other candidates don’t seem able to have a strategy to deal with him.

  11. Nick Gotts says

    Also, Trump is self-funded. As long as he’s not concealing vast debts (which he could be!), he won’t run out of money, and he can appear as “his own man” in contrast to those who depend on a rich patron.

  12. lorn says

    I find it ironic that an anti-labor hit man serving the whims of the .001% gets the job done and then, expecting to receive a big payoff from his potential patrons, he finds out that now that the job is pretty much done, that he is, in the end, in their eyes, he is just a disposable employee held onto just long enough to do a particular job, in a word: labor.

    He was thinking it would be a long term relationship of mutual respect and career development.

    It is so sweetly sad when a capos used to beat the other inmates start to think they are special instead of what they are, just another inmate given a club and a title because the people who run the place don’t wish to get their hands dirty. It is efficient to select a few for special treatment and privledge, for a time. it is entertaining to see their enthusiastic faces as they assume that they are special and will be protected from the fate befalling the others. It is amusing to see the look on their faces when the regular inmates are all gone and they find out they will go the exact same way. That he club and title are no protection at all. Favors granted and easily taken back to be granted to another … for a time.

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