Monday, July 13, 2015

Walker Makes It Official: What's He Thinking??

Look at that 'E' -- How Cool!
Walker made it official-official after he pre-tweeted his candidacy a few days ago--but then stuck to the program and will formally announce tonight. The current governor of Wisconsin is one of the "top 3" (now, erm, maybe top 4?) in the field. And now? He's declared.

But He Can't Win!
Yes, he's "won in a blue state"--he even beat a recall election there--but none of the GOP candidates from the 'purple states' have ever faced a presidential-turnout election:
There are two Americas when it comes to mid-term year electorates and presidential year electorates and while Republicans have enjoyed great success in recent mid-terms, the eventual nominee will need to attract or disproportionally mobilize a significant chunk of those citizens who only cast their ballots in presidential election years. Who votes is the most fundamental question in understanding who wins, and none of the Republicans have faced the who that will decide the 2016 election—presidential election year only voters in purple states.
He also doesn't have a college degree! He'll be the first since, like, Truman or something (and no military background either). This doesn't matter to conservatives who'll consider him untainted by left-infested higher education--but it leaves an opening for weakness: the gig that he's stupid.

And lo, he's said some stupid things.

He said that he could manage ISIS because he could stand up to 100k protesters. He's said the best thing Reagan did was fire the striking Air Traffic Controllers because it showed Russia he was tough. Basically every foreign policy question he's gotten has been turned back to his own record (recall elections and union busting) and the one thing he cannot afford to do is look stupid.

Oh, and on the union-busting front? He'll be competing for Ohio--a key swing (and heavily unionized) state.

He's also tried flip-flopping around on some issues to better fit his niche--but his big weakness with New York donors? They think he might actually believe the stuff coming out of his mouth:
“Sometimes you can say something and people think you don’t mean it, and sometimes you can say something and people think you mean it,” said one Republican who has seen this tension play out. “When Barack Obama said he’s against gay marriage in 2008, people didn’t think he meant it. But when Scott says it, people think he means it. This is a very big stumbling block for him on Wall Street.”
Welp, Romney sure didn't have that problem.

On The Other Hand . . .
Walker is in the total-sweet spot: a governor--an electorally successful one--of a bluish state--who has a history of, well, fighting and winning. That's his whole pitch: I fought the liberals--and I won! He did too.

He fits the Tea Party bill, he can fit the establishment bill--and the Koch Brothers like him so: no money troubles. Scott Walker is pretty much the 'generic Republican' that Romney was aiming for--he's just it legitimately.

Oh, and his polling? Top-tier. Not in front--no--but when the Trump Tower goes down, Scott is one of the best positioned to pick up those pieces (Cruz is better--but Cruz has . . . other problems). The question is: can he beat Jeb? Every conservative everywhere will tell you: yes.

The Net-Net on Scott Walker
On paper, Walker is a big gun. He checks all the boxes, he is good on the campaign trail. He has executive experience. This also fit the Rick Perry mold until he flamed out and exploded on launch. Walker faces a similar question: is he actually presidential material. He has given at least one or two excellent and well received speeches--so now he has to take flight. That's where his campaign is right now: Trying to regain momentum.
As an unofficial candidate early this year, Mr. Walker got off to a hot start with several strong speeches and impressive poll numbers in Iowa and other key states. But a series of gaffes hurt him among some Republican leaders and donors, and his lead in Iowa polls has softened recently as rivals like Senator Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson have gained ground or campaigned more than Mr. Walker.
The Trump explosion has probably brought the greatest pain to Walker who was more or less right behind Bush (and ahead in some polls) and now has to contend with Trump who is definitely a better and more experienced showman.

It's also unfortunate that while Walker is in the top-10 debates, he's got 5 minutes to speak (they all do) and that may be hard to use as a launch-pad. He is liked by the Koch Brothers--but they haven't showered him in money yet--he plans to win Iowa and launch from there--but that's . . . risky. It's also a long way off. Building momentum with guys like Trump sucking up oxygen is going to be tough. He can't be more Base than Trump--he kinda has to be  . . . more credible? Smarter? These things seem a tough lift for Walker at this moment.

The net-net on Walker is that he's going to have to come out swinging and try to eat into the above list's people (Cruz, Perry, Trump, and Carson): he's not really competing for Team Jeb's voters. This means he has to fight with people polling well beneath him who have a lot less to lose. That's a recipe for drama.

But What's He THINKING?
Until Trump took off, he was thinking that he was the next President of the United States of America--if he could be Jeb . . . and how hard could that be? Oh, sure, Rubio--maybe--but Jeb was the real obstacle and it wouldn't take focus groups and geniuses to figure out a game-plan against Jeb. Just say his last name over and over on TV and you're pretty much there.

Now, though, with a few set-backs under his belt, he's thinking this thing isn't going to be as easy as he'd hoped and he's cracking down and prepping for foreign affairs and other presidential stuff while trying to figure out the exact sweet-spot in establishment-vs-Tea Party affections.

Fortunately, he has a nose for it.

What's in his mind though? Let's look . . .

Man, when I'm president I'm gonna fire those Air Traffic Controllers RIGHT WHEN TRUMP'S FREAKIN' PLANE IS ABOUT TO LAND!! How the EFF am I supposed to hate immigrants more than that guy?? I thought Perry was going to be the challenge--other Governor, bigger state, ... those glasses . . .

But no, it's some idiot billionaire who can get away with saying whatever he wants and no one calls HIM stupid. I bet he bought his degree. Still, gotta get ready for the debates. Might get a foreign policy question? Does Carson get this shit? Like, are they gonna ask him about auto-mechanics or something?

Let's see: Isis. Def gonna be on the test. Let's look 'em up--an Egyptian goddess worshiped--holy shit! What--are they--is she--in Egypt now? Wait, where is Egypt? Man, this foreign stuff is harder than I though.

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