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Scott Walker Officially In: Can He Unite Conservatives?

Scott Walker Announcement Vidoe

 

Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker today officially joined the crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

"America needs new, fresh leadership with big, bold ideas from outside of Washington to actually get things done," Walker said in a new video. "I am running for president to fight and win for the American people." (Link to the video at the end of this article)

Walker’s announcement had none of the conservative fire of Ted Cruz’s passionate announcement, or the rambling populism of Donald Trump’s, or the pedantic lethargy of Jeb Bush’s. Rather it was reflective of the Governor himself – focused, rather than passionate, yet hitting all of the right conservative themes.

The key to Walker’s appeal, and what will likely be the underlying theme of his campaign was he’s “the conservative who can win,” as opposed to others whose appeal and records have not been tested in the fire of the three bitter campaigns Walker has conducted to be elected to, and retain, his position as Governor of Wisconsin.

“In the Republican field, there are some who are good fighters. They haven’t won those battles. There are others who have won election but haven’t consistently taken on the big fights,” Mr. Walker said in his announcement video. “I’ve done both.”

Many analysts, including The Wall Street Journal’s Reid J. Epstein, believe Walker comes into the race with several technical advantages, and a solid strategy for putting away his two principle rivals; Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

Epstein reports that Walker’s opening campaign swing is a three-day, 11-stop tour of Iowa, rather than a national tour of major media markets or talk TV. That suggests Iowa, home of the first presidential nominating vote, is key to the Walker strategy.

Epstein notes that Walker has led every public poll of Iowa Republicans since February and is banking on his Midwestern appeal to propel him there. He speaks frequently about spending seven years of his boyhood in tiny Plainfield, Iowa, and argues that Republicans will win the White House by capturing states across the upper Midwest—Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan—as well as Pennsylvania, all of which have been carried by Democratic presidential candidates for a generation.

As a sign of his focus on Iowa, Mr. Walker’s advisers have said he plans to appear in all 99 of the state’s counties before the February caucuses, reports Epstein.

Despite the appeal of Walker’s winning record in Wisconsin, and what appear to be his inherent advantages in the Iowa caucuses, some conservatives remain skeptical, and that skepticism was encouraged, not assuaged, by the language of Scott Walker’s announcement video.

Walker’s announcement that he was running to “actually get things done” echoes what John Boehner and Mitch McConnell said post the 2014 midterm election.

But what they’ve gotten “done” is consistently cave-in to Obama and the Democrats to advance the Chamber of Commerce’s crony government agenda on amnesty for illegal aliens and spending and betray the grassroots conservative voters who entrusted them in 2014 with the congressional majority.

Scott Walker’s official entry into the 2016 Republican presidential primary field has many encouraging signs; his solid strategy for putting away Rubio and Bush, a good start on fundraising and a record that shows he is willing to take on the big fights – and win – in the face of relentless Leftwing opposition.

However, as encouraging as Scott Walker’s official entry into the Republic presidential primaries is Walker’s “Iowa first” strategy may not have taken into consideration the populist bombshell Donald Trump has dropped into the middle of the GOP race.

Trump is now second behind Walker in the Hawkeye state according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll. Trump’s appeal, and the staying power his personal wealth and anti-establishment message grant him, defy traditional political calculation, and Trump has already begun to hit Walker.

Walker has yet to craft a response to the Trump candidacy, showing he still has a long way to go to close the deal with the populist conservatives who like Trump and have rocketed him to the top of a number of state polls.

The winning 21st century right-of-center coalition is made-up of four legs; economic conservatives, national defense conservatives, social conservatives and the limited government constitutional conservatives of the Tea Party movement.

When Republicans unite those four legs of the conservative movement they win, as they did in 2010 and 2014. When any one of those four legs is alienated or uninspired, as they were in 2008 and 2012, Republicans lose – big time.

On paper Scott Walker’s campaign looks like it has what it will take to unite those four legs of the conservative coalition and win the White House, but translating his on-paper advantages into a winning campaign will require Scott Walker to make a choice he has yet to face.  

To gain the support of populist conservatives he must defy the GOP establishment on a number of foundational issues, such as amnesty for illegal aliens and spending, or he can cede those voters to Trump and battle Jeb Bush for the GOP establishment nod; this is a test Walker has yet to face and it will decide who becomes the Republican nominee and on what issues the 2016 presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton will be fought.

Watch Scott Walker's new video through this link.

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Walker or Cruz

So far, I like what I've heard from Scott Walker. He sounds like a strong conservative. Obviously, if he waffles on amnesty, I'll lose interest in him quickly. The only other candidate who is clearly conservative is Ted Cruz. My main concern with him is lack of executive experience, but he is strong on the issues, with the exception of TPP, where his "yes" vote was a disappointment.

I simply don't trust Trump. Not just because of some of his questionable business practices, but because of some of his positions from a few years ago. His suggestion that far-leftist Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey would make a good VP tells me he is not a serious candidate and would be totally unreliable as president.

Walker

Never met a conservative from Wisconsin since McCarthy and his hire of the McConnell-Rove hitman is not encouraging. I have never seen a rino that was afraid to lie to gain his aim. Nope still a Trump man.

Scott Walker

Is a 'populist conservative' a combination of all four legs of your coalition?

Your last paragraph pretty much sums up my commitment to Walker. As of this writing he is my choice, IF he defies the GOP establishment on any/every issue. Waffling or presenting a wishy-washy position on amnesty, limited government, out of control spending, etc., will drive me straight to Trump. I'd have a lobotomy before I'd ever think of voting for Bush

No

Because he's not a conservative.

He's a Wisconsin RINO Good Ol Boy in the vein of Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan, who will NEVER call out their party for corruption, who are for their Party above their Country.

IMO.