Thursday, September 17, 2015

Up, Up, and ... ???

Well, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has entered the GOP
presidential fray. So far, he has made the rounds visiting
Iowa and New Hampshire, the states which respectively
host the first caucuses and primaries in the country in
presidential election years. The news of his candidacy
generated much excitement among the party faithful,
conservative independents, and Tea Party activists
around the country. Everyone wanted to see and hear
the governor with a titanium spine and fire in his belly
who stood up to organized labor and their allies in
creating true reform of his state's budget and giving
relief to stretched and beleaguered taxpayers, worn down
from having to pay ever-increasing state taxes to pay for
the ever-increasing pay and benefits of the public sector
union members. Many thought that here was a candidate
who would be an antidote to the excesses in taxation,
spending, and arrogant governance of President Obama.

Then that Scott Walker mysteriously disappeared; another
Scott Walker took his place, one that seems to be the
exact opposite of the first. This Scott Walker waffled on
some issues, including whether the government should
continue to subsidize and mandate the use of ethanol
for fuel (having called for ending this practice in
Wisconsin, but backed off when in Iowa, a major corn-
growing state); made a seemingly ludicrous statement
on immigration (proposed building a fence along the
border with Canada -- with the illegal entries being made
at our border with Mexico); and dodging some questions
(such as to whether he'll make changes to his campaign
staff in the light of the aforementioned missteps and
similar other errors). The Scott Walker that stared down
the unions and the rest of the left-wingers in Wisconsin
was replaced by a ducking and covering one.

What gives here?

Whereas Walker had counted on having routes to victory
in many states, he now has to work for one route in one
state: Iowa. And, his performance in the first two Repub-
lican candidates' debates, while not terrible, did not evoke
the Gov. Walker everyone heard and read so much about.
Outside of adroitly warding off Donald Trump's harassing
attacks in the second debate, scolding the billionaire butthead
for reciting "the Democrats' talking points (against him)"
while defending his state's fiscal performance during his
administration to date, the Badger State governor didn't
make much of an impact.

Some donors to his campaign are calling for the removal of
Walker's campaign manager, Rick Wiley, thinking him to
blame for Walkers' rudderless performance. Larry Sabato,
Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics,
opined "His donors --- and many of his voters --- are getting
antsy." Your concerned Peasant must here admit that I, too,
am getting antsy as well. Walker slid from being first or
second in the polls to fifth or lower. He needed a boost from
a strong performance in the second debate; his performance,
however, may not prove to be strong enough to rejuvenate
his campaign.

Stanley Hubbard, founder of the Minnesota-based media
corporation Hubbard Broadcasting, and a major donor to
Walker's campaign, stated recently "He has the right message.
He's smart. And I'd like to know why he's not breaking through."
So would a lot of other people. Eric Anton, a Walker donor and
financial bundler, while concerned, does not call for a shakeup
of Team Walker. "I don't get the sense that we're in a crisis mode,"
he said in a recent interview with The Capital Times, a major
state newspaper in Madison.

Then, too, Walker didn't get terribly much air time to share his
views and ideas in the second debate. According to National
Public Radio (NPR), a most politically liberal media organi-
zation, averred that their analysis of the debate revealed that
Walker received the least amount of air time of all eleven
candidates --- a paltry eight minutes and twenty-nine seconds.
CNN, another media outfit not known for its conservatism,
hosted the debate. Could CNN have been trying to undermine
a candidate that they felt could be a threat in the GOP race,
knowing that candidate's record as governor, successfully battling
an alliance of labor unions and their allies to institute sweeping
reform? That would, of course, have been out of Walker's and
his team's control.

But the aforementioned difficulties with his appearances and
interviews are completely within Team Walker's control.
The sooner they repair what needs repair, the sooner that Gov.
Walker can regain lost ground in the polls and lost confidence
in the Republican rank-and-file from around the country.
It would be not only a shame, but a tragedy if the gutsiest
governor in the land cannot regain his footing in his quest
to become our next president, and provide the courageous
leadership and reform that has benefited his state and would
do the same for the rest of the country at a time when both
are desperately needed.


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