Thursday, October 24, 2013



By Bill Kraus

The day that it was announced that Governor Scott Walker’s book Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge was about to be available at your local book store (if any) or online, a prescient column by Todd Robert Murphy appeared in the Waukesha Freeman.

The column articulated what many of us have suspected for some time.

It is not that we suspect the governor has an eye on the White House and plans to contend in 2016. This is pretty much certain.

What we suspect is that, because of this overriding ambition, he will not run for re-election as governor in 2014.

There are two reasons for this course of action.

The road to the White House does not run through Wisconsin. Too many potholes.

While the governor’s electoral history has been unbelievably lucky from the day he decided to take on the scandal cripple running Milwaukee County through an easy re-election campaign there to riding the 2010 tsunami to Madison and warding off a recall because many voters disliked the recall process more than they disliked the governor, this string could well run out next year.

If it does, he would enter the 2016 presidential race as an ex-governor or as a governor who won re-election by the skin of his teeth.

A much safer strategy is to continue to take his star status on the road into the friendly precincts whose inhabitants are real or imagined victims of well funded, focused, intimidating public employee union bosses.

There are a number of prominent, well-heeled national organizations who would give him a position, platforms aplenty, and all the money he needs to finance the evangelical journey they philosophically support.

In Wisconsin, where his adherents might feel deserted and disappointed, he has the political equivalent of Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers on the bench. The reigning Attorney General made a recent, very early half-announcement about his future plans. He said he will not run for re-election to that office without saying what plans he has for the rest of his life.

Almost everyone I have talked to who has political credentials, and this includes those who think the governor’s national ambition is delusional, thinks he can spend the next two years on the we-hate-government circuit more productively than staying home and fighting all those old fights against the same old opponents and the one million petition signers who are more than ready to deny him a mandate here.

The only question, then, is that raised by the redoubtable Todd Robert Murphy in his recent column: “Walker can talk the talk, will he/can he take the walk?”

I think he will, and it won’t be to 72 county fairs and 4th of July parades in the Badger state.

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