Why I haven’t hopped onto the Scott Walker bandwagon

Scott Walker appears to be a very nice guy. He has taken the difficult task of running Milwaukee County as a fiscal conservative in a sea of spend-it-alls. He successfully won his position in a county that usually votes Democratic. Walker ascended because of the Ament pension scandal. Those are very good signs that he could make a successful run of the 2010 gubernatorial race in Wisconsin.

But, Walker dropped out of the 2006 contest when Mark Green began to raise better money. (Yes, I know, sad state of politics.) Why wasn’t Walker able to get the funding? Mark Belling, a loyal follower, may have accidentally nailed it in his recent op-ed piece.

Walker is hardly the most charismatic politician in the world…

Charisma seems to be an overreaching requirement from political candidates recently. The same charisma that is necessary to charm wallets into opening is necessary to line voters up at the polls. It matters. If Scott Walker couldn’t beat Mark Green, and Mark Green couldn’t beat Jim Doyle, what makes anyone think Walker can pull out a win over Doyle who happens to have all the charisma of roadkill?

In addition to a lack of natural ability to connect, Walker has a lot of baggage from the years he’s spent fighting Milwaukee County government spending. That’s going to hold him back. There’s no reason Lena Taylor should have ever been considered a viable candidate as county exec, but she used that baggage to effectively bite into Walker’s successes. (Here’s Belling on the subject.) It made his re-election campaign very difficult when it should have been easy.

Finally, my lackluster enthusiasm was reconfirmed when I read Walker’s Ten Bold Ideas to Get Wisconsin Working Again. Cover your eyes if you’re easily offended, but my response to this “Bold” statement was, “No shit, Sherlock!” There’s nothing bold in this. It’s the same crap spread out across a new campaign. Bold would be a little description here and there on how he might reach such goals.

I know, it’s harsh, but I like Walker. What’s the Doyle camp going to say?

Doyle’s vulnerability is the massive deficit he’s created. For that Republicans need to front a turn-around expert. If I had my way, I’d be campaigning for Dan Finley. He has an amazing story to convey after his success with the Milwaukee Public Museum. (Here’s another story on his start at MPM.)

Keep in mind it will take a lot more than words on paper or money in the campaign account to elect a Republican governor for Wisconsin, but I think it can be done. How well the party succeeds in the mechanics of that endeavor will say a lot about the Republican chance for survival in Wisconsin.


  1. A lot will depend if anything has changed in the way the average voter pays attention to politics. Will the average voter be able or willing to see the correspondence between their shrinking paycheck and all the new taxes and fees that “Disingenuous” Jimmy Doyle has planned for them next year? Will they be able to relate his hospital tax with their increased insurance premiums or their increased contribution to their company’s health benefits? Will they be able to ascertain the increased price of a gallon of gas with increased state gas taxes next year from the usual fluctuation in gas prices? In general will they be able to see the relationship between their government and the poor business and job climate of Wisconsin?

  2. I know you don’t think “Bold” isn’t very bold… but hell, Barry O won on “change” without ever explaining HOW he would do it. Maybe Walker’s outlook isn’t so glum.

  3. There might be hope for you yet, Cindy. 😉

    Walker won’t make it through the primary. He doesn’t have the name recognition outside of the metro Milwaukee area. Once the uplanders find that he is from Milwaukee, they will dismiss out of hand. He is rather dull. MKE Co. is about to go to hell in a handbasket. He will have to either raise taxes just before the election, or have transit and social services fail just before the election.

  4. Wow, so you’re a Dan Finley fan, too, Capper?

  5. No, Dan isn’t likely to run, and if he did, all an opponent would have to do is point out that his “success” came from Milwaukee County bailing his britches out. Not very conservative.

    Well, actually it is, but that doesn’t fit the talking points.

  6. It’s good to remember that Doyle registers as “Breathing, but barely” on the charisma scale. For Walker to be at least two steps below that is a reality check of the first water.

  7. Do the uplanders have a candidate? Not the AG, with the stink of Crandon still about him. And not Gard, whose electability to anything now seems in question.

    I think it’s gonna be Tommy.

  8. Noooo! That would really be going backwards. Tommy probably couldn’t put his mirror down long enough to get the job done anyway.

  9. It would be less backward than another four of Doyle. But it’s a perfect play to Tommy’s ego, both giving him an opportunity to be perceived as savior of the state GOP as well as a shot to beat a guy he hates. I don’t see how he resists. And given their past two efforts, I don’t see how the Republicans can afford to run anybody but Tommy against Doyle. He’s proven electable. And Doyle’s always vulnerable. He’s just never had to face anybody electable.

    Yep. Tommy!