It’s possible you’re not going to have Scott Walker to kick around anymore. Except you, Wisconsin, you’re probably going to have him for awhile.
A few months ago, the Wisconsin governor was living high as a frontrunner. What’s happened since is a good example of why it’s not worth paying attention to presidential campaigns more than a year before the general election.
The usual suspects are already burying him.
Reporters have to cover these things and every day is a struggle to come up with something new. Donald Trump fits the bill because every day he says something new. The media reports it, the people hear the news that’s dominated by someone saying something new (and outrageous), the polls reflect the attention, the media reports on the polls and the cycle begins anew. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
America usually sobers up after the various daliances of summer and history says it will with Trump too.
In an article today, The Week takes particular note of Walker’s apparent demise.
Want an outsider? Walker has never worked in Washington. Before winning the gubernatorial election in 2010, Walker was the Milwaukee County executive for more than eight years, and served nine years in the state legislature before that. His Senate rivals may have to dance around their brief time in Washington, and Bobby Jindal’s House career might be a slight negative in an anti-establishment era, but Walker has no such baggage.
Want a fighter? Walker fought and beat the public-employee unions in Wisconsin, and then fought and beat them again in a recall election and a second gubernatorial bid. That’s three election victories in four years. He drew heat from around the country on that fight and never backed down, and then added wins on other conservative agenda items such as Right to Work and voter ID laws.
Want a departure from the elite to the hoi polloi? Walker is custom made for the role. He shops at Kohl’s, had never earned six figures until becoming governor, and has amassed little wealth in 48 years. He is the antithesis of Mitt Romney — a man of modest means and modest background who went into politics to serve rather than enrich himself.
In short, Walker checked all the boxes that Republicans wanted after a disappointing loss in 2012. And it turns out that none of that mattered as much to Republicans three years later as putting a thumb in the eye of the party’s establishment. Voters are turning to outsiders in a reaction to a lack of action, real or perceived, from the Republican Party after winning two midterm elections.
Now here’s a reminder that far too few political reporters are noting with any clarity: It’s still ridiculously early. As The Week notes, “populist crushes don’t usually last long.”
Related: How the season of Trump changed Scott Walker (CNN)