Monday, January 26, 2015

"That's how you're gonna...

...beat 'em, Butch. They keep underestimating you."

So said Butch Coolidge, Bruce Willis's character in Pulp Fiction, one of the best movies I've ever seen.

Why do I bring this up? Because for years, I've been underestimating Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Ever since I drove up to Madison in support of the protesters in the winter of 2011, through his 2012 recall campaign and his reelection to a second term last fall, I've been waiting for this guy -- whom I had just assumed was little more than a useful idiot for the Koch brothers -- to fail. And so far I've been wrong, wrong and wrong.

Now I read that the potential Republican candidate for president wowed the faithful at the Iowa Freedom Summit over the weekend (my emphasis):

The Wisconsin Republican governor delivered a pitch-perfect speech to a room packed with influential Hawkeye State conservatives on Saturday, walking them through his robust resume and ideology with a passion that surprised many. 

Activists say Walker came out on top after 10 hours of candidate speeches.

“It was a clear Walker victory. He had expectations coming in here, he was on everyone's shortlist and he had to meet those expectations and I thought he far exceeded them,” said former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. “I thought his speech was just perfect, and I thought his delivery was perfect. The delivery really surprised me.”

Could Scott Walker be the next Republican nominee for president? Maybe. The fresh-faced tea party governor of a purple Midwestern swing state could appeal to the establishment, evangelical Christian and libertarian wings of the party. I'm not sure I can think of anyone else who could do that. (Maybe Marco Rubio and/or Bobby Jindal.)

But I'm beginning to wonder if I've been seriously underestimating this guy (again). I sure hope Hillary & Co. aren't.

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