Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Has Gov. Scott Walker peaked?

I think so.

From a piece in the Washington Post yesterday, "Fading in the polls, Scott Walker aims to attract Trump voters" (my emphasis):

Despite Walker’s strong and consistent start earlier this year, he has quickly lost ground in recent weeks and put in an underwhelming performance at the first GOP debate, on Aug 6. He went from double-digit standings in most national polls in July to single digits in several recent surveys. In the most recent poll of Iowa — where he has led for most of the summer — he was third behind Trump and tea party underdog Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon. 

Walker also is trying to replicate the feisty anti-establishment tone Trump and others have shown on the campaign trail. The attempt was on full display on Monday morning when Walker spent 20 minutes on the political soapbox at the Iowa State Fair — a rite of passage for those dreaming of becoming president. The appearances regularly attract protesters, and Walker’s experience was no different.

There was shoving in the audience between Walker supporters and liberal activists. There was heckling and booing. Yellow signs popped up in the crowd reading: “Warning: Don’t let Scott Walker do to America what he did to Wisconsin.”

Walker regularly encounters detractors on the campaign trail and usually ignores them. But on Monday, he yelled at one protester in the crowd: “I’m not intimidated by you, sir, or anyone else out there. I will fight for the American people over and over and over and over again. You want someone who’s tested? I’m right here.”

The moment seemed out of character for a candidate who describes himself as “aggressively normal.” But the crowd loved it, and Twitter filled with praise from supporters. 

The crowd (and his supporters) may have loved it, but I thought Walker looked a little desperate there. Anger is never a winning political strategy. Also, yelling at the voters -- your future bosses -- isn't the way to get elected president of the United States.

A hugely divisive figure, Walker made a name for himself by taking on the middle class unions in Wisconsin. But I never saw him winning the nomination. Now I'm beginning to wonder if he'll win anything at all.

P. S. I still agree with the writer who said, "Scott Walker is a mediocre county executive who has risen far beyond his talents."

Or this one, "There is Scott Walker, who, odds on, two years from now will be a greeter at the Oshkosh Home Depot."

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