Sunday morning I was watching the talking heads predicting that Scott Walker would be dropping out of the presidential race very soon. It turns out they were right.
Short of support and cash, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, saying he had been “called to lead by helping to clear the field,” announced Monday that he was suspending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.In a brief news conference in Madison, Mr. Walker referred sharply to Donald J. Trump’s influence on the primary contest, saying he hoped his exit would make it possible for “a positive conservative message” to take hold in the crowded race.“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” Mr. Walker said in the short appearance, at which he took no questions. “This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, more importantly, to the future of our country.”
Scott Walker was a good candidate before the race got started. He had fight. He had principles. He had grit, and common sense. What happened? He didn't stand out and he turned out to be just too bland to transition (or translate) from a champion at a Wisconsin level to the same at a national level.
And that's all it takes. Bobby Jindal take heed, you might be next. Being a bright conservative, being a principled conservative isn't enough. Being successful isn't enough. You need pizzazz. You need the sizzle with the steak. And maybe, you need to be an outsider. I mean a real outsider. Being a governor isn't necessarily enough outside the beltway. You might need to be a not-politician. In turn we've seen surges from Trump, Carson and Fiorina. All are not professional politicians.
What's notable in Walker's talking points above, is he sounds more like a politician, and an establishment one to boot, than a Harley riding guy he portrays himself as being. The jab at Trump may be a hurt pride thing, but it comes across as plying ball. Note to Republican establishment,in 2008 the only thing that excited conservatives was a Palin VP slot. In 2012 they didn't even have that.
Learn or perish. the ultimate lesson may extend outside of the current election cycle - you need to be a person of the people, not a politician. Reagan even, was clearly a politician, but he was able to transcend that by connecting with voters on a visceral, gut level. He did it simply by having the right message for the time. That made him a man of the people. As I said, learn, or perish.