Wisconsin’s Walker bows out of presidential race

REUTERS/Jason Miczek
Gov. Scott Walker

Walker Presidential Campaign Death Watch: Say it ain’t so! On the abrupt departure of Our Favorite Neighboring Governor from the GOP’s presidential circus, Russ Choma at Mother Jones says, “A sullen Scott Walker appeared at a brief press conference in Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday afternoon to announce that he was ‘suspending’ his presidential campaign …  The most interesting question amid the wreckage of Walker’s campaign may now be about where his wealthy backers will go with their money. In July, the super-PAC supporting Walker, Unintimidated PAC, reported having locked up more than $20 million, placing him in the top of echelon of GOP candidates in terms of financial backing. The bulk of the money, $13.4 million, came from just four people, including Wisconsin-based roofing supply magnate Diane Hendricks, a longtime supporter who gave $5 million.”

Nate Cohn of The New York Times says, “The Walker campaign — or perhaps the candidate personally — felt pressure from the rise of Mr. Trump on his right, especially once Mr. Walker started slipping a bit in the polls. This sort of pressure isn’t unusual and was inevitable — he would have felt it at some point, if not from Mr. Trump, then from Ben Carson or Ted Cruz. Mr. Walker, to put it gently, did not handle this pressure well. His instinct was to move to the right as fast as possible at any point of vulnerability. He staked out a conservative position on birthright citizenship and a fringe position on considering a wall at the Canadian border. These moves alienated party elites and weren’t credible to conservative voters. He quickly reversed positions; in the end, he reassured no one.”

Robert Costa, Dan Balz and Jenna Johnson at The Washington Post write, “Union leadership, which had long considered Walker a top target, reacted quickly Monday to reports that he was suspending his campaign. ‘Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national,’ AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a terse afternoon statement. In recent weeks, there were clear signs that Walker’s campaign was in trouble. His poll results began to resemble a ski slope. And although the super PAC was flush with money, supporters worried that the campaign itself was running low on cash. The large cadre of staff and paid consultants around Walker have been on what one called a ‘death watch’ for the past several weeks.”

Ed Straker at the conservative American Thinker site lists the reasons for the quick demise of Wisconsin’s “turnaround” artist: “It’s okay to flip-flop, but not as frequently as Flipper.  Almost everyone (except Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush) has changed positions in this race.  Donald Trump used to be a raging liberal (and perhaps he still is).  But even Trump, once changing his position, didn’t go back and forth and back and forth several times within the space of a few days.  Scott Walker had three different positions (count them: three) on  birthright citizenship alone in a week’s time.  He quickly became known as being squishy on immigration. … He refused to answer serious policy questions on the grounds that he isn’t yet president.  I’ve never made fun of the fact that he never went to college, because he could be quite intelligent despite it.  But he showed time and time again (like with his idea of being tough on border security by building a wall with Canada) that he is out of his element.”

For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes, “Minnesota media executive and Walker donor Stanley Hubbard is also waiting to pick a second favorite. In recent days, he has made donations to Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco Rubio, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Gov. Chris Christie. ‘I’m not betting on any more horses yet,’ Hubbard said. Hubbard, who donated heavily to Walker-supporting PACs, told the Pioneer Press last week that he would no longer give money to PACs, just to individuals.”

At PowerLine, Steven Hayward starts out then lets Paul Mirengoff and John Hinderaker add their wooden nickel’s worth. “Michael Walsh blames the GOP consultant class for Walker’s poor showing. I’m always prepared to hate the consultant class by default, but I am not sure it is the best explanation in this case. Consultants certainly blow a lot of races and ruin their candidates (that probably applies to Fiorina’s 2010 manager in the California Senate race). But at the presidential level the buck stops with the candidate. I came away from seeing Walker give a speech and answer questions in Washington a couple years ago, and my dominant thought was, ‘This guy isn’t ready. He better get ready soon.’ He didn’t. Not nearly enough.

PAUL ADDS: I agree with this analysis. Walker wasn’t ready to be a presidential candidate. However, I suspect that he is ready to be a capable president, which is a very different matter.

JOHN adds: I, too, am sorry to see Walker go. I think it is unfortunate that the first two candidates to drop out of the race — Rick Perry and Scott Walker — came from what would should be the most promising category: solid conservatives with excellent track records as governor. It is counter-intuitive, to say the least, that Perry and Walker are gone, while Rick Santorum, John Kasich, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore are still in the race. Not to mention Donald Trump.”

For USA Today, Jill Lawrence writes, “In a way this is vindication for Democrats and unions. Clearly an identity as organized labor’s enemy number one is not enough to carry a campaign. On the other hand, Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin, survived a recall and won reelection in the span of four years. It’s beyond ironic that Republicans are now doing what Democrats and unions failed at three times. It’s also slightly tragic for Democrats, because it would have been easy to make a general-election case against Walker.” Hence, the tremendous disappointment felt by many.

They canned … Ragnar? Ben Goessling’s ESPN story says, “When the Minnesota Vikings emerged from the TCF Bank Stadium tunnel on Sunday, their entrance was missing something: the bearded, long-haired, fur-clad man who’d rode a motorcycle out of the tunnel at Vikings home games for more than 20 years. The team released a statement Monday evening saying it had parted ways with ‘Ragnar’. … [Joe] Juranitch’s website claims he set a world record in 1982 by shaving his beard with an axe in eight minutes, 43 seconds, as part of a promotion for Razor’s Edge Systems — the family business he still runs today. The company sells everything from industrial meat sharpeners to knife sharpening equipment.” Perhaps a new mascot? I see a Minnesota legislator in Helga braids with a big wet kiss from Roger Goodell planted on his forehead?

Was this survey taken before or after the State Fair?  Stribber Jeremy Olson says, “Minnesota was The Biggest Gainer in 2014 — or rather, one of only five states with an increase in adult obesity at a time when the nation’s obesity epidemic finally seems to be leveling off. Minnesota’s increase, to an obesity rate of 27.6 percent, came as a disappointment to state health officials, who have targeted the problem for several years with millions of dollars of investments in walking paths, farmers markets and other strategies to ‘make the healthy choice the easy choice.’” As long as it’s deep-fried.

Today in Big Gummint job-killin.’ Says Pat Kessler at WCCO-TV, “Top Minnesota Republicans say new federal energy rules could force a shutdown of some of the state’s coal-fired power plants. The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering a 40 percent cut in Minnesota’s carbon emissions by 2030. Most of that will come from power plants, like Xcel’s Sherco plant in Becker. The tough new energy standards could force changes in the way we make power and use it every day.” Change! It ain’t natural!

Did someone say “Wisconsin”? Meg Jones of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says, “Wisconsin has started to issue new driver’s licenses and identification cards with features designed to curb fraud and identity theft. The new licenses and ID cards, made of a stiffer polycarbonate, are being touted as the most secure in the nation and feature black and white laser-engraved photos and ultraviolet ink displaying intricate artwork of the state Capitol and flag. Another feature of the new licenses and ID cards are raised signature, date of birth, expiration date, driver’s license and ID numbers and U21 (under 21) that can be felt when holding the cards and make them harder to copy.” Black and white photos? How can they tell how red the driver’s nose is in a black and white photo?

Hmmm. What’s MinnPost’s cut? Ashley Roberts of WCCO-TV says, “Taiwan made good on its word to visit Minnesota Monday, and along with its trade delegation came a massive order for agricultural products. Gov. Mark Dayton and other state leaders were on hand as Taiwan ordered billions of dollars’ worth of corn, soybeans and wheat. All across Minnesota, farmers can smile as warm winds dry some eight million acres of ripening field corn. But it was the news in St. Paul that adds to their optimism. … A Taiwanese trade delegation signed letters of intent to buy $2.4 billion of Minnesota corn, soybeans and wheat in 2016 and 2017.”  

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 09/22/2015 - 07:52 am.

    Walker’s part of the circus is over

    Scott Walker took the same path to failure that Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Bachman did. He didn’t even make it to the Iowa state caucuses, which he was supposed to win. In his attempt to look and act presidential he lost himself trying to be someone he isn’t, he lost his Wisconsin constituents, he lost Iowa, and worst of all, for him, he lost the Koch brothers. His supporters said he modified his positions to make political points. In plain English he failed at pandering. Maybe his constant bragging about beating people down wasn’t such a good idea after all. Walker said he was a leader because he was stepping down. Interesting how he considers his failure as being a leader. Walker is a bush league politician full of worthless political claptrap. The public has already decided he was the wrong messenger with the wrong message. It still amazes me the GOP only has one person they keep going back to, Reagan. It is no wonder the GOP is faltering because they keep living 26 years in the past. They have to go back 26 years to find a Republican they feel was a leader, and yet he would be drummed out of the party today for not being conservative enough. Reagan increased taxes, grew the federal government, and nearly tripled the federal deficit, and yet he is idolized by the GOP. It doesn’t make any sense when he violated the, so called, closely held key GOP principles. Proof the Republican Party has become a fringe party. The GOP circus continues.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/22/2015 - 08:04 am.


    Pronouncements by union leadership are often self-serving (much like pronouncements by CEOs and other purported business leaders), but when Richard Trumka says, “Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national,” I can only nod my head in agreement. The sad part is, he’ll now have plenty of time on his hands, and will likely use it to make my Wisconsin relatives, among others, more miserable.

  3. Submitted by Scott Stansbarger on 09/22/2015 - 08:04 am.

    The new stadium was Walker’s undoing

    The beginning of the end for Mr. Walker was when he allowed residents of WI to pay for the new Bucks arena after years of claiming to be ‘fiscally conservative’. He took a lot of heat for it and rightfully so. Glad he’s done.

  4. Submitted by richard owens on 09/22/2015 - 09:02 am.

    Who will use the ad buys?

    Reportedly, $7 million in ad buys from his PAC have already been committed to the Walker propaganda arm.

    With this kind of cash flowing to the TV owners, maybe the media will never be our friends again. They have a “$higher purpose$”…

    A fitting time to be grateful and generous for outlets like MINNPOST.

    (They won’t see a dime of it…)

  5. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 09/22/2015 - 09:39 am.


    Scott Walker’s singular accomplishment (if you can call it that), is that he stuck it to the teachers, fire fighters and other public employees. From that “accomplishment” nothing of good broke out: the budget did not balance, jobs did not flock to WI the quality of life and education did not enhance. But he did stick it too his perceived adversaries in a big way and he made it stick despite fierce opposition and the aforementioned lack of results. The really amazing things is to look at the millions in support from key contributors like the Kochs, Hubbards and Hendricks. Their collective contempt for workers is hard to fathom: they are all doing great yet have this over-riding need to see teachers, firefighters and others have it a little harder. Our own former #1 GOP contributor, Bob Cumins of Deephaven cut back his contributions because the MN GOP would not make “right to work” their #1 issue. This from a guy who manufactures all of his products off shore on tax sheltered minor islands. Did they all fall out of shopping carts and hit their noggins as kids? How do you explain such a universal contempt for everyday working folks?

  6. Submitted by AJ Lawson on 09/22/2015 - 01:55 pm.

    Dumb and Dumberer

    Where does Mr. Walker get off claiming to be less dangerous to the country than Mr. Trump?
    Has he not seen his own record?

  7. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 09/22/2015 - 07:42 pm.

    Midwest republicans

    are leading the Nation from behind. Their out-dated, regressive, philosophy and beliefs just don’t cut it in today’s world.
    You can look back at the three failed Presidential candidates from the Midwest and see why they fail once they get out of their own little negative party enclave. Yes, there are other gop candidates who exhibit similar far out attention-getting statements and proposals and they will also fall by the wayside before the big event comes to pass. But the ‘big three’ from the Midwest lead the pack so to speak.

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