Today, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker will formally announce his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Republicans have been waiting for Walker to do so and the field has been incomplete without him.
It’s not that Walker has not been running. He has. He has just been focused on building up his Super PAC before having to separate himself from its fortunes. He has also been dealing with a legislative session in Wisconsin.
Not since Barry Goldwater has a major party candidate run without a college degree. The New York Times, in its snobbery, relishes pointing out that Walker is without a college degree. The Times will go to great lengths, however to avoid pointing out Scott Walker has kicked the asses of the Times demographic three times. Walker was elected, survived a contentious recall election, and got re-elected in what is typically a blue state.
Wisconsin is home to a progressive strand of Republicanism going back to Robert LaFollette, who moved into the progressive party and brought “reforms” that still plague the American landscape. Walker has, until recently, been a middle of the road Republican with soft stances on immigration, abortion, etc. In fact, his sons are out making sure everyone knows they support gay marriage with some suggesting they are running interference for their dad with megadonors. Walker has certainly moved right over time with his rhetoric and his positioning on immigration. But he has always been more of a blue-collar, middle class kind of politician in positions and rhetoric.
There are certainly concerns with Walker voiced by conservatives. Mostly they stem not from Walker himself, but from who he has surrounded himself with as advisors in the past. In the run up to this run, however, Walker has shuffled his team and brought in some outsiders. Some conservatives are distrustful of his immigration position shift. Others are not sure he really has what it will take, given his job creation record compared to others.
But not a single conservative disputes Walker is a fighter. At a time when Democrats are losing the middle class and more blue-collar voters, Walker’s arrival onto the national scene is timely. I suspect a college degree won’t matter when he has a degree from the school of life many people can relate to. And I suspect a lot of conservatives will be paying close attention to his first month formally on the trail. We’ve all been waiting for him.