Both Tim Pawlenty, in 2011, and Scott Walker, in 2015, began their campaigns with high expectations based on their records as governor. Tim of Minnesota and Scott of Wisconsin. But, before the actual election year dawned, they both found themselves on the outside of the nominating process looking in. Pawlenty had to drop out and Walker will likely have to do so soon.
As governors from major blue states, each man seemed better on paper than he turned out to be in person. Pawlenty found his thunder stolen by Mitt Romney and Walker’s has been taken away by Donald Trump and Carly Florin.
After a dismal — and largely silent — performance in the last debate, Walker registers a bare one-half of one percent in the post-debate CNN polling. With such bad numbers, his fund raising is bound to suffer. Since he only began his campaign this quarter, his only fund raising stats will come out on October 15th and, given his collapse in the polls, they are likely to be dreadful.
It’s a shame. Walker’s record in Wisconsin is one of the most creative, brave, and far reaching of any Republican governor in the nation. His assault on the teachers union and his tenacity in keeping to his views in the face of mass demonstrations and a recall attempt are highly laudable. He has done more for the 10th Amendment (by giving states real power over education formerly conceded to the teachers unions) than any other Republican.
So why doesn’t he catch on? He look awfully young and very little. When I did a fundraiser for him during his initial 2010 race for governor and he met me at the door, I assumed he was the kid who parked the cars. In the debates, he seemed to shrink. He appeared to lack the gravitas of a Cruz or a Rubio to say nothing of a Trump or Fiorina. And that is too bad. He seemed to be a fine candidate deserving of better.
But so did Pawlenty.
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