29 March 2016

Weighing Why Scott Walker Enthusiastically Endorsed Ted Cruz

A week before the crucial Republican Wisconsin primary, Governor Scott Walker called into WTMJ AM's Charlie Sykes program to endorse Senator Ted Cruz for President.

Wisconsin is important in the GOP primary process, as it is a winner-take-all state at a time in which Donald Trump needs to convincingly win delegates to lock up the Republican nomination.  If Trump fails to win in the Badger State, it is increasingly likely that the GOP will have a contested convention in Cleveland.

Governor Walker withdrew from the 2016 Republican Presidential field in September 2015, well before any ballots were cast. This may be attributable to running a prematurely bloated campaign, lackluster debate performances and wanting to clear the field so Republicans could elect a conservative. Walker obviously had animus against Donald Trump's campaign, as Walker lamented how the 2016 campaign had devolved into personal attacks.

However, Governor Walker's full throated endorsement of Cruz for President is noteworthy for his commitment.  Walker is a youthful politician with a bright future.  And there are no term limits for  Cheesehead Governors. Walker won three gubernatorial elections in four years (including the 2012 recall election).  If Walker endorsement translates to a resounding victory for Cruz in the Wisconsin primary, Walker vaults back into the 2016 GOP Election cycle.  

If Walker's endorsement is seen as turning point in the primaries, Walker would be a hero to conservatives by preventing an unprincipled populist enough delegates for a first ballot nomination victory.  If Cruz is able to win the nomination (even in a contested convention second ballot), Walker can be seen as Kingmaker and Cruz may feel compelled to reward him as a running mate, along with his virtues of geographical balance, outsider appeal and reputation to fight progressives (along with his sizable donors list). It is akin to Florida in 2008 when former Governor Charlie Crist (FL- R-I-D) late endorsement of Senator John McCain vaulting his prospects, without the orange tan and RINO tendencies. 

But in the event that the GOP Cleveland Convention becomes deadlocked, Walker becomes an attractive alternative choice. Walker could appeal to evangelicals, conservatives, populists, angry "Reagan Democrats".  Walker can rightly claim that he is an outsider, with a track record of accomplishments and who has fought political correctness and unions and won. Walker dropped out because of needless name calling, so he has not alienated large segments of the party. 

No comments: