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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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In Milwaukee Buzz Commentary

Scott Walker will join two other governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio, along with Jeb Bush, at the Republican Jewish Coalition confer

Walker gambling on big money in Vegas


These are heady times for our governor, the coy Scott Walker who is going to be lumped with some real luminaries as the gamble for the presidency takes shape in, of all places, Las Vegas.

The Washington Post reported this week that Walker is one of four high-profile presidential hopefuls invited to meet with and speak with billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the wannabe king maker sand casino magnate.

Walker will join two other governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio, along with Jeb Bush, at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference and all four will speak. But the real deal is what the Post quoted several sources as calling the "Sheldon Primary."

Adelson and his wife personally kept Newt Gingrich's campaign alive during the last presidential primary campaign. He has the ability to team with the infamous Koch brothers to create a bankroll that is hard for any Democrat to match.

Pardon me if I shake my head a little bit over this idea of President Scott Walker delivering an inauguration speech a month after the election on Nov. 8, 2016.

I've known Scott Walker since his days as a kid representative in the Wisconsin Assembly. He learned the value of visibility early. No matter what the national story of the day was, Walker always made himself available to television newsrooms for a comment. And television stations, always looking for the easy way out, took advantage. There were week that Walker was on television more than the weather guys.

Walker is a great, great campaigner. This meeting with Adelson may is certainly a step toward the presidency, but the biggest thing Walker needs is a huge win eight months from now when Wisconsin has a gubernatorial election.

So far he's being challenged only by Mary Burke, a Trek bicycle heir and a Democrat who is saying all the right things, but whose campaign just doesn't seem to be catching fire. Walker wants to get somewhere between 50 and 65 percent of the vote to prove how popular he is.

Walker's ultra-conservative beliefs also make him a huge favorite with the Tea Party that's coming close to dominating the Republican party. The Tea Party dumped Christie after he said nice things about President Obama. The thinking goes that in order to win, Republicans need to take a position on the right edge of the ledge in order to have firm positions. Republicans think trying to move to the middle (see Mitt Romney) is a sure ticket to losing. Purity is the Republican word of the day.

Walker fills that bill. He has always thought his way was the only way and he's had legislative support to back him up. His record for getting the things done that he wants to get done is impressive.

But President of the United States?

The president needs to be a lot of things. He's got to be smart. He needs to be willing to work with both parties. He needs to have some gravitas.

Think of Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan or even the first George Bush. They had some stature. Except in the most unusual circumstances Americans want to vote for someone who looks like a president.

Scott Walker looks like a boy scout who can't figure out how to pitch his tent.

But I guess this quest is going to continue. If he can persuade people like Adelson and the Koch brothers that he's the true Republican, he may well end up as the Republican presidential nominee.

The mind boggles at the thought.

Talkbacks

AndrewJ | March 27, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. (report)

What a blind load of bull this article was. You evoke Adelson and the Koch brothers as if George Soros and every bleeding heart Liberal in Hollywood doesn't exist. Fact is, since 1989, Democrat donors have outspent Republican donors by almost a half billion dollars (www.opensecrets.org). So where does that put your narrative that all the big money is behind the (R)'s? Because it's not. Check the website. The top 3 donors overall are all pushing Liberal PAC's. You then go on to lambast Walker for being a good campaigner. Are you completely unaware of who the president is today? The man who cast a vote of "present" more than anything else during his time in the Senate. The man who goes on YouTube to pitch his failing policies. You slam Walker, when THAT guy is currently your president? Get serious. You then list all the things a president should be, and name off Clinton, Reagan, and Bush... but not Obama. Why is that? It's either because you're a racist, or it's because you know Obama couldn't lead his way through a Girl Scout Cookie obstacle course. Which one is it? And I would have loved your joke about a president having to work on both sides of the aisle... if it actually was a joke. Your guy in office now with his "phone and a pen", absolutely refusing to compromise on anything, leading to illegal executive order after illegal executive order. Yeah... that's not the way it works. You love casting stones at Republicans/Conservatives, and prattling on about how you're such a good Liberal, demeaning those on the other side of the aisle as being blind. But then you come out with one-sided garbage like this that shows you're blinders are worse than anybody. Disgusting.

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TheyThink | March 27, 2014 at 11:47 a.m. (report)

What's ironic is that Dave wouldn't be writing this article about Walker being considered for the 2016 presidency if it weren't for the Blue Fisters and union temper tantrum that brought Walker into the national spotlight. Had they not attempted that silly recall, Walker would be nowhere close to the national short list of GOP candidates for 2016.

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crackerbat | March 27, 2014 at 10:36 a.m. (report)

Obama raised the most money in the history of ever for his second run, it's just what politicians do. I'm not one of the anti-walker crowd. No he's not the best, but I'll take him over Tommy B. as Gov. Pres... it'll be a sad sad day if he is the nominee. He'd make a @$%^y president with even less foreign policy xp than Barak

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