Friday, December 9, 2016

Scott Walker

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scott-walker

Shocking news from the Republican presidential race: Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, is dropping out.

Walker, who gained fame taking on the public sector unions in Wisconsin and surviving a union-backed recall, had high hopes of reforming the federal government as he did Wisconsin.

And just a few months ago, Walker was considered to be a top tier contender–possibly as a more conservative, less establishment foil to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Walker himself led the entire field in the polls as recently as April, and was in second place (after Donald Trump) just last month. He had also led, until very recently, in the critical first voting state of Iowa.

But, following two lackluster debate performance, Walker’s campaign has been in a freefall.

In the latest CNN poll, taken since Wednesday’s second Republican presidential debate, Walker had 0% of the vote–meaning that his support had all but dried up.

0% put the former frontrunner in the same category of has-been presidential candidates like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who have not gained enough traction to get out of the undercard debates.

Walker is the second high-profile Republican to drop out of the race, following former Texas Gov. Rick Perry who dropped out shortly before the second debate.

Perry, one of the longest-serving governors in American history, entered the 2012 race with great fanfare, only to lose it after a number of gaffes and high-profile stumbles. Entering the 2016 race, Perry was never able to recapture his lost momentum, and never peaked above the low single digits in the polls.

Walker has not yet endorsed another candidate for President.

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Earlier today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made it official – he running for president.

What’s more, he is doing so in one of the most crowded fields of Republican presidential candidates in history – a field that already boasts more than a half dozen current and former state governors who can point to executive experience to burnish their leadership credentials.

Despite the crowded field, Walker, 47, plans to stand out as a leader who has accomplished seismic changes in the way his very blue state is run including balancing the state budget, making Wisconsin a “Right to Work” state and the passage of legislation this past week eliminating tenure for normally insulated and liberal public university professors – academics accustomed to employment security divorced from education performance.

He has also scored three election victories in the past four years including a 2012 recall attempt that kept him in office by a greater margin than he won with in the general election.

With an eye on symbolism, Walker made his announcement on the very same Waukesha exposition center stage he used to celebrated his victory over union interests both in and outside the state that tried to recall him from office.

And to punctuate the fact that he will be running a modern campaign utilizing social networks, Internet media, paid advertising and earned media based on interest in his race, Walker began his candidacy with the following tweet.

“I’m in. I’m running for president because Americans deserve a leader who will fight and win for them.”

The Walker campaign also released a video announcing his candidacy – a presentation that highlighted Walkers leadership style speaking to a crowd in an Iowa cornfield, his historic battle with organized labor and his willingness to take on big fights.

Walker’s entry into the race completes the list of top tier Republican candidates to officially announce their runs along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Dr. Ben Carson, billionaire developer Donald Trump and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Because of the crowded field and Wisconsin’s proximity to Iowa, Walker is enjoying high poll numbers in a state that will hold the “first in the nation” caucuses.

After his announcement, Walker heading out for a campaign blitz with stops in Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. He will finish his inaugural trip with a three-day RV road trip through Iowa.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker isn’t a declared candidate in the 2016 Republican presidential race–though he’s expected to declare any day now. But he’s already tacking hard to the right on gay marriage.

On Friday, June 26, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states.
Gay couples can begin marrying nationwide immediately–and many already have.

Many of Walker’s opponents for the nomination have gone silent on the issue, preferring to just be happy that one of the Democrats’ social wedge issues has quickly disappeared from the table.

But Walker is speaking his mind:

“I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake,” Walker said, in a statement. “Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decisions acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.'”

But, since the Supreme Court is the law of the land–and decides, ultimately, whether laws are constitutional or not–there’s little way around their decision. The only thing that could overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling–aside from another decision from a different court case by the Supreme Court, which is highly unlikely to ever happen–would be to amend the Constitution.

That’s exactly what Walker plans to do.

Using the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” clause, Walker urges that Republicans “continue to fight for the freedoms of all Americans”–namely the Christians whom he feels have been attacked by the latest ruling.

Unfortunately for Walker and his supporters, there’s little chance of the Federal Marriage Amendment (as it was called under the Bush Administration) of ever becoming part of the Constitution.

An amendment to the Constitution requires not just 3/4 of Congress to approve, but also 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify.

It’s an uphill climb for even the most popular amendments–but, for something as controversial as gay marriage, that kind of landslide support would be virtually impossible.

The last time the Federal Marriage Amendment was voted on in Congress, it was soundly defeated–and that was back in mid-2006, when Republicans themselves dominated the House of Representatives.

Regardless of the likelihood of Walker’s plans, he’s staked out a clear vision for his future 2016 candidacy: that he’d run as a solid conservative.

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Scott Walker

Scott Walker leads early polls for the 2016 Republican nomination for President–and his support is only continuing to grow.

Walker’s support has been sudden and tremendous. On February 18, barely a month ago, he was third in a CNN poll–with just 11% of the vote, behind former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

But, just one week later in a PPP poll, he had leapt to a distant first place, with 25% of the vote, dwarfing Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 13% and Huckabee with just 11%.

Scott Walker’s sudden explosion onto the top tier of presidential candidates began roughly around the time of his speech at CPAC in late February, where he spoke to a standing-room-only crowd and finished a respectable second place in their marquee Presidential Straw Poll.

But Walker remains a strong candidate for the Republicans regardless of speeches. In his four years as Governor of Wisconsin, he’s won election four times in a blue state, including a union-backed recall election in 2012–which shows he has the ability to reach across party lines and mobilize voters.

Walker has also been able to reach across the different factions of the Republican Party, attracting social conservatives and economic conservatives like no other candidate currently in the 2016 field.

Further, Walker has a tangible record of enacting conservative economic policies in Wisconsin. Most notably, he went after Wisconsin’s notoriously strong public sector unions–and forced them to make dramatic concessions that would help erase the state’s deficit and balance the budget without cutting services or firing employees.

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