As to the prospects for replicating this nationally, Walker knows that whoever becomes the GOP’s nominee has to win the same Obama-Walker voters as in Wisconsin. That means Reagan Democrats — the white working class, and those who are “independent, reform-minded voters.” After all, these non-partisan voters want change, and they will support the type of candidate from either party who can offer them a better future. Given that liberal Democrats are the true reactionaries, trying to turn back the clock to follow Woodrow Wilson’s statist path, a solidly conservative Republican who has come up with real answers to the problems of this era can win.
As Walker writes, this means a “reform agenda that is hopeful and optimistic,” not one based on government-run entitlements in which the technocrats of the corporate state make the decisions that impact our lives, as is the case with the current ObamaCare disaster. Walker writes:
The way Republicans can win those in the middle is not by abandoning their principles. To the contrary, the courage to stand on principle is what these voters respect. The way to win the center is to lead.
That’s why those arguing that conservatives have to “moderate” their views if they want to appeal to the country are so wrong. If our principles were the problem, then why are so many Republican governors winning elections by campaigning on them? Since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the GOP has gone from controlling both the legislature and governor’s mansion in nine states to 23 states today. Not one sitting Republican governor has lost a general election since 2007.
Obviously, Walker is seriously considering whether or not he should enter the race. It is clear, however, that he believes a good candidate cannot come from the Senate or the House, with the exception, as he said in his speech, of his friend and fellow Wisconsinite, Paul Ryan. Walker notes that the divisive fights in Washington over things like the fiscal cliff and the shutdown are different from fights in the states. Here, he writes, Republicans “focus on improving education, caring for the poor, reforming government, lowering taxes, fixing entitlements, reducing dependency, improving health care, and creating jobs and opportunity for the unemployed.”
So is Walker, or someone else, more easily able to win the country and appeal to the vital bloc of independents? Some would say that he is too low-key and not charismatic, and that he cannot create the kind of enthusiasm that many of Senator Ted Cruz’s supporters have for him. Others argue that someone like John Kasich might have more of a chance, and would be a stronger candidate. And in the discussion at AEI, Marc Thiessen doubted that if Ryan decided to be a nominee Walker would go up against him. Robert Costa, however, disagreed, and thought he would not attack Ryan in any debates, but merely stay in and try to make the case for himself.
Having seen Walker in the flesh, I, like so many others, cannot help but be very, very impressed. He is a solid and decent family man who has a core set of beliefs he affirms and boldly stands for. He knows how to talk to voters, even those who differ with him. They may disagree, but they respect him for his beliefs and know that he will fight for them. I’m sure Scott Walker has not as yet decided what he will do, but I hope he does enter the race.