Wisconsin Republicans gift-wrapped an Iowa talking point for Gov. Scott Walker this week, sending abortion restrictions to his desk just days ahead of his presidential announcement.
The legislation, which would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, cleared the state Assembly Thursday on a party-line vote, four days before the governor intends to launch his presidential bid. Walker has indicated that he’ll sign the measure.
Walker’s win on the issue comes as he’s introducing himself to Iowa Republicans, who tend to favor social conservative candidates in their first-in-the-nation caucuses. It also comes amid questions Walker has faced on the right about his commitment to conservative causes, like opposing same-sex marriage and limiting abortions.
Prominent anti-abortion advocates and social conservatives signaled that Walker’s signature on the measure, which could come as early as Friday, would be a welcome gesture to kick off his campaign.
To date, Walker has faced far more press scrutiny and questions as an undeclared candidate than Hillary Clinton has as the Democratic front-runner. None of the hit pieces have really gotten traction and his entry into the race remains perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of this cycle. All of his stars keep aligning well, as the timing of this bill proves.
All of this leads me to wonder just how well Walker can do when most things are going just a little bit right. He was besieged by Big Labor money and legal threats almost from the moment he took office. The opposition to him has been ugly, relentless and very well funded, but all he does is win.
He may very well be a steamroller with a little breathing room.
Hope is not lost for conservative Republicans until Jeb Bush is the nominee.