Scott Walker — The Status Quo’s Likely Foe
Wisconsin's governor launches presidential bid based on his record.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. That lies at the center of the attraction of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as he announces his campaign for the Republican nominee for president in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Of the soon-to-be 15 announced GOP presidential primary candidates, Walker stands alone in having a recent record of textbook Republican Platform positions that have been animated into policy. He’s got a winning record on the campaign trail that is equally matched with policy victories. Let’s size him up based on that record, which, strangely enough, seems to match his rhetoric.
First, the “average guy” persona is not merely a poll-driven mirage created by a major consulting firm. Walker is, as the Financial Times noted, the “Everyman.”
Born in Colorado Springs to Patricia and Llew Walker, Scott Walker was raised in a Christian working-class home by a bookkeeping mom and a dad serving as a Baptist minister. On the church minister’s moving circuit, the family moved to Plainfield, Iowa, in 1970 then to Delavan, Wisconsin, in 1977 when Scott was 10.
As a young man, Walker worked and attained Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, and volunteered in the gubernatorial campaign of Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson in 1986 — the same year he graduated from Delavan-Darien High School and entered Marquette University. His college years featured an interest in student government, serving as a student senator, average academic achievement, and a job working for IBM.
Right before his senior college year, the local IBM office moved from Milwaukee to Illinois. One of his sales clients, the American Red Cross, offered him a full-time job. He took it prior to finishing his degree — a reality many Americans can relate to because “life happens.”
The narcissistic Left has and will make Walker’s lack of a college degree an issue — he’s the first major party candidate without one since Barry Goldwater. But Walker’s biography should serve to endear him to Americans who didn’t have a scholarship, a legacy connection in school or industry, and had and have the priority of getting a job rather than being simply educated. Barack Obama shows us that an Ivy League education doesn’t necessarily make you smart enough to run a nation.
Politically, Walker is a scrapper and no political novice. At 22, Walker lost his only political race in the general election to serve in Wisconsin’s 7th State Assembly District in Milwaukee. Just a few years later, Walker ran successfully for the 14th District at the ripe old age of 25.
Of importance, the young Walker ran his state legislative race on capping state government spending, welfare reform and the need to reform the labor dispute process with government employees. And as a freshman in his state’s house, Walker co-sponsored right-to-work legislation that went nowhere due to the widespread acceptance of labor unions.
From early in his elected career, Walker hasn’t been a willow blowing in the political wind of the prevailing direction of public opinion. Standing against labor unions in a blue-collar, politically “blue” state in 1993 as a 25-year-old demonstrates the foundation of conservative principled stances, not a politically popular or expedient message pandering to the largest voting bloc.
After four re-elections, Walker ran successfully for county executive of Wisconsin’s largest county where he served from 2002 until his resignation to run for governor in 2010. Again, his tenure was a testament to his conservative principles, with budgets that never imposed tax increases. And according to the book he co-authored with Marc Thiessen, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, he “cut the number of county workers by 20 percent, and turned a $3.5 million county deficit into a surplus.”
See the pattern here?
His political tenacity can’t be questioned with three election wins in only four years. And that includes a 2012 recall election featuring millions of dollars in opposition cash and the 100,000-strong union mob railing against collective bargaining reforms and a balanced budget that addressed Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit.
Walker’s gubernatorial record isn’t perfect, but it’s solid:
- Right-to-work status for Wisconsin with major collective bargaining reforms
- Rejection of ObamaCare or Medicaid expansion with an alternative introduced for the state’s low-income uninsured
- Job creation in Wisconsin reduced unemployment from 9.2% in 2010 to 5.2% in December 2014
- Tax cuts and credits to incentivize business expansion and hiring
- Rejection of Common Core implementation as federal control grew malignant
- Graduation rates were up to 88% from an already high 85.7% in 2010
- Pro-life legislation to protect the unborn
- But a budget that increased 15%, or about double the national average
On immigration, the presstitutes will happily point out Walker’s 2013 statement encouraging a “legal pathway” for illegal immigrants in the U.S. to attain citizenship. Yet Walker has repeatedly established his support of border security first and a rejection of the wholesale unconstitutional amnesty attempted by Barack Obama and supported by the Democrats’ next “elect-me-because-my-special-class” candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Likewise, the attempt to link Walker to “early” support of Common Core by the lying Left will require facts: The National Governors Association did, indeed, create and author the original standards for states. But, as is characteristic of any invasive, opportunistic disease, the federal government, led by the Obama Department of Education, turned any good of the “standards” into marching orders with strings to obtain funding that eliminated any state control or decision-making. Walker has actively worked to repeal any Common Core efforts.
Finally, just 24 hours prior to his formal presidential announcement, Walker signed the Wisconsin balanced budget using the scalpel-like powers of the state’s veto powers to surgically excise 104 items to lower property taxes, to repeal state university tenure and to expand school vouchers — all major conservative policies guaranteed to contrast his record against the rhetoric of others.
The DC-outsiders running in 2016 will have the best opportunity with an angry voting bloc. Walker will most likely find acceptance and approval in this GOP parade not because of his insider ties, his slick digital campaign or his well-heeled financial team. Instead, his consistent conservative record proves his authenticity as an effective, results-driven leader, and, coupled with his “everyman” traits, make him an attractive candidate for even the most frustrated voters.