January 17, 2014

"The things I like about Walker (my front-runner so far) are his executive experience, his principles, and his guts and fighting spirit..."

"... as well as his success in a mostly-blue state such as Wisconsin countering whatever the left could throw at him. That is a formidable accomplishment," writes Neo-Neocon, comparing Scott Walker to Chris Christie. "His rhetoric and charisma, I suspect, leave quite a bit to be desired. But I don’t know how much they are lacking because I haven’t watched or listened to him speak all that much. I fear Walker will have too much of the blah-blah-blah factor, but I don’t know...."

Well, I sure have watched him and listened to him. A lot. I watched all the debates in the 2010 election and the 2011 recall election. He has a style that people outside of the Midwest might not get. But I'm thinking that we got such a rhetoric-and-charisma overload with Obama that people might find Walker's style refreshing and uplifting. Walker comes across as completely sincere and earnest. He's committed to his conservative principles, which is unnerving to those who'd like to shake him. He's unshakeable.


Now, Neo-Neocon faults Christie for his lack of solid conservative principles, but "the one thing Christie’s got that Walker doesn’t have is the fact that when Christie speaks he minimizes both the boring factor and the cringe factor, at least for me." She admits she likes Christie's manner of speaking because it's like what she heard around her when she was growing up. That is, the Midwest manner is unfamiliar. To her. Not to everyone. Obviously, Christie's manner isn't what most American's grew up with either. It's hard to judge what other people will think of a guy whom you like because he sounds like a lot of other people you know and enjoy.

Actually, I didn't grow up in the Midwest. I've been here in Madison, Wisconsin since 1984, but I spent my young years in the mid-Atlantic region: northern Delaware (1951-1964), northern and southern New Jersey (1964-1973), and New York City (1973-1984) (with college time in Ann Arbor, Michigan). I'm in as good a position as anybody to feel that I get the regional stylings of both Walker and Christie. But I don't care as much as most people do about whether a politician is thrilling me with his talk. If I picked Christie over Walker, it would be because he's more flexible and less conservative. If I picked Walker over Christie, it would be because I liked the firm principles.

67 comments:

Jack Wayne said...

If you picked Christie over walker you'd be picking a loser.

eric said...

So far, what I have heard and seen from Walker, as a Right Wing Tea Party Radical Extremist Christian Conservative (And however else the media likes to label me) I have really liked.

The one thing that worries me (And I have no idea if this is something I actually should be worried about) is if he turns out like a Tim Pawlenty.

I liked Tim Pawlenty, until he threw Sarah Palin under the bus. He was on some talk show and they brought up her targets and tried to link her to the Arizona shootings and he said something like, "Well, that wouldn't have been my choice."

We need people with a spine to stand up to the Democrats when they try and make us into villains. Just because it isn't you today, it will most certainly be you tomorrow.

I'd like to see Walker throw his hat in the ring and see how he does in the primaries and during debates. I'm predisposed to vote for a Governor over a Senator, as they have more executive experience.

Michael K said...

I wonder if the Republican Party will go back to Romney in 2014 if the clusterfuck is bad enough. I still think he is the best we could do for the next decade.

It will be interesting. Ryan has bitterly disappointed me.

Carol said...

Recently I read Coolidge by Amity Schlaes. He had a flat, taciturn style, very New England. But it seemed the voters liked it and it worked to his advantage.

I'm not sure that can happen again though.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Ms. Althouse, If you picked someone because they were less conservative, what are the parts of conservative ideology that are you trying to avoid?

Ann Althouse said...

"Ms. Althouse, If you picked someone because they were less conservative, what are the parts of conservative ideology that are you trying to avoid?"

The social conservatism.

garage mahal said...

Walker will have to find a way to leap frog over Perry, Santorum, Jeb Bush, Cruz, and Rubio. Walker only beats Jindal in all the GOP primary polls so far.

America's Politico said...

Here are a few reasons Scott Walker will not be a POTUS, as much as I like him.

1. Hillary! She is the POTUS. Her VPOTUS is Martin O'Malley (MD gov).

2. Scott does not have a degree.

3. Scott will not be able to convince Kelly Ayotte to be his VP. Without a strong woman as a VP, GOP will lose ALL-states.

Ergo: GOP cannot win in 2016 or 2020. The next shot is 2024, when the key opponent will be the NYT-NPR-PBS loved Kristen Gillibrand's turn.

GOP is a loser forever. Why? They do not like women.

jimbino said...

Lo, what a reliable analysis by a woman who voted for Obama!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

No, Politico, what we do not like is leftist women with their rabid identity politics, persistent victim mindset, militant disconnection from rationality, grasping entitlement mentality, and pathologically punitive desire to punish men.

Such people of either sex are completely unsuitable for political office in a republic. I've seen plenty of them, however, in the countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa.

mccullough said...

Charisma and eloquence matter, but are relative to your opponent. Is Walker duller than Hillary? Not by much. And he certainly comes off as more sincere and authentic (something Romney had a problem with).

Whoever gets the nomination isn't going to be running against Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. The person they are against will be more like Gore or Kerry, who inspired no one.

pm317 said...

Bring in the seriousness! But before that fire all the journolisters and the fucking media. We are voting for the highest office of the land not to get a tingle up your leg.

FullMoon said...

Would Walker fight dirty, or be too nice, like Romney.
Being an out of state observer, he seems maybe too "classy".

dwm said...

Walker/Palin

too much? too much after 3 more years of obo?

elkh1 said...

Stirrable?

Hagar said...

How about Mitt Romney/Mitch Daniels?

Provided Romney have learned a little about campaigning from the late disaster.

Biff said...

Althouse wrote: "But I don't care as much as most people do about whether a politician is thrilling me with his talk."

How much do people really care about whether a politician's talk is thrilling? (I assume a certain basic level of rhetorical competence on the part of both major candidates. It's not fair to compare Mondale and Reagan, for example.)

If HRC wins the nomination, is there any reason to suspect that her talk will be any more thrilling than Walker's?

wildswan said...

My Predictions:

No to Cruz, Bush and Santorum because:
Ted Cruz was born in Canada
Jeb Bush is related to George Bush
Santorum is a prolifer.

Walker's opponents:
Walker's opponents are Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. If Chris Christie runs then the vp has to be Rubio.

Walker's great problem:
We can know how Walker will do by how Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan did.

At this time anyhow what is wanted is an inexperienced charismatic unknown who will be a compliant front for the agenda of the Communist party. Someone like Obama and Elizabeth Warren. Even Hilary doesn't match the specs. But how do we know what the specs will be after 2014? Obamacare might upend everything making "inexperienced" and "charismatic" into curse words. Obamacare might make "competent" a good thing. A person on the right has to understand that you have to be ready and able to face left vilification because the lefties are never able to admit they are wrong - ever and yet Obamacare is a typical outcome of a left policy. And Walker does understand that. And Walker understands the dirty inner city cheating on voting and the teachers union financing that allow the Democrats to ignore Americans while they screw the country up. But Americans have to understand before they will vote for him. And I just don't know how much they will understand before 2016.

In my dreams the Millennials who are having very realistic contact with the economy and the Hispanics who are very hard working and the Republicans make contact. Jeb Bush understands this but as I say his name is Bush.

Ctmom4 said...

Being a Brooklynite, I don't find Christie's pugnacious manner off putting. I like that he can spar, and speak. What I find off putting is that I think Christie is almost as much of a narcissist as the current clown in the Oval. He is first and foremost about Chris Christie. I don't get that vibe from Walker. I do worry that Walker may just be too boring for the low information voter.

Deirdre Mundy said...

How Mitch Daniels did? The man refused to run b/c he didn't want to put his wife through the wringer or move to DC.

I still think we need to pry him loose from Purdue and force him to run....

Indiana needs him as president, because Indiana will be better off if the US doesn't totally collapse. Therefore, as a proud Hoosier, he must run.

traditionalguy said...

Walker needs to be tough on something....guns, illegals, or health care.

Acting like a mid-western white guy friend of man is too Dan Quayle like.

Deirdre Mundy said...

tradguy--- who even remembers Dan Quayle anymore? He's not even a punch line.

The Godfather said...

Walker's my tentative first choice right now, for a lot of the reasons that Tim Pawlenty was my earlier first choice in 2012. Maybe Walker, like Pawlenty, won't be able to raise the money to stay in the race through the flavor-of-the-week phase, but if he has the money, then he's been through enough shit-storms that he's not likely to drop out. He'll have to be beaten.

I'm a northeasterner -- born in NYC, raised in Connecticut, educated in Ivy League college and law school. I get a big charge out of Christie. I loved hearing him read the riot act to the union leaders, etc. But I don't want him as the Republican nominee for President, because he will lose, and lose badly, even against Hillary. (Who, by the way, is not a strong candidate.)

There are other potential candidates and maybe one of them will prove to be a better choice than Walker -- but I am really shocked to hear it suggested that Romney run again. Why not Dewey if you want to propose Republican seppuku?

BobDD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BobDD said...

As a tea partier who wants the government to produce and follow a balanced budget, my concern so far with Walker is that he seems to be trying to show how moderate he can be by distancing himself from the tea party. Don't let the media frame the tea party as extreme right; we are most certainly not.

coinsutc said...

Recently I read Coolidge by Amity Schlaes. He had a flat, taciturn style, very New England. But it seemed the voters liked it and it worked to his advantage.
Fut Coins

John Lynch said...

Both Christie and Walker have had to confront entrenched special interests opposed to reform. That's an even bigger problem at the federal level.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The Dakotas have the most new millionaires, so it will be Thune.

Alex said...

garage - I guess Walker will have to be content to be YOUR governor for another 4 years.

rcommal said...

1961-1971, 1971-1996, 1996-2012/13, 2013-?

And all of my life, I've kept both close watch and attention to both places, not to mention the people.

Also spent a lot of time in the places that, at given times, I wasn't living.

Learned a lot. Know a lot.

rcommal said...

Althouse:

I am in a better position than you to get the regionalities, based on *your* framing of the very notion.

Assuming that this is the sort of thing that's most important.

Which I am not so assuming.

rcommal said...

You were conceived in Texas and endured early schooling in Brookside Elementary School in (not so northern) Delaware. So what?

It could've been worse.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Neo-Neocon on Scott Walker:

"His rhetoric and charisma, I suspect, leave quite a bit to be desired. But I don’t know how much they are lacking because I haven’t watched or listened to him speak all that much.

Bad suspicion, based on failure to check out that rhetoric. He's not an attack dog like Obama and Hillary, but he makes his case before the public quite well - unlike the too-glib, poll-tested say-nothing blather of O & H.

I place him in the orbit of Calvin Coolidge. Civil discourse, based on a wide knowlege of facts and a genuine concern for governance benefiting more of the public than just the loud interest groups.

tim in vermont said...

LBOTC,
You might notice, if you look, that maybe the Republicans are the party of millionaires, but the Democrats are the party of the billionaires.

It is quite possible to become a millionaire through self reliance, hard, determined work, and a little bit of luck. To become a billionaire, you need crony capitalism. When you are a millionaire, the govt is a big scary thing that can take everything you have earned. When you are a billionaire, the government is a friendly tool used to get what you want.

Occupy and the Tea Party have so much in common that a huge effort has been undertaken to keep the two sides hating each other.

Titus said...

I love the East Coast style of speaking and grew up with the Midwest style.

I have lived on the East Coast for 20 years now and it is so much better.....it fits my style.

The midwest is too slow and boring.

I like fast and change.

The midwest is not about change.

And the peeps are hotter and more ethnic on the East Coast.

tits.

Titus said...

If the pubes could shed the christianist shit I would be on board.

tits.

James said...

It will be interesting. Ryan has bitterly disappointed me.

You're not alone; Ryan is my representative and I've voted for him in the last six elections. Given his embrace of amnesty and his apparent abandonment of the budget principles he advocated just two years ago I can't see how I can support him this time.

Ryan will win re-election easily in November - his Dem opponent is an unknown novice, the son of the president of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek where the mass shooting occurred - but he no longer has to my support and that of several other voters in his district.

Regarding Walker, he's still very much a cipher on national issues and has demurred on the few questions asked so far. However, it is useful to look at the policies supported by Reince Priebus as indicators of Walker's own views. Before elevation to the RNC Priebus was chairman of the Wisconsin GOP and ran Walker's 2010 campaign. As far as I can tell Priebus and Walker are simpatico.

amielalune said...

People need to get over Mitch Daniels. He may be the best qualified person, and possibly would be one of the best presidents we've ever had; but looks and charisma count in an election. He has absolutely none of either. He would never, ever win.

Phil 3:14 said...

Titus and Professor agree.

garage mahal said...

arage - I guess Walker will have to be content to be YOUR governor for another 4 years

He might as well. This state is already wrecked.

RecChief said...

so what neo-neocon is saying is that Walker may not appeal to the ACELA corridor? just urbanites on the coasts in general?

Also, is Walker even running?

Bob R said...

I think you guys who are carrying a torch for Palin are nuts. She is obviously not interested in doing the things necessary to run a national campaign. That's not entirely to her discredit. To run a national campaign you have to learn a lot of things at a very shallow level and be able to BS your way through discussions about them. Shallow people like Obama do it well, and shallow people like David Brooks are impressed. But while I can denigrate the skill, it's still necessary. You can't say, "I haven't cared about your favorite issue enough to study it" to very many people and still get elected. (And you usually can't BS your way through too many issues without at least some shallow understanding.)

Palin was the talented freshman pulled off the bench in the big game by the idiot head coach. She got beat up pretty badly. She hasn't spent the off season lifting weights and doing drills. Not clear she really wants to come out for the team again.

AJ Lynch said...

We need a president who will fix 2 or 3 things in his first term and who will stay out of our face. Stop with the daily WH press briefings and shitcan that outdated Saturday radio address.

A barely visible but competent president is what we need after suffering through the last 3 presidents: Clinton then Bush then Obama.

Meade said...

President Walker will rehabilitate conservatism, turn the nation to the right, practice a pragmatic conservatism balancing ideology and the constraints of politics, revive faith in the presidency and in American self-respect, and will contribute to victory in the Global War on Religionist Terror.

garage mahal said...

Maybe Walker could plant some troublemakers in the Middle East.

Meade said...

Heh. He'll think about that but reject it.

Rusty said...

Blogger jimbino said...
Lo, what a reliable analysis by a woman who voted for Obama!

Dude. It's America. Here we're allowed to change our minds. Just as long as you apologize for being a dick before.

traditionalguy said...
Walker needs to be tough on something....guns, illegals, or health care.

Acting like a mid-western white guy friend of man is too Dan Quayle like.

How about liberals. He can be tough on liberals. Great idea!

Blogger Deirdre Mundy said...
tradguy--- who even remembers Dan Quayle anymore? He's not even a punch line.

Biden pretty much took over the village idiot role. And I must say it's going to take a lot to top him.

Rusty said...

Meade said...
President Walker will rehabilitate conservatism, turn the nation to the right, practice a pragmatic conservatism balancing ideology and the constraints of politics, revive faith in the presidency and in American self-respect, and will contribute to victory in the Global War on Religionist Terror.

I'd be happy if he'd just stick to the constitution and not look for "penumbras" in our Bill of Rights.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"Ms. Althouse, If you picked someone because they were less conservative, what are the parts of conservative ideology that are you trying to avoid?"

The social conservatism."

Sure. There's still fetuses to murder.

garage mahal said...

Meade
I'll be northern fishing on Mendota in about an hour down by the Union, end of Lake St. Stop by if you're out and about. Really hoping to tie into one of those grownups today.

Douglas said...

Prof. Althouse, Thank you for the explanation of the differences between Christie and Walker. I only know about Walker what I read on your blog, and so far that has convinced me he's the GOP's best choice. I don't care about the social conservative issues very much one way or the other, but I think the country dearly needs a turn away from the politics and policies of class envy to policies of economic growth and opportunity.

Meade said...

Walker/Ayotte 2016. That's the ticket!

Deirdre Mundy said...

amielalune-- Actually, Daniels is a good speaker, in person and on TV-- his rhetoric tends to go more towards "making Indiana/America a good place for our grandchildren to raise their families" rather than "Let me give you free stuff!" But, he's really good at the 'building a better future' thing.

The problem is that he's really normal looking. Which wasn't a problem for Indiana, or for Purdue, but is apparently a problem for the country as a whole. Darn coastal shallow-folk.

Maybe if he could do more campaigning with his motorbike? But again, for that, he'd need to want to campaign. Which isn't going to happen unless we can get Congress to move the White House to Indianapolis....

Meade said...

garage
Thanks for the invite but I'll need a raincheck. We'll be taking skis, Zeus, and his harness to Gov. Nelson for some ski-mushing. May your tip up flags fly frequently.

realwest said...

I guess I'm old fashioned. I think focusing on the 2014 Congressional and Senatorial races is the SINGLE most important aspect of today's politics.

But OK, if we want to very prematurely guess for 2016, I HOPE that the GOP nominates Walker and Gov. Susana Martinez (NM). In fact, were it not for lack of a big state base (NM is historically BLUE) which has led to almost invisibility on the national scene) I'd even go with Susana Martinez as POTUS and Walker as VP.

Meade said...

"Sure. There's still fetuses to murder."

Social conservatives would do better politically if they took Ronald Reagan's approach and promoted family values without heavy-handed government intrusion: Encourage individuals to choose to just say no - to illegal drugs, sex outside of marriage, abortion - and to say yes - to respect for religious freedom.

Uncle Frank said...

Rusty: Al Gore took the village idiot award from Quayle. With Biden, the award must now be retired.

bbkingfish said...

Walker comes off as trying to appear completely sincere and earnest. He must improve his ability to fake sincerity and earnestness if he wants to run as the Sincere and Earnest Candidate in the 2016 GOP primaries, taking the spot of the 2012 Sincere and Earnest Candidate, Michele Bachmann.

Meanwhile, the early caucuses will be crucial for Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who will battle it out to fill the role of Bull Goose Loony Candidate. Paul Ryan fills the spot of the Last Year's Loser Candidate quite nicely. It is unclear currently who will vie for the position of Crazy Old Uncle Candidate, filled so capably in 2012 by Newt and Paul the Elder. Rick Perry will reprise his performance as the Straight-Talkin' Texan Candidate, and Rick Santorum will play Rick Santorum. Either Christie or Jeb, I suppose, will eventually be the Party Establishment Candidate and Teller of Bold Truths.

The early line has pegged the Party Establishment Candidate as a prohibitive favorite.

Rusty said...

The largest Northern I've seen taken through the ice-I'm not an ice fisherman-a 48 inch plus specimen from Port Washington harbor. In that little alcove off the discharge.
So. Good luck. Big water big fish.

Big Mike said...

Anybody garage hates as much as he hates Walker must be worth voting for!

Kirby Olson said...

We need someone who won't blink.

Leit Bart said...

@Michael K, I think we'll long for Romney after we watch the Netflix documentary, based on this mean and snarky review in "The Week."

http://theweek.com/article/index/255128/mitt-on-netflix-a-knight-errant-in-an-age-of-political-cynicism

Rusty said...

Uncle Frank said...
Rusty: Al Gore took the village idiot award from Quayle. With Biden, the award must now be retired.

The guy should have his own show.

Douglas said...

One point worth mentioning is that the take away from the last election (as if we didn't already know it) is that negative campaigning works. Works great! So the GOP candidate, whoever he or is, better be prepared to get down and dirty, or even better, stand above the fray while his minions get down and dirty (as Obama did so successfully).

rcommal said...

Let's never forget how, and by whom, Mitch Daniels was taken down. Effectively, I agree, politically speaking. That said, I lost a lot of respect for the dishonest among the then-milieu . Since then, my contempt for the dishonest has only grown.

rcommal said...

That includes both aggressive Fundamentalists and bad Catholics. In both cases, your nasty, political evangelism left me cold. And by cold, I mean cold: for just one example

Kirk Parker said...

rcommal,

"Let's never forget how, and by whom, Mitch Daniels was taken down."

Too late!

I've totally forgotten. Probably I'm the *only* one who has, so if you're feeling particularly generous and/or garullous, could you remind me? (Or link-remind me?)