February 12, 2016

Did Scott Walker just endorse Donald Trump?

The headline in the Wisconsin State Journal is "Scott Walker says Republicans could win Wisconsin with Donald Trump."

But Walker seems to have just been responding to reporters who were on the scene in Wisconsin last night to cover the Democratic candidates' debate and looking for insight into which candidates might do well in Wisconsin. The Democratic candidate has taken Wisconsin in every election in the last 30 years. You have to go back to Ronald Reagan to get a GOP winner. So who cares about Wisconsin? But the governor is Republican and both houses of the legislature are Republican. What's keeping a Republican from winning Wisconsin?

Walker did say he thought Trump could win Wisconsin — but couldn't Kasich? couldn't Bush? couldn't Rubio? I don't understand the context. Why single out Trump? Is there some thought that we the people of Wisconsin could take a special liking to the mogul with the New York accent? I would think a pleasant midwestern-y guy like Kasich would suit us better.
“There’s no doubt it will be a challenge,” Walker told reporters.... Walker noted some of the other candidates are faring better against Clinton in the polls than Trump, but he also said polls can go up and down.
I'm guessing the context was that Trump would be a harder sell in Wisconsin than Kasich, Bush, or Rubio. 
He emphasized turnout will also be a factor, especially if Sanders supporters aren’t happy about the nomination process.

“If, in the end, Hillary Clinton prevails, but a lot of particularly young voters feel disenfranchised because of the whole superdelegate process, they may not vote for a Republican, but they may vote for a third party or not vote at all,” Walker said.
That's the old conventional wisdom about low turnout helping the GOP applied to the scenario in which Democrats got passionate about a candidate who they think was cheated out of the nomination.

Walker said he was "glad the Republicans don’t have something like (superdelegates) so that it’s really reflective of how people vote in the respective state." Trump won big in NH and got a corresponding number of delegates. Sanders won big in NH and, because of superdelegates, Hillary seems to be getting the same total. The superdelegate approach was designed to control the effect of an upstart outsider like Sanders/Trump. So if, in the end, Trump gets through and Sanders does not, how will people vote? That seems to be what Walker was talking about. Republicans will probably end up with Trump, because of the nature of their process, and won't that be challenging, given that the Democrats have built moderation into their process and will likely succeed in putting up their normal-seeming candidate.
Walker has not endorsed a candidate for president, but he has not ruled out doing so before the April 5 Wisconsin primary. Walker and Trump clashed in the final debate before the governor dropped out of the race on Sept. 21. In his speech announcing that he would be ending his campaign, Walker said he had been called to lead by clearing the field “so a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to do the same so that voters can focus on the limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner,” Walker said at the time.
So, I assume Walker is absolutely not endorsing Trump. I infer that he wants one of the normal-seeming Republicans to go up against normal-seeming Hillary. And then the Republicans win because everyone's bored and alienated, and it's a low turnout, the dreary condition that gets us another Republican President. And life will go on as usual. We'll have our normalcy.


Big Mike said...

... the Democrats have built moderation into their process and will likely succeed in putting up their normal-seeming candidate.

Hillary Clinton seems normal to you? Madison must truly be a very strange place!

MaxedOutMama said...

A party that picks a nominee that its voting base had rejected is committing suicide, IMO. Hillary will be hamstrung in the general if she gets the nomination that way, and I don't expect that to happen, whatever else does happen.

"We've got to destroy the party to save it" is not a nice strong democratic philosophy.

I assume that if Sanders does well enough those superdelegates will start switching over to Sanders. If not, the Democratic party may be setting fire to its feet because it's chilly in the room.

I think Trump definitely wins against Clinton, but I am not sure if Trump can win against Sanders. I think Kasich wins against either.

Of course, I know Kasich is not going to be the GOP nominee, but he does offer a lot.

Limited blogger said...

Wisconsin can choose to vote for Trump or not. They will then be highlighted on one of those election maps as 1 of the 2 or 3 Blue colored states.

Michael K said...

What I am seeing is that Trump is attracting Democrats and may attract more if the Democrat process seems corrupt. He may not attract the young Bernie voters but the rest may be up for grabs.

Conventional wisdom is out the window this year.

Even Peggy Noonan gets it.

I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms.

MaxedOutMama said...

Big Mike - she is not a normal Dem candidate. Despite the current US political style to depict the "other side" as flaming deviant neurotic vile demons from the underworld, this country has consistently required a level of basic decency in its candidates. When it hasn't gotten that (as with Nixon), it has regretted it deeply.

I cannot see how Clinton can win the general because of that alone. There's this thing known as political advertising. She's crippled in the general.

Republican PACs will be running ads about her character, backed up with her own emails. They'll have clips of her saying one thing about Benghazi to the public, and then show her email saying another to her own insiders. It's going to go on and on. She constructed her own political coffin with this email server gambit. They've got one showing that FOIA WAS being discussed. It's so clear that anyone but Steinem will get it.

How can the dem base believe her? She's SUCH a twister.

I assume that if Sanders wins, he will take her as VP, and that ticket might well win the general. Regardless of Sanders' very poor math abilities, he does have a relentless focus on the welfare of the general population. The general public CAN trust in that, and if he were setting the broad agenda, they might well go for it.

coupe said...

Reince Priebus (RNC Chairman) asked whether Trumps vulgarity was an issue, said "I'm not in the business of calling balls and strikes."

He called the Democrats were having a train wreck by calling Clinton by her name, but Sanders with "a socialist from Vermont."

Anyway I thought is was all quite humorous...

bbkingfish said...

Trump certainly gives the GOP a better shot at WI than Walker would have.

The Invisible Hand of the primary process is working.

khesanh0802 said...


I am befuddled. Why do you think WI voters only want a white bread mid-west guy. Hasn't WI, at one time or another, been a hotbed of revolt against the status quo? I assume there are a lot of WI laborers who have suffered under the economic policies of this federal administration who would happily give the finger to another Dem.

Unknown said...

Walker's been quiet since dropping out, hasn't he? A nice sign of class.

Dude1394 said...

Interesting.. Walker was my early pick, but trump gets my vote now. Walker as vp?? I like the sound of that.

Original Mike said...

"Walker said he had been called to lead by clearing the field “so a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to do the same..."

A couple of weeks ago @Simon called on the laggards to drop out for the good of the party so that voters could coalesce around somebody who is not Trump. I responded that while I agreed it would be a good thing "nobody does that". And looking at the past I continue to believe that. Because of egos or whatever, it just doesn't happen. But, Scott Walker appears to be an exception; a man who bowed out for the greater good.

When I listen to the ugly, rabid attacks on the man's character from the left I just shake my head.

Big Mike said...

@MaxedOutMama, IMHO Hillary Clinton really is a "normal Dem candidate" insofar as mendacity is a major component of the genetic makeup of any "normal Dem candidate." She's just worse at lying, and lies about more and bigger things, than is typical.

What I cannot see is how she can run in the general election if she uses chicanery to secure the nomination from Sanders. I used to say that Clinton would be lucky to win ten states in the general. Now, looking at Democrat Party efforts to disenfranchise Sanders voters, I'd say she'll be lucky to win five. Her allegedly home state of New York won't be one of them.

Michael said...

Which of these warriors will be alive in four years?

gadfly said...

@Dude1394 said...
Interesting.. Walker was my early pick, but trump gets my vote now. Walker as vp?? I like the sound of that.

Walker was my choice as well but, as a conservative, I am flabbergasted that you can make a rational choice and then fall for the lies and narcissistic chatter from a not-very-nice and not-very-honest and not-very-successful loser like Donald.

Scott Walker would never agree to be Trump's Joe Biden.

Leora said...

I refuse to accept Hillary as normal seeming.

rastajenk said...

Trump may not be up for being a two-term pres. His VP pick could be getting a big leg up.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

This whole concept of endorsing candidates befuddles me. I can't be the only voter who has more faith in his own judgment than in any politician, however exalted. I have a great deal of respect for Gov Walker, and I was disappointed when he did poorly in the early going. That said, if he really does endorse Trump, it would not make me more likely to support Trump. It would only lessen the amount of respect I have for Walker.
Endorsements might work for local races re people I have never heard of- if someone I know locally endorses Joe Bob for member of the local water board, I'll vote for Joe Bob, but at the national level, I'll do my own thinking, thank you.

bbkingfish said...

If the concept of endorsing candidates befuddles you, then you must be very easy to befuddle.