Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has scored the biggest sugar daddies in the GOP presidential primary, but it may not be enough to get him the Republican presidential nomination, or the White House.
Everyone knows Scott Walker has been running for president since shortly after he was sworn in as governor of Wisconsin. Today, Walker officially became the 15th candidate to squeeze into the GOP presidential primary clown car, with a tweet, and a Facebook video teasing his candidacy ahead of his formal announcement.
Walker could have big money behind him. Brothers Charles and David Koch plan to pump $889 million into the 2016 presidential election, through their network of dark money organizations, to defeat the Democratic nominee. In April, David Koch told the crowd at a New York Republican Party Fundraiser, “When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination.” With their personal fortunes estimated at $85 billion, the Koch Brothers could outspend anyone else in the election.
Still, even the Koch brothers’ patronage may not be enough to get Walker through the primaries. Walker’s pathological flip-flopping, his willingness to pander to the basest of the GOP base, his scandal-ridden administration, and his abysmal economic record could be his undoing.
When it comes to flip-flopping on issues like immigration, Walker is an ideological acrobat.
Walker has reversed himself on so many issues, it’s hard to keep track. All of his flip-flopping makes Walker seem like a guy who changes his position to match the audience his addressing.
Walker also switched positions on biofuel, telling Iowa voters he was “willing to go forward on continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard,” requiring fuel used in the US to contain at least 10 percent “renewable fuel,” usually ethanol and other biofuels.
As governor, Walker did a number on Wisconsin’s workers and economy.
Walker is one of three sitting Republican governors in the presidential race whose records are so abysmal that even Republicans in their states can’t wait to get rid of them. (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and New Jersey’s Chris Christie are the other two.) With help from their Republican legislatures, and sizable factions of tea party conservatives, the governors turned their states in to laboratories for the right-wing policies they want to force on the rest of the country.
Finally, Walker is having such a hard time balancing his state budget that he’s delaying debt payments. He’s leaving the state with a $2.2 billion deficit that one expert called a “self-inflicted wound”
When it comes to scandals, Walker is among the most "Nixonian of the GOP candidates.
Walker made climate denialism a matter of state policy.
Climate change denialism is a prerequisite for the GOP presidential nomination. Sure, establishment Republicans may take a more nuanced view, but the base demands hardcore denialism, and Walker gives it to them.
Walker cynically panders to the GOP’s lunatic wing to secure the nomination.
Apparently, it doesn’t take much to satisfy the wingnut faction of the GOP. Agreeing with them helps, but it isn’t necessary. As long as you remain “uncertain” you can keep the base satisfied, and edge back towards sanity after securing the nomination.
Walker will find himself caught in the same trap he and the rest of the GOP have set for themselves; between an electorate that’s moving farther and father away from them, and a base that won’t let them move an inch.