Monday, January 26, 2015

A Walker wedge in Iowa

I promised I wouldn't start this early, but the Iowa Freedom Summit this past weekend provided a target-rich environment.  In particular, one emerged as the Corndog State's darling.

Before the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, one Republican activist summed up Gov. Scott Walker’s challenge this way: “He doesn’t make the flashbulbs go off.” But at the end of the marathon day of speeches before conservatives, the Wisconsin governor emerged as the leading light.

There were plenty of well-received speeches during the day from Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, but it was their home turf. The Freedom Summit, put on by Rep. Steve King and Citizens United, was a gathering of the base of the Republican base. But it was a bit of a SkyMall event—while there were lots of offerings it wasn’t clear if there was a place for the most exotic ones. Donald Trump, for example, may say he’s considering running for president, but it’s as hard to believe that he will be president as it is to understand the need for an Eye of the Dragon Mystical Safe Box.

Walker did the most to help himself politically, elevating his stature as a candidate who might achieve the elusive synthesis of pleasing the party base while also attracting a general election audience.

Not too extreme, not too moderate... the Goldilocks candidate.

Oh, Rand Paul should peel off some of the nuts, as will Ted Cruz (both have their daddy issues, after all), but Mitt and Jeb and Gov. Texass are the ones who should be the most worried.  There's only room for one of them a year from now, and they've each got so much baggage that they won't be allowed to board the plane.  Marco Rubio and Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee and Rick Frothy Mixture and Rick Oops and the rest of the baker's dozen of batshits will prevaricate and obfuscate, hoping to make it to the end of next January with something to brag about.  But there will eventually be one completely psycho goon and one slightly less so left standing, with the Tea Pees frustrated but still in line, and the biggest of money men ready to write still more checks.

That's why Walker will look so good to them once the field has been cleared.  He drives his tractor right down the middle between Romney, Bush, and Christie on the left and Cruz, Perry, Paul, Carson, Huckabee, Santorum and whomever else on the extreme farthest right.  Walker is the keynoter at the Harris County GOP's Lincoln-Reagan dinner in March, here locally.  Perhaps his aide -- the one who recently got out of prison -- will be able to accompany him.

Update: This won't help your cause, Gov. Walker.  You have to keep some semblance of hatred for poor people going at least until the primaries begin.

Update II: Some others noted the hypocrisy of the sudden advocacy of progressive populist issues such as income inequality.  That's also a non-starter in the long run; at this point they're testing themes to see what might resonate.  With their base, this one won't.  But there were some interesting developments with teleprompters, the discarding of which was a topic pioneered by Donald Trump some years ago.

Update III: There's a very good reason Bobby Jindal has not been mentioned until now, and not simply because he skipped the Iowa event for his own.

If I had to pick four finalists after South Carolina next February (and not this one), it would be Bush, Walker, Rand, and Huckster.  And they will battle to the death from there.  But there's still plenty of room in the clown car for somebody to stand up and stick out.


Gadfly said...

I hope you're wrong, and that, if even only on life support, Gov. Ooos and Havana Ted are both still in the race by the time of the Texas primary.

Ted easily shoved Dewhurst aside, but battling Oops for Texas donors, and endorsements, would be a whole nother story.

PDiddie said...

Cruz's job is to be so obnoxious, crazy, and cruel that the rest of the goons look sane by comparison. It's the Open Carry Tarrant County/Open Carry Texas strategy.

Rick Perry is just one last oops away from obscurity. Until he goes on trial, that is.

Gadfly said...

That said, given the Texas Supreme's "all due deliberation" on school finance, it might take five years before Perry clears the system.