Friday, July 17, 2015

Scott Walker will never be elected President

In 2012, we did some posts on people running for President of the United States that would absolutely not be elected.  You can revisit the good times here, here, here, and here. We have already taken the position that former governor of Texas Rick Perry will not be elected president.  While it remains early in the 2016 Presidential race but I think we can add Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to the list. He announced his candidacy this week.

First, a disclaimer. I went to Marquette University in the late 1980s. So did Governor Walker. I would not call us friends but we knew each other a little and I found him to be a perfectly reasonable guy to talk to or grab a beer with.  Of course, in college the willingness to grab a beer was pretty much my only standard for whether I liked somebody.  For whatever reason, (probably because of a certain inexplicable failure on the part of President Obama), the Washington Post has not written articles about how I spent my time at Marquette.  It has about Governor Walker.  Maybe my having had a few beers and conversation with someone 25 years ago creates a bias but I do not think so.

Anyway, I don't think Governor Walker will fail to be elected president because his failure to graduate from college makes him unqualified. Harry S. Truman did not graduate from college and he worked out pretty well as a President.

Governor Walker's hostility towards private and public sector unions also does not mean that he will not win either the Republican Party nomination for president or the presidential election. As to the former, if one looks at which states have adopted "Right to Work" (one of the greatest uses of Orwell's concept of doublespeak ever—it creates the impression that labor unions are against working and therefore against workers) laws, one would conclude that red states do not like unions.  As such, being anti-union is probably a requirement for winning the GOP nomination. As to the latter, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2014, only about 11.1 percent of workers—and only 6.6 percent of private sector workers—are unionized. This is quite a change from 1983 when 20.1 percent of the workforce in the United States belonged to a union and suggests that union voters are probably not swinging an election. Voters that are not in unions (and some that are in unions) by and large are not going to vote against a candidate because of the candidate's hostility to organized labor.

I also don't think that Governor Walker's weird analogy about how the way he handled protests of his anti-union policy demonstrates that he will be tough on terrorists disqualifies him from being president.  Governors running for president have to point to some foreign policy and defense experience and a lot of them end of making goofy analogies.

The fact that Wisconsin's economy has not performed well since Governor Walker and the Republican Party took over all branches of Wisconsin's state government probably does not help Governor Walker's candidacy. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out, Wisconsin is behind the national average in job growth. In fact, most measurements seem to suggest Wisconsin's economy under Governor Walker has performed significantly worse than Minnesota's has under Governor Mark Dayton (a Democrat). Forbes Magazine rates Minnesota has the ninth best state for business and Wisconsin comes in at thirty-second place. So I guess putting up those stupid "open for business" signs is not helping that much. I guess they should put up a sign that says "better than Michigan" since Wisconsin also lags behind Iowa and Illinois on the Forbes list.

But Wisconsin's economic woes are not why Scott Walker will never be elected President. Americans want a President who can demonstrate that he or she has good judgment and can anticipate the consequences of one's actions. Governor Walker has terrible judgment. Here is a good example of Governor Walker's poor judgment from a story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Back in June Governor Walker told Republican donors in Utah that during a trip to England, Prime Minister David Cameron told him that Prime Minster Cameron and other world leaders were worried about President Obama's "lead-from-behind mentality."

It apparently did not occur to Governor Walker that saying that the leader of the United States' biggest ally had concerns about the leadership skills of the President of the United States might cause journalists to actually ask Prime Minister Cameron's office about the conversation between the Prime Minister and Governor Walker.  The response from Prime Minister Cameron's office was unequivocal: "The Prime Minister did not say that and does not think that."  So, of course, journalists asked Governor Walker about the response.  Governor Walker replied by saying that "I'm just not going to comment on individual meetings with leaders like that," Except that it was commenting on individual meetings with leaders that caused the leader of the United States biggest ally to essentially say that Governor Walker is a liar. Of course, even if Governor Walker were telling the truth (which I highly doubt as Prime Minister Cameron has no incentive to say something like that), there was no way that Prime Minister Cameron was going to admit it.  He has to work with President Obama until January 2017. The inability for Governor Walker to see how his claim was going to backfire on him show that he is not a serious candidate for President. I'll call it now. Scott Walker will never be elected President of the United States.  Although I suppose if he is, there will be an obvious explanation as to why he will not select me for the federal bench.


  1. Although I agree that it's unlikely that Scott Walker will ever be president, and I do think this is by far the most likely of your calls to be wrong. Especially the "never" part -- not too hard to imagine Walker running as say, Bush's VP, getting elected, and then getting a decent shot to succeed him in 8 years.

    Also, I don't find your particular example of Scott Walker's lapse in judgment to be particularly damning, certainly not disqualifying by the standards of American politics.

    1. I think it aptly shows that he is not a person who thinks things through and, therefore, is not serious enough to be considered a legitimate presidential candidate. Given that Jeb Bush will not be the GOP nominee, he won't be Bush's V.P. To the larger V.P. issue, why would one make a governor vice-president? I believe-without bothering to research it beyond my own memory-that vice presidential picks virtually always come from the legislative branch.

    2. Well, Sarah Palin.

      I admire your confidence regarding Jeb Bush.

    3. I didn't say never without exception but it probably says something about me that I forgot Sarah Palin existed. Spiro Agnew is also an exception to what you don't seem to dispute as the general rule.

    4. I just don't think there's any particular rules, but certainly fellow candidates are of usually in the running for strategic reasons.of course I'm not saying this is likely, just seems to be well within the realm of plausibility.


Comments on posts older than 30 days are moderated because almost all of those comments are spam.