George Will: Governor Scott Walker is a good pick for Republicans in 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

I like Scott Walker because he is a man who defeats Democrats and gets things done, and I like Senator Ted Cruz because he is a brilliant debater. Both are tough conservatives. But if I had to pick one of them right now for 2016, I’d pick Scott Walker. And I’m not alone.

Here’s an editorial from the St. Louis Dispatch that Dennis Prager discussed on Monday, authored by moderate conservative George Will.

Excerpt:

In 2011, tens of thousands of government employees and others, enraged by Gov. Scott Walker’s determination to break the ruinously expensive and paralyzing grip that government workers’ unions had on Wisconsin, took over the Capitol building in Madison. With chanting, screaming and singing supplemented by bullhorns, bagpipes and drum circles, their cacophony shook the building that the squalor of their occupation made malodorous. They spat on Republican legislators and urinated on Walker’s office door. They shouted, “This is what democracy looks like!”

When they and Democratic legislators failed to prevent passage of Act 10, they tried to defeat — with a scurrilous smear campaign that backfired — an elected state Supreme Court justice. They hoped that changing the court’s composition would get Walker’s reforms overturned. When this failed, they tried to capture the state Senate by recalling six Republican senators. When this failed, they tried to recall Walker. On the night that failed — he won with a larger margin than he had received when elected 19 months earlier — he resisted the temptation to proclaim, “This is what democracy looks like!”

[…]Walker has long experience in the furnace of resistance to the looting of public funds by the public’s employees. He was elected chief executive of heavily Democratic Milwaukee County after his predecessor collaborated with other officials in rewriting pension rules in a way that, if he had been re-elected instead of resigning, would have given him a lump-sum payment of $2.3 million and $136,000 a year for life.

To fight the recall — during which opponents disrupted Walker’s appearance at a Special Olympics event, and squeezed Super Glue into the locks of a school he was to visit — Walker raised more than $30 million, assembling a nationwide network of conservative donors that could come in handy if he is re-elected next year. Having become the first U.S. governor to survive a recall election, he is today serene as America’s first governor to be, in effect, elected twice to a first term.

The radically leftist New Republic has this to say about Governor Walker.

Excerpt:

Right now, the Republican Party is an increasingly factional place, divided between north and south, establishment and grassroots, Tea Party Conservatives and practical Conservatives, religious right and business, libertarians and populists.

[…]There’s another potentially unifying mainline conservative, though, and he lurks in Madison. Scott Walker, the battle-hardened governor of Wisconsin, is the candidate that the factional candidates should fear. Not only does he seem poised to run—he released a book last week—but he possesses the tools and positions necessary to unite the traditional Republican coalition and marginalize its discontents.

Walker has the irreproachable conservative credentials necessary to appease the Tea Party, and he speaks the language of the religious right. But he has the tone, temperament, and record of a capable and responsible establishment figure. That, combined with Walker’s record as a reformist union-buster, will appeal to the party’s donor base and appease the influential business wing. Walker’s experience as an effective but conservative blue state governor makes him a credible presidential candidate, not just a vessel for the conservative message. Equally important, his history of having faced down organized labor and beaten back a liberal recall effort is much more consistent with the sentiment of the modern Republican Party than Jeb Bush’s compassionate conservatism. Altogether, Walker has the assets to build the broad establishment support necessary for the fundraising, media attention, and organization to win the nomination. He could be a voter or a donor’s first choice, not just a compromise candidate.

The other mainline conservatives possess some of Walker’s characteristics, but not all. He’s more compelling and presidential, with more gravitas than Rubio or Jindal.

[…]But even though Walker’s political skills remain an open question, there are reasons why he might be a stronger candidate on paper. For one, he’s a more experienced politician—and the fact is that political skills and instincts are learned and honed under tough circumstances. By the time Walker’s wins reelection—which I expect—he will have won three competitive statewide contests in a tilt-blue state, under three different circumstances. He will have done so while campaigning and governing as a conservative. There are very few politicians who can claim as much.

We need to have someone who is a non-Romney – someone who likes to fight with the Democrats, and is able to beat them.

I found this article that lists six of his accomplishments.

Here’s are a couple:

#2 He passed a killer budget. Over the summer, he signed into law a state budget thatslashed taxes as well as unnecessary spending, including a $650 million income tax cut (part of nearly $1 billion in total tax cuts), Medicaid reform (see #4), the introduction of work requirements for people on food stamps, a freeze in university tuition and limits on residential property tax increases.

#3 He stands up to corruption. One of Walker’s first actions as governor was to create the Commission on Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, which was projected to save taxpayers $300 million. He also passed a law that prevents unions from using members’ dues to fund political campaigns.

I have placed his new book about his victories in Democrat-dominated Wisconsin on my wishlist. If you like politics, might be a good one for you as well.

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