| By Will Galloway, Columbia, S.C. |
Remember when Scott Walker was supposed to be a leading candidate for the Republican Nomination? He was leading Iowa polls and coming near the top Nationally as recently as this summer. What happened?
A number of things. Trump? Definitely. Money troubles? Most likely. Foreign policy gaffes? Those too. No single event, nor even a single factor, led to the untimely demise of the once-front runner. Walker was the first casualty of the Establishment; as Tim Pawlenty was in 2012 and Fred Thompson was in 2008.
While Walker was a successful governor of a large state, his appeal was greatly exaggerated by the national media. His hype had been building since his resounding victory last November, and his speech in Iowa last January created a huge bubble. He immediately flew into the top of national polls, and took a commanding lead in Iowa.
Walker did not capitalize on this momentum. Rather than opting for a mid-spring announcement, Walker postponed his announcement until July, when most conservatives had moved on to other, flashier options such as Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul.
Walker is possibly one of the least charismatic candidates in the field, a field which includes George Pataki. His poll numbers began to fall after his performance in the first debate, which Politico reports sent donors into a frenzy. He had spent weeks preparing for the CNN debate, but only spoke for 8 minutes, less than 5% of the entire debate time. Donald Trump, by comparison, spoke for just less than 30 minutes.
He had two events this weekend to re-light the fire; the Heritage Action Forum (Which I attended), and the Iowa Faith And Freedom Summit. At the Heritage event, Walker appeared haggard, tense, and unsure of himself, and received one of the worst crowd receptions, worse than Bush’s and Christie’s reception.
Walker may never have been the contender he should have been, but rather was the over-hyped, un-charismatic candidate who was destined to drop out. Even so, Walker’s 71 day campaign should be a lesson to the other candidates: take nothing for granted.