It’s often said that George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004 because Bush was the guy people would rather “have a beer with” versus John Kerry. If that rule of politics holds true in 2016, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is hoping to have share a lot of rounds with many voters.

Report from Time:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker left little doubt Thursday that he is planning to run for the White House in 2016.

Speaking to the Republican National Committee (RNC) at its winter meeting in San Diego, the union-busting Midwesterner cast himself as a “new, fresh leader,” laying out a clear rationale for his candidacy as a blue-state governor with a proven record of reforming government.

“I look at our country, and I’m worried about our country the same way that I was worried about my state back in 2009,” Walker said when discussing his two sons, craftily referencing the year he decided to launch his first campaign for the governorship.

Less than 24 hours before former Republican nominee Mitt Romney will address party leaders as he considers a third White House campaign, Walker said, “People want a fresh, new look. They want new ideas.”

But Walker and his team are betting that his unassuming style — he joked he buys his suits off the rack at Kohl’s — and the ability to appeal to all corners of the party, will help him carry the day. In a warm introduction, RNC chairman Reince Priebus, a fellow Wisconsinite, paid his friend high praise. “Scott Walker’s a guy you want to have a beer with — a Miller Lite,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Walker wants to run as a “man of the people” in contrast to the dynasty options like Bush and Romney. He’s got a stellar record to run on, having beat the toughest of recall battles to retain his governorship, and he certainly is a fresh face when compared to most of the field.

On the other hand, Walker may be elbowed out since he falls somewhere between the grass roots and establishment wings of the party. Then again, could that be his greatest strength as a uniter between the extremes?

Exit question: Observing the current field of Republicans and Democrats, give me your top three candidates you’d like to have a drink with.

24 COMMENTS

  1. This just in: The Kitchen Sink has announced that it is consulting with the stove and refrigerator, and may set up a “kitchen cabinet” to explore a GOP run for the White House.

    Like Romney, the kitchen sink just keeps running and can’t be fixed.

      • Yeah, I didn’t want to muddy the joke.

        OK. Here are the people I think “should” run:

        GOP
        1) Rand
        2) JEB
        3) Huck

        Dem
        1) Webb
        2) Jerry Brown (draft)
        3) Biden

        Biden has the secret weapon of being better than his image, so he could surprise people by being more competent than they think–and we’ve seen that an incompetent who appears competent can beat any superbly able person who appears just competent.

        Also, note that ALL the prospects I pick pass the “aw shucks” and “share a beer” tests. Webb and Rand are both likeable and tough.

          • Well, nail ’em, as you did me. Eh, wot?

            But you’re right. I usually don’t read every word. I did this time, but as noted, I wanted to make the joke first.

            And I misread it, anyway. I listed the people I thought should RUN. As far as “have a beer with,” I guess I’d rather drink with the nutcases, to see if they believe half of what they say.

            I had an “exit interview” when I left the agency. The junior partner invited me. I got him to admit that he set up a “satellite office,” so that he could break away once he had clients. I asked if they didn’t have a contract about that, and he said (I quote), “contracts were made to be broken.”

            TELL YA WHAT WE OTTA DO–get the candidates drunk before a debate. Then the truth might slip out!

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