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.