Scott Walker in 2015 is a lot like Barack Obama circa 2007; he’s relatively unknown and yet well-known at the same time. Obama’s speech at the DNC in 2004 propelled him to rock-star status among the Democratic faithful, while Walker’s victory over the public sector labor unions in 2011 made him a legend among conservatives. The Wisconsin Governor begins this campaign as a vessel into which voters can pour their hopes and aspirations. The question now is whether the idea of Walker can match up with the reality of Walker.
At the annual Club for Growth conference in Florida this weekend, Walker was met by a group of conservative Republicans eager for a candidate who would throw some punches. After two consecutive White House losses, this crowd wanted to see a fighter. Instead, of “Warrior Walker,” however, they were met by “Wonky Walker.” At an 8:00 a.m. breakfast speech, the Wisconsin Governor ticked through his talking points about Wisconsin’s growing economy with accountant-like delivery. He left the room to polite applause. Meanwhile, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have been long-time Club allies and endorsees, ended their speeches to standing ovations.
The flat speech marked a less than illustrious couple of weeks for the Wisconsin Governor. Criticism over his non-answer on Rudy Giuliani’s anti-Obama comments were quickly followed by criticism for his non-answer to the “Is Obama a Christian?” question.