Scott Walker

Scott Walker's Pandering, Cringe-Worthy Presidential Campaign

He started as a governor running on his accomplishments. He turned into a politician who couldn't describe what he'd do.

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Gage Skidmore/Foter

Scott Walker, who just months ago was viewed as a top-tier contender for the GOP presidential nomination, is tanking in the polls.

The latest release from Public Policy Polling finds the Wisconsin governor polling at just 5 percent, tied for eighth place with Mike Huckabee. In Iowa, where Walker has focused the bulk of his campaign strategy and resources, a Monmouth University poll this week put Walker in fifth place, with 7 percent support, behind Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Ted Cruz.

Other national polls tell the same story. At the end of July, Walker briefly rose to second place amongst GOP candidates nationally, edging out Jeb Bush with 13.7 percent support, according to the RealClearPolitics presidential poll average. Walker is now in sixth place overall, with an average showing of 6.3 percent.

Why is Scott Walker's campaign faring so poorly?

One reason is Donald Trump, whose hip-shot populism has arguably done more damage to Walker's campaign than to any other GOP candidate.

But the other reason is Scott Walker.

Walker is running a pandering, cringe-worthy campaign marked by a consistent inability to clearly articulate, and stick to, his own positions.

After drumming up a ton of attention early in the year by giving passionate speeches about his record as governor of Wisconsin, he's been unable to sustain his early momentum. Instead, he's allowed himself to be drawn into a series of news cycle traps, and then handled the aftermath poorly, often by denying that he'd made any misstep in the first place. 

Most recently, for example, Walker seemed to suggest that he was open to the possibility of a building a wall along the Canadian border in order to stop illegal immigration. He responded by saying that he'd been asked this question by people in New Hampshire, that the people asking the questions had "very legitimate concerns," and that the idea of building a wall would be "a legitimate issue for us to look at."

It's not exactly a "damn right we should build a wall!" But Walker's response clearly takes the idea seriously, and pointedly does not rule it out.

Yesterday, however, he claimed that the talk about it was "just a joke" and that he's "never talked about a wall at the north."

This is the Walker campaign playbook: Say something awkward or ill-advised, watch as the media swarms to cover it, then insist that there was never anything to see.

The same thing happened with Walker's comments on birthright citizenship. Questioned on camera by MSNBC's Kasie Hunt about whether he supported ending birthright citizenship, as Donald Trump has called for, he nodded his head and said "yeah, absolutely, going forward." When Hunt pressed him further, "We should end birthright citizenship?" he nodded again and said, "Yeah, to me it's about enforcing the laws in this country."

Yes, as The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff notes in a smart piece today, Walker appears to have a longstanding verbal tic in which he initially responds with a "yeah" to questions he does not mean to answer in the affirmative.

But watch the exchange with Hunt again. Walker, asked for confirmation of his initial response, responds a second time in the affirmative, nodding along as he does. It's hard to watch the back and forth and not get the distinct impression that Walker is in favor of ending birthright citizenship.

A few days later, when asked about it again, he shifted course by explicitly declining to take a position. "I'm not taking a position on it one way or the other," he told CNBC's John Harwood. Yet just a few more days after that, he did take a position, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos that was definitely not in favor of ending birthright citizenship.

That's three different positions in the space of week—and yet when asked about the shifts, a campaign spokes erson complained about efforts to "mischaracterize" his position.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to correctly characterize a candidate's position on an issue when the candidate himself cannot seem to state it with any clarity.

This sort of flip-flopping, what might generously be called policy confusion, has dogged Walker's campaign essentially from the moment it began. Back in March, Walker, in what was obviously a sop to Iowa voters, reversed his previously clear opposition to federal ethanol subsidies.

A week later, when asked about the change, he denied that he had flip flopped on the issue. Since then, his position appears to have shifted again, with Walker suggesting to The Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney that he supports ending the ethanol mandate after two years.

Even when Walker holds what looks to be a relatively clear position, he has a difficult time describing it. After his campaign released an imperfect but detailed-enough Obamacare replacement plan last month, he was asked about whether he can justify its redistributive effects. Politically speaking, the best answer to this entirely predictable question would have been that Walker's plan is designed first and foremost to help the broad middle class.

Instead, as The Washington Post's Greg Sargent notes, Walker offered a stumbling, semi-coherent invocation of "freedom," "freedom," and more "freedom," and insisted that redistribution simply wasn't an issue for his plan—even though it is, both in the sense that it changes the relative redistribution from how it is now, and in the sense that it puts its own alternative system of redistribution into place.

Walker started his run as a candidate with a record of accomplishment who would get things done in Washington. He quickly turned into a candidate who couldn't even describe what it is he'd do. 

And in the process, he lost what made his campaign take off in the first place. Walker rose to prominence earlier this year not only on the strength of his governing record, but on his ability to clearly and powerfully articulate that record and why it mattered. The natural extension of this, as a candidate, would have been to take the issues that he was already known for at the state level—public sector union power, budget deficits, state spending and taxes—and develop them into a coherent national agenda.

Instead, Walker has pandered to Iowa voters, prioritizing issues like immigration and the nuclear deal with Iran that were never core to his appeal, and let his campaign be drawn into the day-to-day absurdities of the Trump circus. 

He has not only shifted his policy positions, he has shifted his character—and in doing so, he has undermined his essential appeal.

Can he get his campaign back on track? He's certainly going to try: As Bloomberg Politics reports, Walker is out to reboot his campaign by, among other things, attacking rival Jeb Bush for being insufficiently opposed to the Iran deal, despite previously suggesting that he wouldn't go on the offensive against his Republican rivals. In other words, he's going to shift his character again.

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257 responses to “Scott Walker's Pandering, Cringe-Worthy Presidential Campaign

  1. It’s not exactly a “damn right we should build a wall!” But Walker’s response clearly takes the idea seriously, and pointedly does not rule it out.

    No, I think what he said was that some folks in New Hampshire took the idea seriously, and he was unwilling to dismiss their concerns out of hand.

    Its called, being, well, politic. When you are talking to a bunch of voters, you don’t call them idiots to their faces. You do what everyone who has a brain does when talking with someone who has a grievance: You acknowledge that they have a grievance, and say you’ll look into it.

    Now, I get it that Reason has a very strong desire for open borders. I also get it that Walker has proven a disappointment.

    But, give me a frickin’ break already. Walker isn’t going to build a wall on the northern border, isn’t going to propose doing so, and isn’t going to support doing so.

    1. I know, but it was still a stumble. He should have answered with something like: “We should consider all options and see what makes the most sense to solve this problem.”

      Walker seems to be blowing my prediction about him, and it’s puzzling. I’d have thought that someone who’d survived the Trials By Fire that he had would be more competent at this sort of basic retail politics. Oh, well. That’ll teach me to get hopeful about any politician….

      1. I know, but it was still a stumble.

        Not arguing that point. Just getting a little worn out on Reason’s spittle-flecked response to anything other than OPEN BORDERS NOW! NOW NOW NOW DAMMIT!

        1. RC, the “open borders” position is in line with libertarian philosophy, free minds, as well as free markets. So calling out a libertarian magazine who’s motto is Free Minds, Free Markets for supporting such is a little strange. I get it that many here don’t like the idea of peaceful free travel across borders regardless of country of origin, and that is a legitimate debate. But I don’t see how you can hold the magazine to a neutral standard when clearly they don’t have a neural stance on the issue. When a pol like Walker (or anyone) touches the issue in a newsworthy way I see it as their mission to comment on it in the favor of their position.

          P.S. This is not the same as the abortion issue, deep dish, or whether Lou Reed is dead.

          1. Lou Reed is dead!?

            1. SHIT!

              Why didn’t somebody tell us?

            2. Was he circumcised, though?

              1. Was he circumcised, though?

                Maybe, but he was definitely seen eating a pan pizza at some point in his life before he died.

          2. RC, the “open borders” position is in line with libertarian philosophy, free minds, as well as free markets.

            Lots of things are in line with libertarian philosophy, including different approaches to the same issues. See, e.g., abortion.

            I, for one, am unconvinced that wide open borders is a good option for a country in our position (bordering on a second-third world country, robust welfare state that immigrants can and do access). I am dubious that mass immigration (and I do count millions of people from Latin America as mass immigration) is necessarily a good thing.

            Pretending, as Reason does, that mass immigration is always and everywhere a good thing, and that immigrants don’t use our welfare system, is neither helpful nor realistic.

            Solutions that don’t set up enforcement systems that are repugnant to libertarians are hard to come by, I admit.

            1. You are arguing the issue of immigration policy. Fine. I am arguing that you are holding a libertarian publication to task for holding libertarian positions in a post about a politics with candidates makes statements one way or the other. I am not addressing the immigration position. I am pointing out that ANY position held by an opinion magazine that they end up supporting in print when a newsworthy stroy is out and about SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO BE EXPRESSED.

              You are getting on them about their reporting of his position on immigration. Not the issue itself. I am replying that this is why they get donations…to give their opinion on such things.

              1. I agree with Clich? Bandit. It would seem that from Reason’s POV they should comment on that particular issue and their opinion is consistent with their outlook.

                I would take issue with the consistent attempts to down play the problems and cherry pick the numbers that many Reason authors do, when writing about the topic. But that’s an entirely different matter.

                1. I think we’re on the same page, really.

                  I’m all for Reason commenting on issues from their POV.

                  I just wish they would comment on issues from a more informed and realistic standpoint.

                  If the US were an island with no welfare state, I’d be on the same page as Reason is today. But its not, so I’m not. Its silly to talk about an issue without any regard whatsoever for the context in which that issue arises.

              2. There is “calling out” then there are lying cherry picked hit pieces cut and pasted from the Frankfurt school’s play book.

                I say this as an open boarders free market libertarian.

                It really is not hard to avoid calling your opponents racists. Also one would think it fairly easy to make the libertarian argument for open boarders rather then copy the tactics and arguments of the left.

                1. All valid editorial critiques.

          3. No, but it’s silly to judge everyone by a radical standard, let alone a particular radical standard. Guess what? Found out radical libertarians are radical, & most people are not.

        2. Slimy reason journalists race-bait pardoning to fellow progressive left-wing journalists is cringe worthy

          1. pandering not pardoning.

      2. It’s not even clear he was answering Todd’s hypothetical about the Canada border wall when he said “sure we should look into that”. They were talking over each other — something the transcript doesn’t indicate.

    2. what Reason won’t say is Walker’s meandering is exactly why he and the others are looking at Trump’s coattails. Trump is saying one thing that resonates deeply with the GOP base and doing so in less than politic manner, which further resonates.

      1. One reason is Donald Trump, whose hip-shot populism has arguably done more damage to Walker’s campaign than to any other GOP candidate.

        But the other reason is Scott Walker.

        Walker is running a pandering, cringe-worthy campaign marked by a consistent inability to clearly articulate, and stick to, his own positions.

        1. Stop reading the fucking articles, man, it’s harshing our buzz.

      2. Any candidate who said and did the things Trump is doing would be dead meat in the general election. Even among GOP voters Trump doesn’t get above 25% — he simply cannot win the nomination. The problem for the serious non-establishment candidates like Walker is that Trump isn’t in it to win it, he’s in it for attention and nothing more, so he can do things they can’t.

        1. Make that 37% – at least according to this Poll

          Trump 37%
          Carson 9
          Bush 9

          1. Rand Paul, sadly, is listed at 4%

            1. And Paul sank just as he started saying things like the rest of the GOP establishment.

              Whatever. Deez Nuts is (are?) going to win it all.

          2. That piece-of-shit poll appears to be among the general population, not Republicans.

            1. If you had read the poll closely you would have seen that the primary voters were broken out by number. ie, 769 answered the Republican primary question.

              Not that I know anything about this polling company but it helps to actually read instead of making blanket statements.

          3. With a guy like Trump, I sort of doubt how realistic these polls are, just because of how polarizing he has been recently, and all the attention he’s getting. For example, if a poll asked me if I would vote for him, my response would be “Fuck Yeah!” not because I actulaly would, but because seeing him in the headlines has been pretty damn hilarious, and these polls are what lets that keep happening. It’s the same reason Deez Nuts is getting support, just for laughs sake. If Deez Nuts is as 9%, but we can assume no one who actually cast a vote for him, we could probably bring Trump’s 37% down to like 20% or so of actual support.

        2. According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton leads Trump by 9% in a general election match up.

          http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..-5491.html

          So the idea that Trump is “dead meat in the general election” is out dated and just wrong. I don’t think he would win. But on the other hand, I can’t see Hillary “FBI Investigation” Clinton winning either. And if it goes to Trump vs Sanders, my money is on Trump.

          1. You realize that 9% is a landslide margin in the general election. It would be the biggest margin of victory in the popular vote since Reagan beat Mondale.

            And this is before Hillary’s $2B leaves the war chest.

            1. You can’t realistically look at that poll and think that Trump is capped at 25% of the GOP field. Or even 25% of the entire field. That’s a pretty strong indicator that Trump can get at least 41% of the field.

              Furthermore, his numbers have been growing strongly all summer and Hillary’s have been weakening. I’m not a Trump advocate, but I stopped thinking of him as temporary flash in the pan 6 weeks ago.

              1. Dude, that’s his performance when the only other option is HILLARY CLINTON. Not another Republican candidate. Please.

                1. Ok, I see your point. You are thinking that Trump is capped at 25% of the GOP vote for the nomination assuming there are many other Republicans to vote for.

                  And yes, it’s probable that his cap is lower among the GOP field (with 16 other’s running) than in the general election, where there are only two (or 4 to 5 if you consider the 1 percenters).

                  However, I’m still doubtful that he’s capped at 25% in the GOP. He’s gone up too far, too fast not to have further room to gain.

                  Granted, I still expect there’s a fairly significant change his candidacy will implode before next year.

                  1. Also, I found the RealClearPolitics poll for the GOP nomination:

                    http://www.realclearpolitics.c…..-3823.html

                    Trump has a 27% support number now and more importantly the trend is clearly upward. The latest polls are showing him around 30%.

  2. Breaking News: Candidate Panders for Votes

    GOP primary voters have signaled they are single-issue at this point in the game, and that issue is immigration.

    1. Minorities hardest hit.

    2. GOP primary voters have signaled they are single-issue at this point in the game, and that issue is immigration.

      At any moment now, they will turn their attention to issues that actually matter, like how public sector unions are bankrupting America, and Walker will be golden.

      Yeah, I laffed too.

      1. And by “GOP primary voters,” Fist is actually referring to the dumbshit yokel contingent here that get their panties in a wad over messicans and homo marriage.

        1. This contingent is large enough to get Trump to first and Carson to second. These people just shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

          1. “These people just shouldn’t be allowed to vote.”

            Is that CytoLibertarianism? Do you have a News Letter that I can subscribe to?

        2. You sound like a gay brown person. PROVE THAT YOU’RE NOT.

          1. EARN THESE PICS, FIST. Earn it.

        3. And pot. Don’t forget pot.

    3. 25% of GOP primary voters, you mean. And Trump is singing their tune on other issues as well.

      1. Right now it seems to be the plurality that would dictate to party line voters who their choice will be for president. I hate to paint all Republican voters with Trump’s clown makeup brush but it’s difficult not to. I hope as the primaries approach people will calm down and choose a candidate who’s less an overt populist asshole or lightweight in the political theater.

        1. Trump can’t win with a plurality. He needs to get a majority (not going to happen) or get other candidates’ supporters to come over to his side when they drop out (not going to happen).

          1. or get other candidates’ supporters to come over to his side when they drop out (not going to happen).

            That’s a pretty bold assumption. What leads you to believe that NONE of the other 15 candidates’ supporters would cast their lot with Trump if their preferred candidate dropped out, given that no one seriously thought he’d even get to the levels he’s achieved when he started running?

            (Note–anyone who says they TOTALLY saw Trump getting 25% of the current field is a goddamn liar.)

            1. Trump hasn’t said anything to piss off supporters of most other candidates for the nomination. He may have pissed off the candidates themselves, but not their supporters. What position has he taken that would be anathema to them? Not that should be anathema to them, but that’s been on the table for discussion by politicians lately & that Republicans massively turn down?

  3. WRT Presidential Politics Scott is Dead Man Walking.

    1. Paul had a 42/30 favorability rating pre debate- now he’s dropped a net 33 points to 29/50, becoming one of the most unpopular GOP hopefuls. His support for the nomination has also skidded from an already weak 4% all the way down to 1%.

      Here is dead man Walkering. Sad really, I had hopes for Rand.

      1. Rand Paul will never be President. It’s really time for people to accept that fact.

        1. He really blew his shot. It’s not just the Trump factor. His whole campaign collapsed. I wonder how much the indictments had to do with it?

          1. I doubt the indictments played much of a role. He’s just run a bad campaign. Too much pandering to the social conservatives.

            1. He’s just run a bad campaign. Too much pandering to the social conservatives.

              The first part is accurate. The second part? Please. Paul was having trouble getting any love from the donor class from the get-go, and his slapfight with Christie in the first debate didn’t do him any favors because he came off as a hyperemotional version of his father. After the debates, he tried to pick fights with Trump to increase his press and got the Twitter equivalent of head pats in response. “Pandering to social conservatives” had nothing to do with it.

              1. I take it you didn’t get the month of Planned Parenthood spam emails from his campaign.

                1. I take it you didn’t get the month of Planned Parenthood spam emails from his campaign

                  Are there any indications–a poll, a study–that confirms this pandering you insist has taken place is what’s killed his election chances?

                  In case you don’t recall, Rand Paul has ALWAYS personally been against abortion; he’s simply preferred to leave the actual question up to the states. Bringing up his opposition to PP isn’t exactly breaking new ground in his so-called socon bootlicking.

              2. It wasn’t entirely the pandering to social conservatives, but the pandering was definitely there, and was fundamentally misguided. Social conservatives are more likely to give up on free markets than to embrace the libertine wing of libertarianism.

                Once one of the two major parties becomes the pro-Union, social conservative party, freeing the other party to be a free minds-free markets party we might make some progress, but trying to preserve the Republican coalition that formed around the resistance to Communism is a losing prospect.

                1. The Democrats were the socially-conservative, economically-authoritarian party for the first half of the century. Yet few Republicans of the era could plausibly be caused libertarians.

                  1. No, MM, there was no socially conservative party, because social issues weren’t even controversial. But your question still makes sense.

                2. Social conservatives are more likely to give up on free markets than to embrace the libertine wing of libertarianism.

                  I’m having a hard time seeing where Paul ever lined up with the latter in his political career. As others have pointed out here, you can be a social conservative and a libertarian as long as you support the idea that the government shouldn’t mandate by law that society align with your personal religious or cultural beliefs. A lot of people on this board seem to be under the mistaken impression that just because Paul has spoken out against the criminal justice system and government spying, that he doesn’t hold any sort of culturally conservative beliefs in other areas as well. The remarks that he was “pandering” seem to be more of a projection of their own personal biases against socons than an actual understanding of Paul’s own principles.

                  1. Perhaps pandering is the wrong word-signaling may be better. Rand has never been a “Libertarian,” just a libertarian-ish SoCon Republican in the mold of Reagan.

                    I would simply argue that the Reagan model appealed to the anti-Communist Republican coalition of yesteryear, not today’s SoCons and Libertarians.

                    Rand is trying to leverage an alliance that doesn’t have a future. If he can’t get over his SoCon leanings, he probably can’t distinguish himself in the Republican field.

                3. But at the time that coalition formed, there were no social issues. That entire field hadn’t come to the table, & wasn’t even conceived of by many as even being political. So why didn’t it happen then? When “free minds” wasn’t even an issue, why didn’t the GOP become the free markets party, instead of merely anti-Communist?

              3. I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. RRR is right in that the things he mentioned cost Rand among conservatives, but had he stuck to his libertarian guns during the campaign I think he would have had enough of a loyal following to stay relevant in the race for a while, at least as much as his father did, although he wouldn’t have won. As is, he wasn’t libertarian enough to have such a loyal following, and he was still too libertarian for conservatives.

                1. What makes you think he didn’t stick to his libertarian guns? Was it the fact that he started campaigning about other things in addition, things that don’t mark him as a radical libertarian, but with which many people might agree? What was he supposed to do, never state his other opinions? Or is it the idea that libertarian activists are practically by definition unpopular types who disagree w virtually everybody?

        2. Rand Paul will never be President. It’s really time for people to accept that fact.

          I agree with you.

          1. Never is a long time.

            Not this election, at least.

            Even if he is building a nationwide political machine for other purposes, I think he should drop out of this election. Dammit.

            1. Never is a long time.

              Not this election, at least.

              True, but I don’t see the situation improving for him in the future. As the country continues on a downward trajectory (finances, etc), I don’t think people will be looking for less government, they will be looking for stronger government. But I could be wrong.

              1. At the state level the downwards trajectory in finances has induced quite a few libertarian-friendly reforms, particularly in taxes.

              2. I don’t think people will be looking for less government, they will be looking for stronger government.

                You can have both at the same time… big government tends to have immense levels of incompetence and weakness. But idiot American voters don’t understand that and think big=strong.

                1. You can have both at the same time… big government tends to have immense levels of incompetence and weakness. But idiot American voters don’t understand that and think big=strong.

                  Which really doesn’t change my point. Paul is not advocating either a bigger or stronger government. So it still doesn’t look good for him in the future.

            2. Never. He is for what an overwhelming majority of people are against and against what an overwhelming majority of people are for. At least, if you’re insistent on taking him at his word.

            3. Never is a long time.

              So is Nov 2016.

              Calling anyone’s campaign over after 1 debate with 10 people on the stage is absurd.

              1. It’s over. Rand is sunk, and the fact that Trump is in first with 37% proves the retard factor is too great to be overcome by Rand this cycle. Just hope that Fiorina draws some blood in the next debate.

                1. Which poll does Trump have 37% in?

              2. On Francisco’s point: McCain’s campaign was out of money and he was considered a joke at this point in 2007. And they had had a few debates that summer, too.

              3. “Calling anyone’s campaign over after 1 debate with 10 people on the stage is absurd”

                ^ This. In September 1991 the common wisdom was that Bush Sr. would handily win re-election as there were no serious challengers.

        3. I never expected him to be President. I’m just disappointed that his support is so low.

          It really just shows that Republicans aren’t ready to get serious yet. We’re due for another four years of fiddling while Rome burns, I guess.

          1. The Republican Party will never be serious about libertarianism.

            1. That’s probably true. But there’s hope they won’t be actively hostile to it. Or at least not to the degree that Democrats are.

              Rand Paul can legitimately run as a Republican candidate. There’s no way he could run on the Democratic side.

              1. “Rand Paul can legitimately run as a Republican candidate. There’s no way he could run on the Democratic side.”

                If he emphasized criminal justice reform, ending the WoD and occupational licensing while focusing on how those issues are important to poor people and minorities primarily, he could, or he could plausibly go for an independent run.

                Lurching toward the SoCons in an attempt to become more appealing to the “Republican base” was misguided.

            2. The Republican Party, sure. I had hoped for a little better than a few percent of the public, though.

      2. It was the worst debate performance since Rick Perry forgot what he wrote in his own book on stage in 2012.

        1. It was the worst debate performance since Rick Perry…

          I don’t know what debate you watched, but I put Paul’s performance in the middle of the pack, as did the majority of the pundits I’ve heard critiquing the debate.

          Could he have done better? Sure. But it certainly wasn’t bad.

          1. He behaved like an adolescent.

            1. HAHAHAHAHA!

              With Trump on the stage? Good one.

          2. as did the majority of the pundits I’ve heard critiquing the debate

            Oh, come on. Does anyone outside the NY-DC media bubble really give a shit what those people say other than to mock them?

            If Paul’s performance had resonated in some way with the massive, record-setting audience that watched that first debate, he wouldn’t be trailing the pack as badly as he is. If he was running a media-savvy campaign, he’d be gaining in the polls like Carson and Fiorina. But he’s not. He can’t get funding (a money-bomb won’t do him any better than it did his father) and the GOP establishment hates him, and that’s a toxic combination when you’re running with the big dogs.

  4. Is there no competent republican that can get to the top of the polls?

    1. No, but TEAM Blue has the same problems – a crooked, ineffective former SOS, an outright socialist, a former Republican, a failed governor, etc.

      1. Time to dig up Nixon.

        1. At least Nixon’s head.

        2. It has been a long time since the US had a president who had Nixon’s grasp of foreign affairs, benevolent character, and integrity. I’m no fan of Nixon (I voted for McGovern) but I’d rank him higher than the last three guys were it not for defaulting on Bretton Woods and wage and price controls. He was head-and-shoulders better than all but Paul and Cruz.

      2. Notice how, despite the obsession with everything the high-profile Republicans say, the MSM is pointedly not talking about Sanders’s policies? Sure, they’ll mention he’s a socialist here and there, but they won’t go into the details because they are ludicrously stupid.

        1. Because there’s no need to focus on the Democrats when a Republican sideshow is going on.

        2. They’re sure as hell not doing it to protect Sanders, they’re doing it to protect Hillary. Just like their new invention of “retroactively classified” as a term.

        3. Curious what you mean regarding sanders policies….like are they so stupid thus they arent covered because it would turn people off or do they want him to win

          1. “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don’t think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on.”

            Bernie Sanders May 2015

            1. Haha yea that was stupid. But a bunch of folks seem to be eating up his free shit brigade and save the world like personality

          2. The talk in left wing circuits is that Bernie makes Hillary look bad because he is not afraid to take specific left wing positions, whereas she tends to be vague or leans far to the right of where Progressives would like to see her. Warren made a deal and agreed to be quieter. Bernie did not.

            1. So do you think they want bern to win the nom?

              1. Leftists, yes. The Democratic Party resoundingly no. I suspect the endgame was to offer him VP in the hopes that they could pick up Progressives alienated by Hillary.

                1. See i don’t know the dems seem to be going further left and left. I dont see why they wouldnt want bern.

                  Do you think they are still looking to offer him VP at this point?

                  I just hope no one like him gets in!

                  1. Hillary would never offer Bernie Sanders the VP slot.

                    First, it makes no sense. You traditionally offer it to someone who geographically balances the ticket (he doesn’t), a party Stalwart (he’s not), or someone that will appeal to a demographic that won’t vote for you anyway. There’s some slight advantage on the last point, but most Progressives are going to vote for Hillary if she wins the nomination regardless of who she chooses to be her VP.

                    Secondly, there’s no way in hell a person with Hillary’s controlling personality is going to trust the VP slot to anyone that isn’t a complete Yes Man.

                    1. I’ve pretty much just been assuming that all Democrats not named Hillary are running for VP, but you raise some good points. He would be a terrible running mate.

                  2. I think people who vote Democrat have been drifting left, and the part is trying to adapt, but the Democratic Party has never been truly left wing in the same way that the Republican Party has never been truly in favor of free markets.

                    Both parties merely appropriate and neutralize ideas that threaten the status quo. Bernie is too much of a true believer to be trusted with power.

      3. Romney will be better than the eventual GOP nominee and Obama better than either the Dem or GOP nominee.

        2012 will look like an embarrassment of riches.

        1. You are so right!

          Thank you for your wisdom.

        2. Someone has a cock in his mouth again.

        3. I have to partially agree with PB. It’s possible that Obama would be better than either Clinton or Sanders. It’s possible that Romney would be better than any of the current GOP front runners.

          I don’t agree that Obama was better than Romney. He was clearly more electable though. And I think Obama would beat any of the current matchup in a hypothetical election.

          Your policies matter less than your charisma, and Obama is and always has been charismatic.

        4. I actually think the current field is so pathetic that I have hope for a third-party shake-up, but it would really take the right person. I think people aligned with both parties are pretty fed-up at this point.

          1. I thought the current Republican field was pretty good, practically all of them acceptable.

    2. Honestly, I think the goal right now should be to play the long game. I suspect (pray?) Trump is at or near his ceiling of support – probably around 30%. Once about 10-12 of the other Republicans start to drop out, support will coalesce around one or two of the remaining non-Trumps.

      There’s too many options right now, so the saner Republican-supporters are split, while the assholes have all found their guy. Someone like Walker, Rubio, etc., who has mainstream appeal, needs to focus on not flaming out early. Engaging Trump is a good way to lose. You can’t out-Trump Trump, and those who try will alienate mainstream voters but fail to attract Trump-supports because why choose Diet Trump when you can get the Real Thing.

      1. The GOP needs a high profile governor (e.g., Reagan, Bush) to take charge. Walker is toast. So that only leaves Jeb right? Have I forgotten anyone else?

        1. Christie – whose campaign platform appears to be more spying and harsher crackdown on pot-users

          Jindal – went full SoCon after losing Republican support in Louisiana following his feud with Vitter

          Smart Rick Perry – he has nerd glasses now, so you know he’s smart, unlike that stupid Rick Perry you saw in 2012

          Kasich – generic Republican with purple state appeal (probably your best bet at this point)

          1. Well fuck that.

          2. At this point, Carly is the only one that doesn’t make be gag when I hear them speak (that include Rand and I like Rand).

            1. At this point, Perry is starting to look good. He has a…pedestrian intelligence, but I think he’s aware of it. A king of honest stupidity.

              1. You’re thinking of old, dumb Rick Perry from 2012. He’s smart now. Have you seen those glasses? Only a nerd would wear those!

                1. Wait…could this be…Hipster Perry!?!?

                2. “The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.” – Rick Perry

                  1. A Doctor of Philosophy!

            2. Plus she has the sexiest campaign song.

          3. Kasich is worse than Jeb.

          4. Don’t forget Pataki and Gilmore. I know it’s easy.

            1. High profile. High profile. High profile.

      2. The donor class will start to coalesce around Walker and Rubio if Jeb keeps sinking–these are guys with name recognition who will be led by the nose by their donors and handlers as easy as Jeb and will be more palatable.

        The rank and file might rally behind Walker because he makes leftwingers sooooo mad, but if Rubio’s the nominee, he’s toast–the equivalent of the Alan Alda character in the West Wing, a Republican that Democrats might like and somewhat respect but won’t vote for regardless. And the rank and file consider Rubio to be a turncoat, so they’ll treat him the same way they did Romney–they’ll stay home and he’ll lose.

        Rubio’s a nice guy, but the rank and file don’t want a nice guy anymore. They want someone who will tell the media and their political adversaries to fuck off. And given Walker’s inability to carve out his principles and the fact that his donors treat him like a bitch, I doubt they’ll support him that much either, unless it’s simply to give their liberal Facebook friends heartburn. That might be his only saving grace.

  5. Giving the Milwaukee Bucks $250 million in state money can hamper your efforts to sell yourself as a fiscally responsible candidate too.

    1. Pretty much every Republican I’ve known (personally) in WI State politics is very broad but tissue-paper-thin deep in terms of knowledge (and I sense the same from the other side, though don’t know any Dems personally). And the state party itself runs like its an NGO – all slogans and feel good clap trap, no substance. In short, the people on either side of the aisle go into politics because they’re too stupid and shallow to do anything else constructive. And in terms of the interaction between Dems and Repubs in WI, it IS a game to them, for the most part. The biggest payoff in elections is if they take the majority, they get to move the declining party out of the better offices in the capitol. Ninety percent of the divide between parties really is this petty bullshit and who controls the gerrymandering pen (and thereby control who can take the majority, and make the other party move). REAL ISSUES, when put to them point blank, get an eye roll.

  6. He turned into a politician who couldn’t describe what he’d do.

    That only works as a campaign strategy if you are the vagina’d candidate.

    1. It’s sexist to ask a woman what her qualifications are for the job of most powerful person in the world (except Fiorina because she’s a Republican and therefore not really a woman).

      1. Even more than Fiorina, I wish they’d run Carson. The heads exploding on the left as they struggle to work black-pandering commentary into their complaints without actually calling him Uncle Tom would be worth another four to eight years of nauseating “smartest man in the room” reverence for the sitting president.

        1. Yeah, minority Republicans put proggy racism on full display. Part of the reason I’ve always wanted Condi Rice to run.

          1. ” Part of the reason I’ve always wanted Condi Rice to run.”

            That would lead to a full melt down on the Left. Live by Identity Politics, Die by Identity Politics.

        2. Given how they talk about Clarence Thomas, they’d certainly be calling President Carson “Uncle Tom”. Loudly. Because minorities and women who don’t have progressive beliefs aren’t really minorities or women.

    2. That only works as a campaign strategy if you are the vagina’d candidate.

      It also works for Trump. “I’m going to be the greatest! You’re going to love it!” isn’t exactly descriptive.

      1. His qualifications are saying what I believe! HE SPEAKS TO MAH HEART! EMOTIONS!

      2. But that, at least, is a policy trajectory. A thoroughly misguided, execrable one, but it’s winning him support from misguided shitheads. Clinton refuses to shoulder any policy positions other than status quo and a Pelosiesque You’ll have to elect me to find out how I’ll lead attitude.

  7. If candidates want to remain credible, they need to focus less on winning each weekly news cycle or Twitter hashtag trend and more on staying the course, especially this early in the campaign.

    1. “If candidates want to remain credible, they need to focus less on winning each weekly news cycle or Twitter hashtag trend and more on staying the course, especially this early in the campaign.”

      It’s not that simple. If you just try to remain below the radar, you’ll disappear. To get on the radar, you have to fight some battles. Generally, that means picking a fight.

    2. This is why I still have hope for Cruz. I think he is steady and quiet, avoiding getting too mired down, while at the same time, just stating his position when asked.

  8. Walker is running a pandering, cringe-worthy campaign marked by a consistent inability to clearly articulate, and stick to, his own positions.

    The same can be said for Rand Paul, unfortunately.

    1. The sad thing is, life is actually easier when you have principles and stick to them.

      The appropriate attitude should be “These are my principles. If the voters don’t like them, I guess I’ll lose the election. Oh well.”

      1. Why would I bother working for or donating money to a candidate who intends to lose?

        1. Because when Rand Paul actually seemed to have principles, he was at (or near) the top.

          1. Back when the top was 12%.

        2. Why would you bother working for or donating money to a candidate who has no principles?

          1. Because I have reason to believe that he or she will, for pragmatic reasons, enact some policies that happen to be aligned with my principles. It would be nice to have a viable candidate who agrees with your principles, but that’s a luxury that a group comprising 0.5% of the country isn’t going to get.

            The alternative is perpetually sitting on the sidelines and complaining about the winners of the elections do, while simultaneously refusing to support any viable opponent. That seems to be Reason’s specialty.

            1. Its a legit position, Mike.

              Its just that decades of voting for the “electable” candidate has done pretty much zero to get those policies enacted. So I’m kinda done with holding my nose and voting for the least bad electable candidate.

            2. I think it’s a mistake to think highly principled political leaders won’t bend when truly forced. Reagan for instance brought his growth in welfare spending and no-fault divorce, among other things.

              Don’t get me wrong, leaders cannot and should not bend on certain fundamentals, say believing in legal rights, but switching to the pro-summary execution path (exception:you’re Obama, the execution is carried out remotely, and it kills past, current, or future *terrorists ), but good political leaders, including the most principled ones, know compromise is required.

              *Note: definition of terrorist can and will be modified as needed

              If Roe v. Wade hadn’t happened, do we think abortion would be illegal? Likely not as easy to get, but forced compromise on serious issues is required and had the courts not exceeded their authority things would most likely be settled today, much calmer, and much more wide spread support for current laws.

              A good leader should understand this.

          2. When it comes to legislators, the candidates should have no principles, and just do what most of their polity wants. That’s what representative democracy is supposed to be.

            Executives unfortunately can’t afford to be that way.

        3. Because this isn’t the last election America will ever have?

          Getting good ideas in front of voters is important, even if they firmly reject them this time around. The vast majority of Americans pay no attention to politics except during an election. If you don’t propose new ideas during an election, you’re basically just talking to yourself.

          1. If you don’t propose new ideas during an election, you’re basically just talking to yourself.

            Au contraire. The Tea Party rose to prominence, and strangled the worst parts of Obamacare like the public option, in 2009 which was not an election year.

            If anything, I think an election is the worst environment to try to introduce new ideas, since the establishment is in full attack mode during election years. You’re better off trying to change hearts and minds in off years because the establishment is usually trying to stay off the radar then.

            1. The failure of the public option in 2009 had absolutely nothing to do with the Tea Party.

  9. Maybe I wasn’t paying as close attention to former races as I am to this one, but this one appears to be the worst clown show in history.

    I think they should all start dressing as clowns and driving small goofy looking cars that backfire frequently.

    1. Well, there was 2012, which I still think was worse

      This year actually had the look early on of being an intelligent election about ideas, etc. (on the Republican side, at least), but then Trump got involved. Honestly, I don’t think the conspiracy theorgy of him being a Clinton and/or Dem plant to drag all the others down to his level is all that far-fetched.

    2. this one appears to be the worst clown show in history

      Which makes it worth watching!

      1. It would be a lot funnier if the eventual winner just got a trophy or something.

    3. I was just saying upthread:

      Romney will be better than the eventual GOP nominee and Obama better than either the Dem or GOP nominee.

      2012 will look like an embarrassment of riches.

      We agree for once!

      1. I don’t think that the situation is what you think it is. As usual.

    4. I missed the first Republican debate. Didn’t it start with all ten candidates piling out of one Volkswagen?

      1. Hell no, they ain’t no damn Euro Nazis. It was a Buick.

  10. “What do you think?”
    .
    “What do you want me to think?”

  11. Walker is running a pandering, cringe-worthy campaign marked by a consistent inability to clearly articulate, and stick to, his own positions.

    So is Donald Trump but it hasn’t hurt him.

    1. Difference being that Trump is proactively pandering whereas Walker (& Rand Paul to some extent, sadly) is reactively pandering.

      1. I don’t blame any of the candidates, I blame Trump’s braindead supporters for pushing credible complaints vis-a-vis Obamacare, Iran, Common Core, out-of-control racial politics, scaling back the EPA, and entitlement reforms off the table in favor of blaming the economic downturn on brown people.

        1. Yeah, this election looked like it’d be about the drug war, police brutality, privacy rights, and ISIS, but Trump and his idiotic supporters chose xenophobia. And the media, naturally, seized it and ran with it.

          1. WHYCOME WE CAIN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

            oh wait

      2. Difference being that Trump is proactively pandering whereas Walker (& Rand Paul to some extent, sadly) is reactively pandering.

        Exactly. Why go for Diet Trump when you can have Trump Classic?

    2. Yeah but Trump knows how to rile up the retard vote, so it doesn’t matter.

      1. Wait – PB supports him?

  12. What would be entertaining is a series of Reason articles:

    [Insert candidate’s name here]’s Pandering, Cringeworthy Presidential Campaign.

    Run one ever couple days. Sequence them according to their polling, without regard to party. After you’ve worked the cycle, start over.

  13. He’s evolving, or at least he would be if he were on Team Blue.

  14. The biggest problem with the upcoming election is that someone is going to win.

    1. The biggest problem with the upcoming election is that someone is going to win.

      It won’t be the citizenry.

  15. “He responded by saying that he’d been asked this question by people in New Hampshire, that the people asking the questions had “very legitimate concerns,” and that the idea of building a wall would be “a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

    Is…this…true New Hampshire?

    I feel gutted and betrayed.

    Heroic?

    1. I’m pretty sure someone in New Hampshire was just fucking with Walker, and he took the bait like an idiot. The media dutifully went ahead and wrote the click bait story that practically writes itself.

    2. Suderman is kind of putting words in Walker’s mouth with that sliced and diced quote. Most of those words came from Chuck Todd’s question.

    3. I have never heard anyone in NH suggest that we need a wall on the Canadian border. I think very few people in NH spend any time thinking about the fact that we even have a border with Canada since no one lives there.

      1. How are you supposed to get votes with that kind of logic?

      2. You New Hampshirians aren’t fooling me. You are all a bunch of bigots who hate our neighbors to the North.

      3. Walker must have misunderstood some NH voters asking for a wall on the Massachusetts border.

        1. “Walker must have misunderstood some NH voters asking for a wall on the Massachusetts border.”

          You know if he came out and said that’s what he thought they meant, he’d get a country wide bump in the polls. (Well he’d drop in MA, but no real loss.

        2. Now that I could get behind.

  16. Immigration is the issue that most Republican voters probably feel impacts them the most. Most of the federal political issues are theoretical problems for most people. They don’t see the results day to day where as a lot of Americans bitch about immigrants every time someone who looks Mexican to them does something that pisses them off.

    Immigration isn’t what any Republican candidate wanted to run on in this election cycle, but Trump has made it basically the single issue they are all forced to address.

    1. It’s not. Though it is considered an important issue, the national debt/budget deficits, defense/terrorism, taxes, and jobs/the economy all rate as more important issues to most republican voters. This is pretty consistently reflected in polling by both left and right polling outfits.

      1. And yet there’s Trump drawing in the largest number of Republican voters, polls ranking issues be damned.

        1. Trump isn’t a single issue candidate, so that’s a big fat non sequitur.

            1. You realize that article was intended as a joke and is not a real transcript, right?

              I don’t think Chinese immigration has been an election issue since Teddy Roosevelt.

              1. Yes. I was sarcastically positing that Trump was a single issue candidate with China, and not the dirty Mexicans. I don’t think he’s a single issue candidate, but there is definitely a single issue that many idiot yokel voters agree with him on.

          1. Right. In addition to being a freedom-hating retard on immigration, he’s also a freedom-hating retard on trade.

            1. He’s a retard. Full stop. I don’t give a shit if he’s “not afraid to speak his mind.”

            2. He’s a retard on a lot of issues, I agree. Which means he’s not a single-issue candidate.

              1. Everybody’s a retard on a lot of issues. Ask ’em & see. & they’ll think you’re a retard on a lot of issues if you tell them.

      2. Stated preference vs revealed preference. Republicans say they care about those things but the candidates they support says they care about one thing: ending the brown menace.

        1. The actual votes are still six months away, and the last two republican nominees were George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

          1. Sorry, my mistake, the last three republican nominees were Romney, McCain, and Bush.

    2. Immigration is the issue that most Republican voters probably feel impacts them the most.

      Even though it likely doesn’t impact their lives in any meaningful way.

    3. No, illegal immigration is just the issue where the party establishment has pissed off the base the most. Obamacare is the thing they hate the most but it’s not going to be an issue in the primaries because every GOP candidate credibly claims to oppose it — while Rubio and Bush are vulnerable on the illegal imm issue.

    4. Immigrants, as they have been since the invention of the border, are a convenient scapegoat to distract people from their real problems. Like a crippling lug-nut shortage, and a corrupt government of incompetent robot elders.

      1. The Simpsons did an entire episode about this idea of scapegoating immigants, and you still go with a Futurama reference?

        1. He really like shitty TV.

        2. Sorry, I was taking a relaxed attitude toward work and watching the baseball match.

          1. The Nymets are my favorite squadron!

        3. Let the bears pay the bear tax! I pay the Homer tax!

      2. You sure you know what “scapegoat” means? I don’t know of any candidate from either party who’s blaming all our problems on immigrants.

        1. That’s pretty much Trump’s MO. I know, you’ll see what you want to, but that’s not my problem.

          1. Finally. I was worried you never say anything that didn’t make me want to kill you.

        2. Well, illegal immigration is being accused of increasing violent crime, hurting the economy, increasing deficits, worsening education, and threatening national security.

          I suppose there are technically SOME things Republicans aren’t claiming are harmed by illegal immigrants, but offhand I can’t think of any. Once you’ve accused a group of being job-stealing uneducated socialist rapists, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room to talk about other issues.

          1. U MUST BE ONE OF THOSE OPEN BORDER COSMO FAGS!!111!11!!!

          2. Republicans don’t blame them for the entirety of any of those problems. Hence not a scapegoat.

            If all it takes to be a scapegoat is being identified as having diverse negative effects, then Reason is scapegoating the Drug War and police unions.

            1. More word games.

  17. Murder rate in Venezuela going up, Venezuelans blame black lives matter criticism of cops Colombia.

    IT STARTED with a shooting. Two men, apparently on a motorbike, attacked a Venezuelan army anti-smuggling convoy on August 19th, close to the main border crossing with Colombia. Venezuela’s president, Nicol?s Maduro, quickly went on television and vowed to hunt down the “murderers” (though the four victims were injured, not killed). He decreed a state of emergency in six municipalities in the frontier province of T?chira and expelled more than 1,000 Colombians living in Venezuela. The Sim?n Bol?var International Bridge is closed until further notice.

    Maduro should run for president in America. He’s a crazy socialist who scapegoats immigrants for all his problems, so I’m sure he’d fit right in.

    1. America will never elect a President with a mustache.

    2. Venezuelans != Maduro

      Don’t blame the people for their idiot leaders unless you want to be blamed for Obama.

      1. Many of them put this idiot’s mentor in power and kept him there. Chavez was a product of democracy.

        1. As is Obama. So?

      2. “The Venezuelans” is often used as shorthand for “The way the government of Venezuela is acting.” Sort of like how people say “The Americans raised taxes” even though the only people raising taxes are our government.

        1. The Venezuelans is also the worst FX show ever.

        2. What about people from New York City?

      3. “The Venezuelans” is often used as shorthand for “The way the government of Venezuela is acting.” Sort of like how people say “The Americans raised taxes” even though the only people raising taxes are our government.

        1. Who says “the Americans raised taxes”?

          1. Probably The Venezuelans.

          2. Article saying ‘Native Americans went to war trying to protect their land.’ Do you plan on pedantically emailing the writer to say ‘HEY NOW, NOT ALL NATIVE AMERICANS DID THAT?’

    3. It isn’t uncommon when the economy nosedives for the ruling class to start a war. It is a good distraction and provides a perfect scapegoat.

      That is what all the kerfluffle about the Falkland Islands is about. When the economy of Argentina goes to shit…I mean gets even shittier they start squawking about the Falklands. It is completely expected that Maduro would pull some shit like this. I didn’t expect it because I thought rebellion would start first.

  18. Is there any shot at this point that 2016 will not have a horrifying Presidential result, one way or another? It doesn’t seem like there’s a good result with any of these idiots winning.

    1. Fiorina and Perry are less horrible than many others.

      1. Their foreign policy could be really… oh, nevermind.

        Though the Democrat nominee probably won’t be much different.

      2. Fiorina maybe, but to me Perry is basically the equivalent of man-Palin. If Fiorina can be the ‘business candidate’, and squash the urge to pander to the Trump wing, she might be OK.

        1. If Fiorina can be the ‘business candidate’,

          Because she’s only run one business into the ground?

          1. Not unlike Steve Jobs, in that way. People forget that he had to beg Bill Gates to bail out Apple, during the tech boom no less.

    2. I count if fairly likely that someone we are not even considering right now will emerge early next year.

  19. I had heard going into this that he had a reputation for waffling and flip-flopping. At the time I took that with a grain of salt but so far he seems to be living up to that reputation

    1. Walker is a pragmatic technocrat who really didn’t have much of an ideological angle as governor of a blue state, whose popularity in his state was based on “getting things done”. He appears to “waffle” only because he really doesn’t give a damn about a lot of issues (like immigration) and just tries to appeal to everybody.

      We could/will do a lot worse than having a pragmatic technocrat in the White House following this election. Just like we did in 2012.

      1. I read a comment a while back about Walker that seems to sum him up well: “He’s a work horse, not a show horse.” I don’t know much about Wisconsin politics (er, make that “at all”), but I gather he was largely elected to clean up an unsustainable fiscal situation, and he’s actually made progress on it. Probably easier to get elected governor of a medium-sized state on one big issue than to get elected president that way. Unless you’re Trump.

      2. Walker is a pragmatic technocrat who really didn’t have much of an ideological angle as governor of a blue state,

        Wisconsin’s not really a blue state. Its pretty well balanced between TEAM BLUE and TEAM RED. Walker has a Repub legislature, and is currently locked in a battle with diehard blue bastions in Milwaukee and Madison (see, e.g., the police raids on Walker supporters, the court decisions trying to stop his reforms, etc.)

  20. I think Rand is dead meat but….his fall from the top down to the bottom collapse does match McCain’s 2008 nomination adventure strongly.

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  22. Sanders scares the hell out of me. Free shit, more taxes and a gigantic federal gov. I think he wins…already has acquired quite a cult of followers

    1. Not a chance. He’s as unelectable as Trump is in the general.

  23. “Say something awkward or ill-advised, watch as the media swarms to cover it, then insist that there was never anything to see.”

    Why not? It seems to work for most other politicians.

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  25. “Scott Walker’s Pandering, Cringe-Worthy Presidential Campaign”

    He sounds purrrrrfect for da job. 🙂

    How about a new idea, the scumbag with the lowest poll ratings gets to be the new prez?

    “You,Trump,Hitlary, Vs “Dictator Syndrome” :
    http://onebornfree-mythbusters…..drome.html

    Regards, onebornfree

  26. The people saying “Rand is Dead Meat” seem to me as silly as those who assume Trump is the Heir apparent of the GOP

    I think his campaign (and walker’s) have been pretty weak so far. But people seem to be calling to abandon ship because the deck is somewhat wet.

    1. So you think other candidates with 4% in current polls have a chance to win? Or just Rand Paul because you like him?

      1. I don’t consider the game over at the end of the first quarter.

        Anything else… you’re reading into what I said.

      2. Although…. I do think Rand has a better chance to win versus other people polling in the current long-tail with him.

        And national polls of him vs. Clinton show that as well. He does better vs her compared to most others. As recently as 2 months ago he polled “the best” out of the pack. Which just goes to show how polling is meaningless until you get closer to the end of the contest.

        I think Epi noted the other day… in 2008 Hillary had a consistent 20point lead vs Obama up until almost the end of December… then after the first 2 primaries where Obama won… it was like she was trying to run up a greased slope.

    2. I do agree with Gilmore, that it’s too way to early to conclude anything. Seriously, we won’t even have decent polling for the Republican primary until 90 days before the convention. That’s March of 2016. It’s way early.

  27. Gee Scott you didn’t realize that acid flashbacks could last for months did you?

  28. “Walker is out to reboot his campaign by, among other things, attacking rival Jeb Bush”

    Attacking Jeb! – who’s even lower than Walker in the polls – isn’t going to accomplish anything. Who’s running the Walker campaign anyway?

    1. Jeb’s an easy target because he’s bleeding support, and Walker is trying to get those people (his supporters and donors) to jump to his ship. It doesn’t have anything to do with Jeb’s standing in the polls–he’s a big name that’s very vulnerable right now, and Walker’s trying to get Jeb’s fat-pocket financiers to shift their wallets to his campaign.

    2. Bush is above Walker in the polls. Bush is in third place. The two people ahead of him are personality-based candidates that gain whenever someone points out their flaws.

      Attacking Bush makes perfect sense.

  29. As an admirer and early Walker supporter I admit with sadness that you’re correct. He’s torpedoed his appeal with weak kneed pandering, undermining his resolute image.

    It’s probably time to pull the plug on this thing, go back to running Wisconsin as he has so far, and revisit the presidency for a future round. Fortunately, he’s still young. Unfortunately, assuming the GOP pulls it off despite the Trump circus, presidential cycles being what they are, he could be waiting 16 years for a serious shot.

  30. Strict term limits for all politicians sounds better and better. 30 days should be a generous start, if they can’t handle 30 we can cut it down to 5, then 2 then 6 hours….then 2 minutes.

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