There are lots and lots of analyses about Scott Walker dropping out. Yes, he put the people closest to him in a Super PAC that could not talk to him, then surrounded himself with people who do not know him.
Yes, there were gaffes and flip-flops galore.
There were lots of fundamental problems with Scott Walker. He was the guy who had lots of rich donors and Washington Republicans whispering in his ear telling him that the crown was his for the taking. He never saw Trump coming and did not know how to respond.
While his wife and kids were rushing to assure everyone that they were cool with gay marriage and Scott Walker had been to one, Walker was throwing red meat to the crowd. He flipped on birthright citizenship. His campaign had internal dysfunction. He could not stand up to anyone and then stood up to his donors to prove he was his own man.
But there’s something more to it too.
Walker brought in a lot of outside consultants who are DC oriented and they, and Walker, profoundly misread the mood of the Republican electorate. I actually don’t think that they misread it so much as they rejected it. Both in Walker’s Super PAC and campaign were people who looked on the base of the party with contempt. They wanted to rebuke the anger. They wanted to run a traditional race. And the result is that it dragged Walker down.
Walker had no strategy to combat the anger and, when he played to it, it came across as flip-flopping and slippery. It planted seeds of distrust.
Early on there were warning signs when Walker got bullied by Iowa GOP voices to drop Liz Mair because of past writings about both ethanol and the Iowa primary. Walker could be played by people.
He may have stood up to unions in Wisconsin, but he wasn’t standing up to anyone else. In fact, all he seemed to have was a story of fighting unions that, long term, made people wonder why he was not willing to stand up to anyone else.
Last week, lots of people started circulating rumors about Walker’s team and his donors were demanding a shake up. When he announced a press conference yesterday evening, a lot of people thought he was going to take responsibility for his campaign, lead a shakeup, and reboot. Instead, he dropped out in a short and relatively unmemorable campaign statement that seemed to blame Donald Trump.
In fact, Donald Trump was not to blame for Scott Walker dropping out. Walker had fundamental problems. His strategy was more a set of tactics instead of a comprehensive vision. His campaign team did not seem to care for the base. And he did not have a command of the issues.
It turns out a midwestern governor who beats unions and survives three elections is not necessarily the shoo-in that so many people thought. And that, ultimately, was Walker’s problem. Too many people thought he was a shoo-in and it seems the Walker campaign thought it too. If you aren’t willing to fight for the Presidency, you can be sure you will not win it. There’s no such thing as a shoo-in, as Hillary Clinton is about to find out.