Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the highly touted keynote speaker for the California Republican Convention in Anaheim that runs from September 18th to the 20th, but on Friday, Walker abruptly cancelled his speech in a desperate attempt to resuscitate his dying presidential campaign. The Wisconsin Governor gave his surprise one week’s cancellation notice, because he instead plans to spend the weekend in Iowa and South Carolina, two early primary states where he is lagging badly in the polls.
Walker, who was considered the favorite to win Iowa as recently as July, has plummeted to 10th place in the state according to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, where he managed a meager 3 percent of the GOP vote. He isn’t doing any better in South Carolina, where a recent PPP poll has him garnering just 3 percent of the Republican primary vote there.
The news of Walker’s speech cancellation was drowned out by September 11th retrospectives and the departure of Texas Governor Rick Perry from the presidential race on Friday. However, Walker’s plight is perhaps far more embarrassing than Perry’s, because Walker, unlike Perry, was considered a legitimate contender for the Republican nomination from the moment he entered the race.
Instead of catching fire, however, the Koch brothers’ favorite candidate has tanked in the polls, putting himself in the same general company as pathetic non-candidates like Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum. As Walker has nose-dived, political neophytes like Donald Trump and Ben Carson have taken the Republican race by storm.
Walker is trying to carry the mantle of the political outsider who will “wreak havoc on Washington”, but too many Republican voters now see him as a government insider who has wreaked havoc on Wisconsin. GOP voters are demanding the kind of havoc Trump promises, not the watered down chaos offered by a man who has spent the last 22 years holding government positions as an elected politician.
While Walker hopes to reinvent himself and revitalize his failing presidential campaign by cancelling his Anaheim speaking gig, instead he merely reminds Republican donors and strategists that his campaign is barely alive. Rather than strengthening his image, this move is likely to backfire by highlighting the sorry shape Walker’s campaign is in.
Donors and supporters might be ready to pull the plug soon, to take Scott Walker and his supporters out of their political misery. Until they decide to do so, voters in South Carolina and Iowa can look forward to a visit from Governor Walker, where they can bear witness to what a dying political campaign looks like when it is trying desperately to still show signs of life.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.