While the media has spent the past 24 hours going on about Scott Walker’s tremendous fall from base-voter grace, the most important part of the Wisconsin Governor’s story seems to have been lost in translation. That being, Scott Walker is the closest thing we have to a statesman in modern American politics.
The Governor’s sometimes tired refrain that he ‘never backs down from a fight’ is poll tested gobbledygook, but it is nonetheless an accurate description. Walker didn’t have to take on the hardest fight in politics – public sector unions – starting on day one as Governor of Wisconsin. In fact, doing so made him many enemies, threatened his safety, and forced him into a recall election fight that distracted from broader agenda items.
But he still did it. Why? Because as uncomfortable, politically challenging, and time consuming that battle was, it was a moral obligation. Walker wouldn’t let future generations of Wisconsinites face bankruptcy to appease union cronies today For this he deserves tremendous credit.
Although last night he did something more. From his prepared speech:
“To refocus the debate will require leadership. While I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor’s words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways.
Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With that in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.
I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current frontrunner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and – ultimately – to the future of our country.”
Walker gave up his dream for the sake of the conservative movement and the country. He knew it was feasible for such a high profile candidate with so much SuperPAC support to retrench in Iowa for months. He knew if he wanted to he could keep going. But instead, he saw the writing on the wall: Trump must be stopped, and we must elect the right conservative candidate to do so.
Calling on his fellow also-rans (who he stopped short of naming) to cut it out and move on was refreshing to say the least. It wasn’t a usual concession speech, because it didn’t come from a politician. It came from a statesman.