Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Summer Wind

The summer wind came blowin' in from across the sea
It lingered there, to touch your hair and walk with me
All summer long we sang a song and then we strolled that golden sand
Two sweethearts and the summer wind
Like painted kites, those days and nights they went flyin' by
The world was new beneath a blue umbrella sky
Then softer than a piper man, one day it called to you
I lost you, I lost you to the summer wind
I can't help but think about these lyrics from Frank Sinatra when looking back on Scott Walker's ill-fated run for President.  Just 70-days from kicking off the campaign with so much optimism--and according to the polls, momentum--Walker dropped out Monday after a new national poll had him at less than 0.5%.  It's almost like those summer romances of old where you have fun for a few months and then go back to your "real lives".
So what happened?  If we are going to stick with the words of Old Blue Eyes, the Piper Man--or in this case Donald Trump--came in and literally blew away all of Walker's support.  Here was someone who was truly an "outsider" having never run for or been elected to political office--while Walker had pretty much spent his entire adult life running for office.  What's more, Trump is a loud, brash guy who understands how to appeal to a TV camera.  Scott Walker is kind of boring, his voice is nasally and he doesn't pronounce all of his vowels correctly.  And when there are 11-people involved in a televised debate you need to know how to keep the camera on you at all times--which was not something Walker knew how to do.
One thing that concerns me is that analysts don't cite the "wow factor" for Walker's flameout as much as they do "he got into the race too late".  Let's keep in mind that Scott Walker was technically running for President the day after he won a second term in November of 2014.  That would be a full two years before the election.  He became the GOP frontrunner in January of this year by giving a well-received speech in Iowa.  He was touring the country already in the spring and had formed an "exploratory committee" to raise money for his run.  The fact that the "official announcement" came in July had nothing to do with it--since The Donald got into the race even later than that.  How would an additional three or six months of campaigning for Walker have changed the way things played out?
If that really was the case, perhaps Governor Walker should have launched his 2020 Presidential campaign yesterday after putting his 2016 effort to bed.

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