“Energetic” is the only word to describe Governor Scott Walker as he paced the stage in Iowa during his speech at Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit.
And though he was one of many speakers at the confab, he certainly gained the most politically – having received numerous standing ovations from the 1,200 assembled activists.
Governor Scott Walker isn’t the first name that rolls off your tongue when you talk about the 2016 U.S. presidential race, but he’s looking to change that completely…
Underdog Marks His Territory…
While bigger names such as Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Mitt Romney occupy the first tier of candidates, Walker hopes to change those dynamics in the Iowa caucuses.
Walker believes he (almost) has a hometown advantage. While he may be the Governor of Wisconsin, he did spend his early years in Iowa. His father, a preacher by trade, moved the family to Wisconsin to take a leadership position at a church when Walker was in the third grade.
Being Governor of a nearby state provides him with several advantages as he tries to knock off the favorites. He doesn’t have to travel far, and he can spend evenings in Iowa after working his day job as Governor of Wisconsin.
Make no mistake: Walker’s speech was targeted to the audience. It was intended to make the assembled Iowa activists feel they have an ally. Walker told the pro-lifers in the audience he wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.
He told economic and business activists about his desire for tax cuts: “There’s a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April… because in America, we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it.”
Pushing his agenda even more, Walker gave reform-minded activists details about his battle with government worker unions in Wisconsin. You see, Walker is a hero to many because of his battles with these unions in Wisconsin. He made the most of the conflict in his speech, thanking the crowd for praying for him when the death threats came as a result of his courageous stand.
He also talked about the need for voter ID laws, a constant favorite of voters worried about voter fraud and ballot integrity.
To put it mildly, he knew just the bait to use to reel these activists in.
A Young, Spry Contender
Walker’s energy is likely the result of his youthfulness. After all, he is more than a decade younger than the GOP’s front-running competitors. Walker is only 47… while Jeb Bush is 61… and Mitt Romney is 67.
Some pundits have in the past called Walker boring and lacking charisma. But at the Iowa Freedom Summit, he nearly yelled as his passion bubbled forth. He made it crystal clear that he’s the candidate of smaller government.
Sure, the entire weekend was a festival of presidential contenders… Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Donald Trump… former Governors Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee… Senator Ted Cruz, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Neurosurgeon Ben Carson… you name it.
But as the Iowa caucuses approach a year from now, Governor Scott Walker made it well-known: He is determined to be a contender. And just to seal the deal, he promised to visit Iowa many times in the next 12 months.
Iowa, meet your newest ally.
Your eyes on the Hill,