Scott Walker's 2016 Strategy: Fool The Right, Appease The Establishment

When George W. Bush won the Republican nomination for president in 2000, he did so with the blessing of the establishment. But he also neutered opposition from the right. His consolidated base of support prevented Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, and Gary Bauer from undermining him from the right, while at the same time positioning [mc_name name=’Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000303′ ] as a challenger from the left.

Scott Walker became a conservative hero after successfully fighting off the teacher’s unions and winning three elections soundly in a blue state, including a recall effort. He also cut spending and taxes with great success. All of these things have built a wealth of goodwill for Walker.

But as soon as he does something that looks good, he will do something that makes you question his conservative credentials. And these actions show that he is positioning himself as a candidate who can run up the middle-to the right of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie and to the left of [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]-in an effort to get establishment money and conservative votes.

For example, while he did force the teacher’s unions to end collectively bargaining, Walker exempted public safety unions. And while in the past Walker has supported right-to-work legislation, now he is urging Republicans in the state senate to drop it.

Walker originally signed an emergency order implementing ObamaCare in Wisconsin, only to rescind it after outrage from the right and the state legislature. Nevertheless, he later ordered state agencies to help people sign up for the exchange.

Like [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], Walker supports a pathway to citizenship for illegals.

And his opposition to Common Core? It is only superficial.

At the end of the day, Scott Walker really isn’t too different from Jeb Bush and Chris Christie when it comes to policy, but unlike them he knows how to connect with conservatives and make them like him. His third place finish in the first 2016 RedState poll is indicative of that.