mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Walker and the WaPo
The Real Start of Campaign Season

A story in the Washington Post this morning, questioning why Scott Walker never finished college, is a signal that the next presidential election has started. The Post struck a glancing blow at best—while it speculated that there was more to Walker’s decision to drop out than has normally been told, it uncovered no new facts, nor anything that contradicted Walker’s oft-repeated assertions that he found a job, had interests elsewhere, meant to go back, but never did.

But just because the journalistic bullet missed its mark this time does not mean the hunt has not begun. Short of a sitting President (like Richard Nixon), presidential candidates are about the biggest game in the journalist’s field guide. Stories like the “Monkey Business” scandal that brought down Gary Hart remain national—or at least, political—lore long after the candidate in question has faded from the scene.

In many ways, the media’s first shots (Jeb came in for one a few weeks ago) mark the beginning of primary season far more than the Iowa Caucuses will. Think of this ritual as our national version of the medieval trial by ordeal: if the story floats, he’s a witch. This one sank, but it won’t be the last. The race—and the race for every journalist to bag a candidate—is on.

Features Icon
show comments
  • gvanderleun

    A Hillary candidacy would just be the Democrat way of trying to get their own Walker into the White House.

  • Kevin

    Luckily for journalists there will be a pack of GOP candidates to scrutinize meaning they can have all the fun of tearing down candidates without harming any Democrats. For example, I don’t expect we’ll see any exposes about Hillary celebrating with the rapist she got off from charges of having raped a young girl no matter how much that might otherwise fit the war on women anti-rape zeitgeist.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Someone has pointed out that leftists will have to spread their ammunition over many GOP-hopeful targets during the next 12 months, while conservatives can just shoot at Hillary only (like you are now doing). That’s hardly an advantage for Democrats, except for the considerable possibility you will jump the shark and generate sympathy with your constant blasting on trivia. The entire election is about liberal vs. conservative world views, and not about personalities or decades-old events.

      As for Walker, any leftist with a brain had better figure out that his lack of a college degree is a campaigning strength, not a weakness. Most of the votes he hopes to get out of the so-called middle would be from people who also did not finish college.

      • Tate Metlen

        I disagree with you on many things, but I think your observation here is very astute.

  • Fat_Man

    Partial List of American Presidents who did not have College degrees:

    George Washington
    Andrew Jackson
    Abraham Lincoln
    Harry Truman

    Good company, if you want to ask me.

    As a matter of fact, I’ll bet you can’t name four better Presidents.

    I am not saying that Scott Walker should be elected and would be on that list. I am saying that not having a College Degree is not a
    disqualification for being President, or for being a good president. Unlike the last four Ivy League weasels.

    • Tom

      I might give Reagan over Truman, and Jefferson over Jackson.
      That having been said, I would take any of your four over Clinton, Bush the Younger, Obama, Woodrow Wilson, or FDR.

  • Anthony

    Two related systemic observations relative to the presidential sojourn:

    1). “With the spread of the popular franchise after 1830 the system decreasing elevated characters like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison…and instead pushed up from the soil confused Jacksons, Van Burens, Buchanans, Grants, Mckinleys, Hardings, Coolidges, Eisenhowers, Johnsons, et al…Men of genuine political grasp simply did not make it and turned away from politics.”

    2). “From Lincoln onward no more than two out of twenty-six presidents are argued by anybody to have been oriented toward the popular interest and even those are rejected by some experts as true paladins of the people. The people very obviously are not capable of wielding the electoral sword, thus accounting for the success of institutionalized overreaching and patronage.”

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service