The Corner

Politics & Policy

Walker Raises Expectations

Scott Walker is expected to formally launch his campaign on Monday, and, in an interview with the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, his top advisers talked a big game. “There are three legs of the stool,” Walker’s campaign manager, Rick Wiley, told the Post. “We play in all three. Who else does?”

The piece also raises expectations for Walker’s performance. We learn that his advisers “expect him to win the Iowa caucuses”; to finish among the top three in New Hampshire in South Carolina; and to win the Nevada caucuses. We also learn that they think any candidate who doesn’t win one of the first four states is essentially a goner. 

They might be right. What I’m less sure about is what the benefit is to broadcasting any of this to the national media. It sets an extremely high bar for the candidate in a contest in which there remain so many unknowns. Now, if Walker doesn’t win Iowa but, say, places second, he will have failed by his own standards and it’ll be much easier for others (donors, the media) to write him off. 

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