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Jay Cost’s article verifies what I’ve been saying for months: that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ frontrunner because the Democrats’ bench is exceptionally weak, not because she’s a powerful, impressive candidate:

What it really suggests is: the Democratic bench is now so thin that the party cannot even give its voters a real choice. At this point, the only three other candidates seriously considering the race are: Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor who is decidedly lackluster; Jim Webb, the quirky one-term senator who — oh by the way! — used to work in the Reagan Administration (Democratic voters will love that); and Bernie Sanders, who does not even call himself a Democrat (he’s a socialist).

I’m not the first person to offer that opinion. Far from it. This is what happens, though, when you’ve gotten hit with 2 landslide victories at the state level. In 2010, Republicans picked up a net 3 governor seats. Democrats lost 2 more governorships in 2014. That’s just the start of the Democrats’ problems:

Now take a gander at the party’s Senate caucus. If you squint really hard you might imagine some of them could be presidential material, but not really. The overwhelming majority are too old, too dull, too new, or barely won reelection. Elizabeth Warren is the only exception out of these 45 senators, and she looks like she is not going to run.

It’s apparent that the vast majority of Democratic senators are fossilized old farts that are best categorized as yesterday’s news. That’s if the political analysts are being charitable.

By comparison, the Republicans have a lengthy list of impressive candidates. Governors like Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal are top tier candidates for president. Susana Martinez is frequently mentioned as a potential VP pick. Brian Sandoval is seen as the candidate most likely to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada.

That’s before talking about Marco Rubio and Mike Pence as potential presidential candidates. Jeb Bush didn’t jump into the race early from a position of strength. He did it out of necessity.

Finally, there’s this: Hillary will face a distinct enthusiasm gap between herself and the Republican nominee as long the nominee isn’t Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. Candidates like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio have a youthful energy about them. Hillary will cruise through the Democratic nomination without getting challenged. That’s a big problem because competition sharpens candidates.

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This morning, Mitt Romney officially announced that he isn’t running for president:

Mitt Romney announced Friday he will not run for president in 2016, after briefly flirting with a third White House run — a decision that only slightly narrows the crowded field of potential Republican candidates.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney said in a written statement. He also was announcing his plans on a conference call with donors Friday morning.

Though this is a bit of a surprise, it might be as simple as Mitt being unable to put together a national organization rather than him not wanting to run. It might also be that he’s finally accepted the fact that he’s history in the eyes of GOP activists.

Lots of people, myself included, think he would’ve been vastly superior to President Obama. Obama’s national security policies are a disaster. President Obama’s economic policies have revived terminology like new normal. President Obama’s economic policies haven’t revived talk about a booming economy.

Mitt won the nomination in 2012 against a weaker field than this year’s field of candidates. Adding to Mitt’s worries is the fact that he started talking like a liberal. That isn’t how to win the GOP nomination. Mitt was a compromised candidate in 2012, too. He couldn’t take the fight to President Obama on President Obama’s biggest failure, aka Obamacare. This time around, Mitt would’ve had to fight against the economic accomplishments and conservative reforms of people like Scott Walker and Rick Perry.

The simple fact is that Mitt couldn’t win.

One of the worst-kept political secrets is that the DFL is fighting with itself. That isn’t secret anymore because Gov. Dayton announced that he’s cutting the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s budget:

Dayton was nothing if not transparent about the move. The budget materials given to reporters before the late-morning briefing stated that the total of $3.77 million in reductions to the Park Board over the two-year budget period was due to “the Board’s continuing efforts to obstruct progress on the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.”

Of the total, $1.26 million would have come out of the state general fund and $2.51 million out of the natural resources fund, money intended to help the Met Council and 10 local park agencies develop and maintain parks that are regional destinations (think Minnehaha Falls). The money that would be lost by the Minneapolis board goes toward annual operating costs.

When asked about it, Dayton said it was possible he would support restoring the money, if the Park Board ended it opposition. “In my view, if they have all this money to hire consultants, they don’t need all the state money that’s been allocated to them.” Dayton said. He described the board’s actions so far as “very irresponsible.”

First, I’m totally fine with cutting the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s appropriation through the state budget. If Minneapolis wants a Park and Recreation Board, let them pay for it. In fact, eliminating the state government appropriation is justifiable, in my opinion.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s advocates will argue that they add value to the state. That’s disputable at best. It might help Minnesota tangentially. In fact, I don’t know that a compelling case can be made that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board makes Minneapolis substantially better.

Most importantly, this is a perfect example of why Speaker Daudt shouldn’t consider funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, aka the SWLRT project. The DFL is still fighting with itself on the SWLRT project. Next, regardless of whether the DFL is fighting amongst itself, the SWLRT project is a major waste of money. It’s spending tons of Minnesota taxpayers’ money on something that isn’t a priority with Minnesota’s taxpayers.

The DFL a) is proposing a massive middle class tax increase, b) is still fighting with itself on how to spend your money on their friends and c) is telling Minnesota that paying off their political allies is more important than spending your money wisely.

To use Scott Walker’s words, going big and being bold is the way to differentiate between the DFL’s payoffs and the conservatives’ priorities. Going bold is the way for Republicans to win the legislative fight in 2015, then win the 2016 election.

A political party divided against itself will soon be defeated.

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Charlie Cook’s latest article on the state of the GOP presidential race has more than a few flaws in it. He got this part right:

First there is the establishment bracket, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and possibly former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney competing for that semifinal slot.

Despite the MSM’s ‘reporting’, this isn’t where the action is. It’s mostly a sideshow that’ll keep the DC pundits entertained. Think of this as the ‘vastly overrated’ part of the race.

Cook didn’t get this part right:

Then there is the conservative governor/former governor slot—with, potentially, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker competing, all seeking to be non-Washington and non-Congress candidates, but each with more conservative, or at least better conservative, credentials than Bush, Christie, or Romney.

John Kasich lost his conservative credentials over the weekend when he fought for Common Core. That’s a deal-buster with conservatives. It isn’t likely that Rick Snyder and Mike Pence will run so they can be ignored. That leaves us with Rick Perry and Scott Walker. That’s the real bracket. Let’s call this the conservatives with credentials bracket.

The MSM is writing off Rick Perry. That’s a major mistake. He’s a much more serious candidate this time than in 2012. He’s got a lengthy list of conservative reforms under his belt. He’s definitely anti-Washington. He’s definitely pro-border enforcement, which plays well with conservative activists. He’s signed tort reform, which has led to a major influx of doctors into Texas. While most of the nation worries about doctor shortages, that isn’t a worry in Texas.

That leaves Scott Walker in this bracket. Activists see him as the giant-killer who took on the public employee unions and beat them. Then the PEUs got upset with him and tried defeating him in a recall election. The PEUs took another thumping in 2012. They didn’t have their fill so they returned for another shot in 2014. Gov. Walker’s Act 10 reforms were so popular that Mary Burke, the Democrats’ candidate, didn’t even mention the subject.

That’s one of the brackets where the excitement will be.

Then there’s the youthful senators bracket. This bracket features Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. I don’t know that any of these candidates will advance to the finals but they’ll generate lots of excitement.

At the end of the day, I suspect that the finalists will be Walker and someone else. I’d be surprised if that someone else is Jeb Bush. Bush is definitely more formidable with the media than with activists.

Steve Kornacki did his best to (somewhat) subtly accuse Republican presidential candidates as hating Hispanics in this interview:

The big takeaway from this interview is Kellyanne Conway’s statement that “Republicans aren’t afraid of running against Bill and Hillary.” Simply put, there’s more fear amongst Beltway Republicans and GOP consultants than there is with heartland governors.

At this point, Hillary will have a difficult time running as an agent of change or as the candidate of youthful vigor. Hillary has been a fixture in DC for a quarter century. She might’ve been young when she arrived but she isn’t anymore. Fair or unfair, the reality is that she can’t play the agent-of-change-card at this point. She’s reached her sell-by date.

Of course, that’s irrelevant to MSNBC. They’re fixating on Rep. Steve King and Hispanic voters. It’s predictable but it’s a fool’s errand. When the Republican National Convention is held in July, 2016, there’s a distinct possibility that the ticket will be Scott Walker as the nominee and either Marco Rubio or Susana Martinez is his running mate. It’s virtually guaranteed that Martinez, Rubio, Brian Sandoval, Mia Love and Tim Scott will deliver primetime speeches at the convention.

People won’t think “Ohmigod. Republicans are the party of Steve King. I can’t vote for Scott Walker.” Democrats will do everything to paint Republicans as the party that hates Hispanics. That’ll be a difficult task when each night, Republicans will feature a Susana Martinez or a Marco Rubio or a Brian Sandoval, who will likely be in the middle of a fight to unseat Harry Reid at that point.

The excitement in that building will be the buzz. The applause will be frequent, the emotions will be high.

If you want to know what the Republican National Convention will look like, just watch the speeches delivered by Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Scott Walker. The enthusiasm during those speeches was noticeable and raucous.

Meanwhile, at the Democrats’ convention, the atmosphere won’t be electric. People will be able to contain their energy. The contrast between the two conventions will be stark. That contrast won’t put the Democrats in a positive light.

In the movie Rocky 3, Apollo Creed told Rocky that “When we fought, I trained hard but I didn’t have that look in my eyes. You had it and you won.”

I didn’t say that because I love the movie. I mention it because it’s a lesson between complacency and enthusiasm. There’s no question that, in 2016, the Democrats will work hard. There’s little question that Democrats will be a little complacent, too. If Republicans nominate one of their rising star governors, there’s no question that the 2016 Republican National Convention will be a great launching pad to a GOP victory.

Jim Geraghty’s evaluation of the GOP presidential candidates is fascinating. Rather than starting with the top tier candidates, let’s start by hearing what he said about the MSM’s top tier:

Jeb Bush: Sure, he’ll have the money, and he’ll have the name. But let’s not even get into the immigration, Common Core, business ties or family dynasty issues yet. Republican primary voters, particularly conservative ones, think that the Obama presidency is the worst calamity to hit America in their lifetimes, and fear it is doing permanent damage to the national values, identity, and standing in the world. GOP primary voters are going to want a fighter, and do they think Jeb Bush has been leading the fight against Obama?

Mitt Romney: When people tell Mitt Romney, “Governor, I really wish you had won in 2012,” they’re not saying, “Governor, I think you would have been one of the greatest presidents in our lifetimes.” They’re saying, “Governor, Obama is really, really, really terrible, and electing you would have spared the country a lot of pain.” He’s a good man, but a lot of Republicans are ready to move on to new options. Plus, you know… Gruber.

Chris Christie: If Bush and Romney are both in, you have to wonder how many big donors stick by him. He did better in his Iowa appearance than some might have expected, and he’s undoubtedly going to be a dominant figure in the debates. But he’s positioned himself in opposition to the rest of the party way too often, and you can’t win the GOP nomination from the Jon Huntsman slot, as the Republican nominee most acceptable to the Acela class that can’t stand Republicans.

Rand Paul: He’ll have his dad’s network, and he’s way more compelling than his father was. But there’s a ceiling to Libertarian-minded candidates in the modern Republican Party, and it’s going to be tougher to sell quasi-isolationist non-interventionism as the world blows up and grows even more dangerous in Obama’s final two years in office.

This isn’t 2008 or 2012, when the GOP didn’t field a bunch of top tier candidates like they’re fielding this year. In 2012, Paul Ryan would’ve swamped the field, including Mitt. This year, Paul Ryan would have a respectable following but he wouldn’t be seen as the prohibitive favorite.

Jeb Bush has irritated conservatives far too often to win the nomination. Sen. McCain got away with that in 2008 because he ran against a field of weaklings. Jeb won’t get away with that this time because he’s running against a virtual team of Olympic weightlifters. Mitt’s time came and went. Whether he officially runs is almost irrelevant at this point. That’s because he’s overmatched.

First Tier:

Scott Walker: He’s serious and accomplished enough for the “Establishment,” and indisputably conservative enough for the grassroots. The Left threw everything it had at this guy and he’s still going strong. Despite the questions about his charisma, he’s getting rave reviews for his passion in his appearance this weekend.

Marco Rubio: He’s arguably the best communicator in the Republican Party, and the Republican Party desperately needs a good communicator as its nominee.

With rave reviews from Charles Krauthammer and James Pethokoukis, he could end up being the conservative pundits’ favorite choice. Yes, there’s still irritation about the gang of “Gang of Eight” and anti-Senator skepticism to overcome, but he’s speaking about the broad, unifying national theme of American exceptionalism since 2010. Obviously, he offers a fantastic contrast with Hillary.

Rick Perry: The former governor of Texas is likely to be the only re-running candidate who improves upon his past performance. He still has a sterling economic record to point to, he’s been going toe-to-toe with the Obama administration consistently, he’s got enough charm to work on Jimmy Kimmel. This time, he won’t be coming off back surgery, he won’t start late and we’ll see just how much the hipster glasses help.

Bobby Jindal: Yes, he needs to speak slower. Yes, it’s not clear that a style that works in Louisiana will work on the national stage. But he’s a bit like Walker in that he’s amassed an indisputably conservative record while getting things done in two terms. There’s probably not another contender who knows more detail about more policies, and he’s guided his state through some severe challenges – post-Katrina rebuilding, a pair of serious hurricanes, the Deepwater Horizon and the drilling moratorium. What’s more, he’s been fighting the administration on issues like school choice for years and he moves fast when an opportunity opens like the House GOP botching a late-term abortion bill.

After Gov. Walker’s performance at Saturday’s Freedom Summit, he’ll be one of the most formidable candidates on either side of the aisle. While Hillary has her supporters, she doesn’t have supporters that’d run through brick walls to help her win. Gov. Walker’s supporters are passionate and they’re willing to do anything to help him win. (You don’t win 3 elections in 4 years by having supporters who are indifferent.)

As for Marco Rubio, there’s no question that his participation in the Gang of Eight immigration bill will hurt him with primary voters. Still, there’s no denying that he’s a powerful communicator with a compelling personal story that shouts ‘I’m living the American dream.’

Rick Perry is being written off by the MSM. That’s a mistake. They’ve focused too much on Perry’s oops moment during the 2012 and not enough on what he’s done on securing Texas’ border during the flood of unattended children. He’s a much more serious candidate this time.

At this point, I’d argue that Republicans are likely to win the White House. People are sick of President Obama and they just aren’t excited about Hillary. She’s been on the national scene for a quarter century. It’s impossible to sell yourself as a fresh face with Hillary’s resume.

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There’s only one conclusion that can be drawn after reading this article. Milwaukee will soon experience a substantial outmigration in population because the tyrants running the Milwaukee Public Schools are a) running failing schools and b) doing everything possible to prevent the opening or expansion of charter schools. First, here’s some foundational information:

In 2013, St. Marcus, a highly regarded school that accepts voucher students through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, needed to add a second campus.

Its classrooms, from the K3 program serving 3 year olds through those for its oldest students in eighth grade, were full. The school had a waiting list of more than 300 students whose parents were eager for them to attend. There were plenty of vacant MPS school buildings available. There still are, as a new report from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty documents.

The Democrats’ attempts to stifle school choice are breathtaking:

Tyson set his sights on the building that previously housed the Malcolm X Academy. The 170,000-square-foot property would provide St. Marcus with plenty of room to grow. Tyson contacted then MPS Superintendent Greg Thornton about the building. “He expressed an interest in selling and told me to write to the school board,” Tyson said. “I did.”

Then he waited.

After three months of waiting, Tyson finally received a response. “I got a single line response that said they weren’t willing to sell us the building,” Tyson said.

Get yourself a cup of hot chocolate or a cup of coffee because we’re just getting started with the Democrats’ chicanery:

“Milwaukee officials have chosen to block the expansion of choice and charter schools into unused and underutilized buildings. This hostility comes in many forms: local administrative policies that ban sales of facilities to certain non-MPS schools, the failure of MPS to keep a public list of what buildings are empty and underutilized, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s insistence of charging a ‘school choice tax’ as a condition on selling or leasing empty buildings, and the creation of last-minute ‘deals’ done solely to thwart the sale of facilities to schools in the choice program in high demand by Milwaukee families,” the report asserts.

First, Tom Barrett was the Democrats’ candidate against Scott Walker in the recall election in 2012. There’s more to the Democrats’ chicanery:

School board president Michael Barnes unveiled an ambitious and convoluted plan for the building. Malcolm X would be sold to a real estate developer who would convert part of it into apartments and the rest into a community resource center. MPS would then lease and eventually buy the community resource center.

The WILL report describes this deal as “a sham transaction done solely to prevent St. Marcus from obtaining the building.” This was an opinion held by many at the time, particularly after it was revealed the developer had not secured the financing needed for the project.

Calling this a “sham transaction” is an insult to scam artists. Still, we aren’t done with the Democrats’ corruption:

Tyson continued his talks with city officials. A price of $880,000 for the building was agreed to and St. Marcus was also set to pay a PILOT — payment in lieu of taxes — for the property, since as a private school it would be exempt from property taxes. “We agreed to that because we understand that any property in the city, even one owned by a nonprofit, uses city services,” Tyson explained.

The PILOT was expected to be $204,151.

The next obstacle appeared at what Tyson thought was going to be the final meeting with the city officials to set the terms of the sale. “This second obstacle was hilariously tragic,” Tyson recalled with a rueful laugh. “The mayor’s assistant gave me a piece of paper with a second PILOT on it. They wanted us to pay an additional $1.3 million to cover what they said the city would lose by students using vouchers to go to our school,” he said.

That the unions and other Democrats are doing everything possible to undermine charter schools isn’t surprising. Likewise, it won’t be surprising when people start voting with their mortgages and start leaving Milwaukee. In fact, it’s inevitable.

Frankly, I’d love to hear that the Republican majority do something to entice Milwaukee charter school parents to leave Milwaukee for cities with lots of charter schools.

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After reading Daniel Halper’s article, it’s clear that there isn’t a clear Republican frontrunner. Still, the unscientific poll is helpful. Here’s the results of TWS’ unscientific poll:

Scott Walker–mentioned on 44% of the ballots as either first, second or third choice; first choice on 18%. Thus, 44/18.

Ted Cruz–35/16.
Ben Carson–26/10.
Mitt Romney–24/12.
Bobby Jindal–20/3.
Jeb Bush–18/8.
Marco Rubio–18/4.
Rand Paul–16/6.
John Kasich–15/4.
Rick Perry–15/3.
Mike Huckabee–12/3.
John Bolton–10/3.
Mike Pence–9/2.
Chris Christie–8/2.
Rick Santorum–7/2.

I don’t agree with Bill Kristol’s statement:

So the most important take-away from the poll is this, I think: not only isn’t there a clear front-runner, there’s not even a clear handful of front-runners.

I strongly disagree with that statement, though I agree that there isn’t “a clear front-runner.” I’d disagree that there isn’t a “handful of front-runners.” Clearly, there’s a handful of front-runners. That group is made up of Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, with Gov. Bush coming in with a lackluster finish.

At this point, it’s difficult to take Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum seriously. I’ll give Pence, Perry and Kasich a shot, though it’s clear they’re in a lower tier at this moment, because they can raise money and they have a compelling record to run on.

It’s impossible to picture a path to the nomination for Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie or Rick Santorum. Huckabee and Santorum won the 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses but their base of Christian conservatives isn’t their’s anymore. Scott Walker’s message will play well with Christian conservatives. Rand Paul’s libertarian message will appeal to voters in New Hampshire but it won’t play well in Iowa and Florida. Sen. Paul’s message definitely won’t play in South Carolina, with its military bases and its Bible Belt roots.

In 2012, Mitt Romney got trounced in South Carolina. It isn’t a stretch to think that he won’t do well this time.

It’s a million political lifetimes away but there’s already some voter sorting happening already. It’ll be interesting to see whether that stratification continues.

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Hillary and Jeb Bush need each other politically. Hillary can’t win the 2016 presidential campaign if Jeb isn’t the GOP nominee. She could defeat Mitt Romney or Chris Christie, too, but the only people taking them seriously work at East Coast newspapers.

Wes Pruden’s column hits on a point that the DC media hasn’t written about:

Hillary can’t win, and that’s why she won’t run. She may not know that yet herself, but a lot of Democrats want her because she’s all they’ve got. The Republicans are counting on her to run because they think she’s the candidate they can beat in what looks from here like it could be a Republican year.

I don’t agree with Mr. Pruden’s opinion that she won’t run. Hillary’s ego is too big to admit that she isn’t presidential material. She’s lived her life with the belief that she’s entitled to the job. She’s put up with Bill’s affairs, which she thinks, again, entitles her to her own presidential administration.

The point that I agree with Mr. Pruden on is that she’s the best the Democrats have to offer at this point. She’s mediocre but she’s at the top of the Democrats’ list. There aren’t any talented Democratic governors out there. On the Republican side, there’s an embarrassment of riches in terms of talented Republican governors. The top tier of Republican governors is filled with Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Mike Pence.

The next tier is still pretty talented. Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Brian Sandoval and Rick Perry inhabit that tier. Each these governors have a substantial list of accomplishments.

By comparison, Hillary’s top accomplishments are that she a) was a US senator from a state so blue that toxic waste would get elected if they had a D behind their name and b) did more travelling as the US Secretary of State than any other US Secretary of State. People can’t look at her and say what her defining policy accomplishment was. They certainly can’t identify something she did as Secretary of State that protected the US from terrorists or that helped defeat the terrorists.

In short, Hillary checked off the appropriate boxes, which qualifies her to get thumped in a presidential election.

Successful men and women are born with an instinct for politics, or they never have it. Bubba was born with it, along with the ability to change convictions like changing his pants. The politicians who have it have no shame exploiting it. If they have the ability to wink, smile and say the right thing they can get by with anything short of murder, and maybe that, too. What can you do with a good ol’ boy like Bubba? He only rarely hit a false note. Hillary never hits anything but.

She’s stiff and wooden as a public speaker, as if trying to prove Dr. Johnson’s famous aphorism that a woman preaching is like a dog trying to walk on its hind legs. Hillary is tone-deaf besides. She’s always starting on her “back foot,” as the English say, and she’s a mediocre campaigner, too.

Hillary’s book tour was a disaster. When Hillary’s history is written, most historians will say that Hillary’s book tour is when her presidential ambitions essentially died.

When I first skimmed this NY Times article, I thought it was a decent article, in part because of this analysis:

Nonetheless, there will be demand for an alternative to Mr. Bush, even from within the so-called Republican establishment. Since Friday, attention has focused on Mitt Romney, who said in a meeting of top advisers and donors that he was considering a third run.

But the more compelling challenger may be Scott Walker, the battle-hardened governor of Wisconsin. He has made moves toward running, and on paper, he’s the type of candidate who should deeply concern Mr. Bush.

A study of the 2012 election suggests that Jeb Bush has nothing to fear from moving to the right during the primary season.

Unlike the flawed but better-known conservatives, Mr. Walker has the potential to have broad appeal throughout the Republican Party. Mr. Walker, born in Colorado Springs, is an evangelical Christian who defeated public employee unions in a high-profile battle over collective bargaining rights and who made big budget cuts in a state that has voted for Democrats in seven consecutive presidential elections.

First, I disagree that Gov. Bush “has nothing to fear from moving to the right” during the primaries. He isn’t a conservative anymore. Admittedly, he had a reasonably conservative record as governor but he’s wandered quite a bit since leaving office almost a decade ago.

The analysis is right in that Gov. Walker’s appeal is substantial for quite a few reasons, starting with the fact that he’s taken on some rather large challenges and won. It’s also because Gov. Walker’s supporters across the nation feel passionately about him and would run through brick walls for him. That’s something that other GOP presidential candidates can’t tout, including Rand Paul.

Ron Paul’s supporters were willing to run through walls for him but Rand Paul isn’t like his father. He’s a polished politician, not the conscience of the Libertarian Party.

Yet unlike most conservative heroes, Mr. Walker has the record, résumé and temperament of a candidate who could attract significant support from the establishment.

In short, Gov. Walker has a substantial list of conservative accomplishments. Many of those accomplishments are reforms that Wisconsin’s needed for years. People think that Gov. Walker’s only accomplishment is union reform. Few people talk about his expansion of charter schools and school choice options.

Those are accomplishments that translate well to the national stage.

This is where they went wrong:

Some question whether he has the charisma to distinguish himself in a crowded field. He could end up like the former governor Tim Pawlenty, another Midwesterner, who was thought to be a strong challenger to Mr. Romney in 2012 but who ultimately failed to gain traction in Iowa.

Gov. Walker is nothing like Gov. Pawlenty. Gov. Pawlenty’s biggest accomplishment wasn’t really an accomplishment. Gov. Pawlenty prevented the DFL from raising taxes through the roof. It’s the right thing to do but it isn’t an accomplishment.

The other difference between Gov. Pawlenty and Gov. Walker is that people supported Gov. Pawlenty but Gov. Walker’s supporters would run through walls for him. Simply put, the charisma argument isn’t credible.