Running for President of the United States is hard. Only one person out of 315 million Americans gets the job every four years. There are likely 1 million politicos who would love to have the gig.
So Gov. Scott Walker is finding out that the level of media scrutiny and criticism is far greater as a potential Presidential candidate than it ever was as a state level candidate or official. Here’s the latest:
When asked how, as President, Walker would handle the ISIS threat, he responded with this nugget:
“If I can take on 100,000 (union) protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Now, if you are at a private meeting or conference with the Koch Brothers and GOP fundraisers, this would be a brilliant line; one that would generate knowing glances and winks of approval. But Walker made the comment at the CPAC Convention which was widely covered by the news media.
Predictably, Walker’s political opponents took umbrage at the idea that working men and women who organize to ask for raises and pensions are the equivalent of terrorists who murder people who don’t agree with them.
Walker is turning into a top tier presidential candidate and is quickly showing more promise than people with bigger names, like Governor Chris Christie, but Walker has got to learn how to control his message when he is speaking in public forums.
Successful Presidential candidates have to learn how to speak in such a way that they 1. excite their base AND 2. seem reasonable and plausible to voters across the spectrum. By that score, Walker earns an “A” for the first job, but an “F” for the second job.
It’s still a year before most voters pay attention to the presidential race, so there is plenty of time to learn. That’s what is fascinating to watch for us political junkies, some candidates grow and improve throughout the campaign season; others stay the same or regress. And those who predict who will do what, are usually mistaken.
TJ Walker coaches political leaders how to communicate effectively in speeches and media interviews. Call him at 212.764.4955, Media Training Worldwide