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March 18, 2015

Re: In Defense Of Scott Walker

Drew and I and the cobs have been discussing this. I would not choose to defend Gov. Walker on the resignation of communications strategist Liz Mair. He erred.

First, once hired, his only response to Iowa Republican party leaders who claimed it was "disgusting" that Mair tweeted that she disliked Iowa's front runner status and ag subsidies, (and also called her "shallow and ignorant" before asserting that "We play nice in Iowa") should have been a short and final statement:

"Liz Mair is a communications strategist. She is not a member of my policy team. I appreciate the concerns I've heard raised about her policy beliefs, but Mair will not be advising me on policy matters."

Second, Iowa state party members have with this disgraceful performance once again demonstrated that they and their state are unfit for the millions of dollars in campaign money that get dumped there, uselessly if the past few decades are any guide, every four years.

Third, Walker has demonstrated an alarming propensity to pander during the past two weeks. He folded like a cheap suit on immigration and ethanol. Now he's letting state party leaders choose his campaign staff for him. This is not the picture of a fearless governor challenging entrenched interests that Walker cultivated during his battles in Wisconsin.

Fourth, Mair was hired because she is an excellent communications strategist with direct and, generally, positive connections to journalists, bloggers, and activists who will be setting the nation-wide narrative for the 2016 election. Mair's firing, done at the behest of people already disliked for their pointless gravy train, will tend to irritate exactly the journalists, bloggers, and activists that Gov. Walker was seeking to woo.

Walker needs to take a beat and think about what kind of candidate he wants to be. Running from brushfire to brushfire trying to pander to every group that wants to make a ruckus will end his campaign hopes before the primary even officially kicks off.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:07 AM

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