Two months ago, Scott Walker officially announced to supporters that he was running for president because God had called him to it and because “I am certain: This is God’s plan for me.”
Well, either God changed his mind or Walker just plain heard Him wrong. Either way, it’s over.
“Today I feel I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field,” Walker said yesterday in quitting a race in which he was once considered a frontrunner. He also urged other candidates to follow the example that he was trying to set.
“I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider (dropping out) so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, ultimately, to the future of our country.”
But let’s be honest: Walker didn’t drop out for the good of the party or the country, nor did he do so as a sacrificial act of leadership. He dropped out because he was polling at 0 percent and his money had dried up. Naked ambition with a mean streak behind it didn’t turn out to be all that attractive to voters, particularly in charisma-free packaging. Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that anybody with a significant degree of support will agree to “clear the field” against Donald Trump by quitting as Walker has. Humility and self-sacrifice are not traits common among presidential candidates.
Still, by framing his decision as the beginning of a “Stop Trump” movement that is “fundamentally important” to the party’s future, Walker does betray just how nervous Republicans have become over The Donald’s success. If it’s a joke, as many first thought, it has stopped being funny. And unlike Walker, it’s not going away anytime soon.