COMMENTARY | George Will has a piece out in which he touts Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for president in 2016. Noting the battles he fought and won with public sector unions, Will makes a pretty good case.
It is a truism that governors or former governors make the best presidential candidates. The second Bush and Bill Clinton were governors when they ran. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were former governors when they ran and won.
On the other hand, Howard Dean, Michael Dukakis and Mitt Romney had been governors as well and they did not go anywhere. Will and others touted Mitch Daniels in 2012, then a governor of Indiana who was sound, sensible, and dull as dirt. Daniels would likely have made a good president and might even have won if he had run. He certainly could not have done worse.
Of course the potential Republican slate for 2016 is replete with governors and former governors, including Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and, of course, the incomparable Sarah Palin of Alaska. Each in their own way have been highly successful in running their respective states and would make good or even great presidents.
State governors, except for Palin, have the added bonus of not being as scary to the Republican establishment as certain other potential candidates, such as Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Ted Cruz is considered out of control, even though he was proven right time and again about Obamacare. Rand Paul has an unfortunate father and may be a little bit too “noninterventionist” where it comes to foreign affairs.
On the other hand there is one other fact one should consider. Chris Christie is a state governor as well, of New Jersey. He is hampered by a volcanic temper and if a reputation, partly undeserved, of being a northeastern moderate. After the unhappy experience with Romney, republican voters are not likely to go there again.