Scott Walker’s “comfortable cocoon”

Do yourself a solid and read Alec MacGillis in The New Republic on “The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker.” It’s a long piece of reporting that chronicles the rise of the (maybe-2016 hopeful) Republican Governor of Wisconsin. His political place is rooted in the sociological geography of Milwaukee and surrounding counties, embedded in the starkest racial segregation, and firmly floating on a bubble of white, conservative talk radio resentment.

There are more important aspects, but I chuckled at this description of the power, and limitation, of Walker’s dependence on the particularly virulent local talk radio environment:

And yet as pedestrian as the speech was, the crowd clearly loved it. This reminded me of what several state political veterans had told me, that Walker’s ascent had not prepared him well for the national stage. In Wisconsin, he occupies a comfortable cocoon; nationally, he’ll face tougher questions and even tougher opponents. A segment in February with Fox News’s Chris Wallace about the investigation into Walker’s county administration and the e-mail release did not go well. “He hasn’t shown the ability to do that, to step out of Nerf territory,” says Chris Larson, a Democratic state senator from Milwaukee. Terry, the former Belling employee, agrees. “No one’s really pushed his buttons, and trust me, when they get a hold of him and he can’t jump in the safety zone, it’ll go hard on him,” he said. In Wisconsin, “if he says something stupid … he can run to the outlets and they’ll take care of it. He could eat a child on television and [Milwaukee talk radio] would go on about how it benefits children.”

Check out the rest for yourself (and keep an eye out for bit on how the Governor and his wife celebrate their wedding anniversary).


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