It’s been a busy week for the GOP. First, Scott Walker drops out of the run for president. A few days later John Boehner announces he will be resigning as Speaker of the House, right on the tails of the Pope’s visit to Congress.
What exactly is going on in the Tea Party? Why are two notable figures stepping out of the spotlight?
In Scott Walker’s case, Donald Trump is a large part of his reason for dropping out. Well, at least that’s part of his remarks when he made the announcement that he will be gracefully bowing out of the run for the White House. In the same breath, he urged most of the other candidates to do the same so that they could rally behind the second strongest candidate to more successfully take on Trump. Trump’s tactics are unheard of, even in politics, and other Republicans look at him as an antiestablishment knuckle-head who isn’t serious about foreign policy or many of the key issues plaguing America. Walker’s remarks aren’t surprising considering the other candidates have become more vocal about their disdain for Trump. It doesn’t make it any less surprising that he would suddenly give up.
Aside from hoping to unite the other candidates against the Big Bad Wolf, Walker was also dropping in the polls. At the start of campaign season, Walker was widely considered as a serious contender for the White House; but this was before the Trump Show started airing. Since then, Walker has trouble finding his footing and making his voice heard. He was drowned out by Trump’s one liners about Mexicans and women, and overshadowed by the momentum of fresh faces like Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. I would even venture to say that most Americans wouldn’t be able to pick Walker out of a line-up.
Then there were his debate performances. Walker missed opportunities to make a point on key issues that would hit the press by sunrise. Instead, Trump, Bush, Carson, Fiorina, and Rubio were the widely talked about candidates, with a sprinkling of Chris Christie. These were two missed opportunities for Walker and the polling numbers reflected that.
Trump still has the top spot, with Fiorina and Carson neck in neck and gaining rapidly. Walker is being reasonable and must have started to realize that his chances of occupying the Oval Office were fading away.
Who will be next? Only time can tell, but I would predict that one by one, the other candidates who aren’t in the top 5 will begin dropping like flies as time wares on and we inch closer to choosing one candidate to represent our party. Except, maybe, for Rand Paul. He might go kicking and screaming.