We asked several prominent Wisconsin conservatives whether they thought Scott Walker should run for President in 2016, and if they thought he would run.

James Wigderson
Wigderson Library & Pub
While the presidential buzz around Governor Scott Walker is interesting, we have no way of knowing how bruised he will be during his re-election campaign in 2014. Also new conservative stars can (and almost certainly will) emerge between now and then.
In politics, timing is everything. Walker’s ascendance is at a time when other conservative stars are coming of age. Unlike 2012 when Mitt Romney dominated in a Republican presidential primary campaign of political dwarfs, Republicans will have some very solid and established candidates. Senator Marco Rubio gave a speech at CPAC, too, that caused more presidential buzz. Senator Rand Paul may actually be able to bridge Republicans and libertarians. Governor
Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is leading the way on tax and education reform. Governor Chris Christie is taking on unions and special interests in his state and is getting national attention for his directness. And let’s not forget Congressman Paul Ryan who has had a taste of the national stage.
Finally, while I like Walker, and truly respect him as a governor, he has no foreign policy experience or credentials. He also can’t point to an educational background that would lend credibility in that area.
As our friends on the left like to remind us, Walker did not even finish college. While there’s a compelling story (he left school to go to work), Walker is going to have a hard time convincing a certain segment of Republican primary voters to take him seriously as a result. Think about our last several presidents. You have to  go back to Reagan to escape Yale/Harvard/Oxford.  And Reagan had a degree in economics.
Brett Healy
John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Will he or won't he? Only time will tell. What we do know is that the left is once again attacking Scott Walker and the possibility he might one day run for President because they fear him.

Scott Walker did something that is incredibly rare in today's political world. Walker promised to fix a $3.6 billion dollar deficit without raising taxes and surprise, surprise, he actually kept his word. Walker fixed Wisconsin's fiscal crisis by making difficult decisions that force government to live within its means, a common-sense solution that other politicians believe is impossible.

What the left is deadly afraid of is a growing number of Americans, who know what it is like to pare back their own household budget because of the uncertain times we live in, agree with Walker's vision for government and for the future. The left also knows that Walker has an incredibly rare talent for a fiscal conservative - the ability to effectively communicate his vision and connect with regular people on a more emotional level.

His constituents rewarded his steadfastness by re-electing him in a recall election despite the ugliest tactics we ever seen in this state. And that is what truly scares the left. If fiscal common-sense and prudence can prevail over Big Labor and those who fight relentlessly for government expansion in a place like Wisconsin, it is a message that can win anywhere.


Brian Sikma
Media Trackers
Wisconsin was the pre-game for the 2012 election, but unlike November of 2012, Republicans actually won both the policy debate and the political fight here. Anybody who could win twice in a Blue State with full-fledged Democrat and union opposition deserves consideration for the GOP presidential nomination. What Governor Scott Walker must now do is make sure that he is not outflanked by innovative ideas and conservative reforms currently being implemented by other Republican governors such as Gov. Mike Pence in Indiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal in Florida, and senators like Marco Rubio. The national spotlight doesn't linger long and conservative credentials aren't a life-time deal, you have to continue to earn them.
 Jerry Bader
Radio Talk Show Host
This question currently resides in the green banana section of political talk. The should he question needs to precede the will he question. Should he? Scott Walker has Wisconsin on a path 180 degrees divergent from President Obama's America. By early 2015 the results of these two very different roads taken should provide a study in contrast in terms of results. 
If Wisconsin is out-producing America, substantially, Scott Walker should run for President. He'll have established Wisconsin as a model for effective conservatism; effectiveness being measured by results. A run won't merely be politically wise; it will be a moral imperative. Entertaining for a moment that Wisconsin is an island of results in a sea of Obama malaise, then comes the "will he" question. The answer to that almost certainly is yes. 
Unless Walker is convinced he has more to accomplish in Wisconsin, he'll savor the opportunity to try his reform agenda on a national level, and America will likely be starving for such an agenda by that point. And the pressure for him to do so will surely be an irresistible force. 

Patti Breitigam-Wenzel
Veteran Journalist
Scott Walker's requirements that the next president be a tested governor fits him to a T.  But do we want to lose Fighting Scott Walker to the nation?
Sure why not?  With his record of cutting spending, neutering union power and spreading school choice in the state, sending him to Washington to balance a budget and cut the bureaucracy would be a good thing. 
He stood up to the nation's largest education union and Obama's own campaign manager to stall a recall and with his national status that would work in his favor. Scott Walker for President?  I'd vote for that ticket! (Especially if Paul Ryan is on there too!)
Sean Hackbarth
If Walker continues focusing on reforming government in ways that improve the state, he should consider running in 2016. Americans want leaders with the ability to solve problems. Someone far away from the Washington bubble would be welcome by GOP primary and general elections voters.

Luke Hilgemann
Americans for Prosperity Foundation, Wisconsin
During his first term and a half (including the recall), Gov. Walker has shown the courage, the wisdom, and the leadership we will need to transform Washington and get our country back on the path to prosperity. The Wisconsin Way, which puts the interests of taxpayers ahead of the special interests, has served as a blueprint for the rest of the country to follow and IT'S WORKING! While there are many conservatives here who would love for him to remain our governor and continue to pursue the bold reforms he's made a significant part of his platform, it will be very difficult for Gov. Walker not to pursue a more significant role in the leadership of our nation. 
Ethan Hollenberger
Conservative Activist
Governor Walker is a strong leader who understands holding to his conservative principles. Since launching his public service career in the 90s, Walker has consistently been an innovator. While no leader is perfect, Governor Walker understands the core purpose of government and rarely deviates from his principles. 
Walker has always focused on his current position. During his gubernatorial speculation, he told the people of Milwaukee County he was focused on them. Now, he is telling the citizens of Wisconsin he is focused on us. The Governor wants to see more of his reforms passed -- in particular his education reforms.  
Three years is an eternity in politics. There is no doubt Governor Walker is a rock-star in the party. There is no doubt Governor Walker will have a part in modernizing the party. Those of us who worked for him early in his career are excited to see his stock sky-rocket. The next three years will be exciting for anybody observing Governor Walker. He has the experience, knowledge, and principles for higher office. 
Michelle Litjens
Former State Representative

It is clear Governor Walker proposed a balanced budget and is moving an aggressive agenda to better Wisconsin because he is running for re-election for governor. It is imperative we re-elect Walker in order to keep moving Wisconsin forward. The more talk about Governor Walker running for president 4 years from now only gives democrats an opportunity to beat Walker in 2014. Although it is fun to speculate about the possibilities of Walker in the White House, we must focus at the immediate job in front of us and re-elect Scott Walker Governor in 2014.


Steve Welcenbach
The Reality News
Rand Paul is a better choice. He has much wider appeal. And he will lead the Republican Party in the direction it needs to go.
Walker is certainly viable and would probably be the best governor choice we have, though not the most experienced. But he would be good. He just has too much faith in government and still holds on to some big government tendencies.

Steve Prestegard
Scott Walker will not be the president of the United States in 2016 or any other year, because no Wisconsinite will ever be elected president from either party. Wisconsin comprises essentially 2 percent of the United States -- 2 percent of the population, 2 percent of the gross domestic product, etc. Wisconsin therefore is simply not significant enough in the nation for the GOP to select a Wisconsin politician for the presidential nomination. (The same applies to the Democratic Party.) Politicians from Wisconsin amass neither enough wealth nor enough national political stature (which translates to a national-level campaign financial base) to make a serious run for president. Wisconsin is also politically goofy -- this state has one of the most conservative AND one of the most liberal senators in the U.S. Senate. For all but eight years since 1988, this state voted for Republican governors and Democratic presidential candidates. For that matter, this state is the home of both Fighting Bob La Follette and Joe McCarthy. 
I suspect Scott Walker knows this, and therefore will not run for president.
Kevin Binversie
Given his national profile (Thanks #WIUnion!), Walker and his campaign staff would be foolish to not explore the option.  He now has a national fund raising network, developed during the recall which will only be enhanced from his position as vice chairman of the Republican Governor's Association.  It is easy to forget that Walker's major political events for most of the year will be helping Chris Christie get re-elected in New Jersey and Republicans retain the governor's mansion in Virginia. 
Though there are potential concerns with a potential White House by Paul Ryan, there is no guarantee that Ryan himself will run.  Lost in all the 2016 talk is the assumption that in 2015, Ryan moves from chairing the House Budget Committee to chairing the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee which oversees not just the nation's tax laws, but nearly all of the country's entitlement programs like Medicare, Social Security and even ObamaCare. Ryan himself will have a tough decision when it comes to deciding on whether to seek the White House or not. 
However, the first thing Walker must do is secure his own re-election in 2014.  The Left in Wisconsin utterly loathes him and will bring out everything at their disposal, every "nonpartisan, good government group" will call for investigation upon investigation -- because the John Doe didn't give them the result they wanted -- until Walker is not just defeated, but completely destroyed both personally and politically. 
Timing is everything in politics, but it would be foolish at this time for Walker, his campaign team and his supporters to look past 2014.  Focus on the race in front of you, not the one the press wants to speculate on.
Matt Batzel
American Majority Action 

Gov. Scott Walker became a national conservative hero when he took on Big Labor and won: getting his collective bargaining reforms passed, helping his party survive state senate recalls, and ultimately becoming the first Governor to defeat a recall (while extending his win margin over 2010). Thanks to Big Labor's political miscalculations Walker has a large national fundraising base from the Recall.

In fact, he raised more money for his recall election than all but 2 of the 2012 GOP Presidential primary candidates over roughly the same time period. Walker's budget reforms are his strong point and could be very appealing for grassroots conservatives fed up with Washington's budgeting dysfunction.

David Blaska
Veteran Journalist
Scott Walker for President! Who else has won two statewide elections in less than two years? Scott Walker has Barack Obama's unflappability, news anchor good looks, and impeccable conservative street cred. He has made the correct enemies.
American are hungry for someone with courage to take on the public sector unions, balance a budget without raising taxes, restore an economy.
I got it! His presidential campaign motto: "Scott Walker: Take Courage."