Cross-posted from The Nation
Scott Walker, an ardent Ronald Reagan fan from his youth, was never likely to follow Reagan's footsteps to the White House. The Wisconsin governor lacks his hero's way with words, skill for crossing lines of partisan and ideogical division (especially within the Republican Party) and confidence on the national campaign trail.
Yet Walker has wanted to believe in the possibility so badly that he has spent the two years since his 2012 recall election win positioning himself as a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He penned a campaign book, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge, which was so transparent in its ambitions that Glenn Beck's The Blaze refers to it as "the prototypical book about someone running for president who doesn't want to come out and actually say that he is running for president."
He jetted off to Las Vegas to to try and impress Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, but Adelson missed the Wisconsinite's speech. He even persisted in making the rounds nationally after polls showed that his enthusiasm for presidential politics did not sit well with the Wisconsin voters he must face in a November re-election bid.
But with the release of documents in which Wisconsin prosecutors allege Walker helped to engineer an expansive "criminal scheme" to coordinate efforts by conservative groups to help his recall campaign -- by circumventing campaign finance laws -- Walker's presidential prospects look less realistic even than those of his mentor, scandal-plagued New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
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