The Inevitable Future Presidency of David Walker

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 23 2012 1:29 PM

The Inevitable Future Presidency of David Walker

Meet David Walker, the comptroller general of the United States from 1998 to 2008, and a one-man example of how the centrist third-party dream isn't working. If you watched MSNBC this morning, you might have seen Walker talk to Chuck Todd because hes "one of those being speculated upon" (Todd's words) as a contender.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

"I'm not a candidate now," said Walker, humility dripping off his brow. "I don't expect to be a candidate. There is an independent draft committee."

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Indeed, there is. The Committee to Get Walker Running (puns!) sent out a statement about its efforts just one hour after Walker's humble MSNBC hit. Its goal: "recruiting at least 10,000 supporters to the Americans Elect website by May 15 in order to qualify Walker for [the] June convention."

But this is only the umpteenth attempt to get momentum for a Walker draft. In October, the centrist group No Labels encouraged members to vote in the online "Politico Primary," a stunt-ish poll that nobody else really campaigned for. Walker ran second to Hillary Clinton. It didn't really provide any momentum to the "Draft Walker" page on Americans Elect. As of this morning, Walker had 268 supporters on the site, 9,732 short of the number needed to nominate him.

That's where the Committee comes in. It's a non-Americans Elect effort to do what Americans Elect obviously, desparately wants -- to turn Walker into a folk hero with a campaign that real humans will pay attention to. As Jim Cook points out, most of the Committee's organizers came from... Americans Elect. First the organization moved its convention from April to June, and now some of its young leaders have moved over to a pro-Walker group. That's an awful lot of work!

(A hat tipped in Mark Schmitt's general direction for the pointers.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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