Larry Sillanpa

Maybe it was Pope Francis coming to America that made Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker go Biblical and drop out of the presidential race with this Sept. 21 statement: “The Bible is full of stories about people who are called to be leaders in unusual ways. Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message will rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.” Get that?

Walker is the second GOP presidential hopeful, third if you remember former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s golden boy status, to drop out. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is also done. (“The Coiffure” and “Governor Goodhair” is how the sorely missed Molly Ivins referred to Perry. As little respect as she had for him she said “Goodhair is much more engaged as governor than Bush was.” That’d be George W., which should bring us to Jeb Bush, but that’s next year.)

Walker was thought to have had better traction with Koch money behind him, but he was unable to hide under the national spotlight. He’s done well, somehow, under a Wisconsin spotlight. He ran an expensive campaign filled with gaffes and poor answers to questions on the issues, and funding became a problem.

“Scott Walker’s still a disgrace, just not a national disgrace,” is how AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka viewed Walker’s exit.

“Walker’s implosion shows that you can’t build a campaign by tearing down working people and their aspirations for a better life,” says Eliot Seide, Executive Director of Minnesota’s AFSCME Council 5.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders said, “This is a clear rebuke of the anti-worker platform on which Governor Walker based his entire presidential campaign. At a time when Americans of both parties are frustrated with an unbalanced economy manipulated by CEOs and corporations – the very people who backed Governor Walker – it’s no surprise that nearly six in 10 Americans support labor unions and resoundingly reject his approach. Governor Walker found nearly zero support for his policies that would have tipped the scales even further against working families. Just one week after he tried to reboot his foundering campaign on the backs of working people, he has abandoned his bid for the presidency.”

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO said “Now that Walker’s national ambitions have crashed and burned, we call on Governor Walker to move beyond the myopic anti-worker agenda that brought him his fifteen minutes of fame and get back to the job he was elected to do -- create real opportunities for the people of Wisconsin.”

Although he’s out of the presidential race Walker will still be a darling of the conservative right wing for his antilabor, anti-union agenda. He had promised to bring to the nation the anti-worker policies he has gotten passed in Wisconsin, where he won a recall election, the first time in the nation that happened.

He stripped Wisconsin public employees of collective bargaining rights, made it a right to work (for less) state, is going after prevailing wages, opposed a minimum wage increase and advancing health care to citizens and now wants to blow up civil service. He had the same plan for America. He’s still capable of a lot of damage.