Scott Walker in Iowa: Relentlessly on message – By KATIE GLUECK 7/19/15 6:16 PM EDT Updated 7/19/15 8:10 PM EDT


During his three-day swing across the state, the Wisconsin governor showed the kind of discipline and caution most candidates can only dream of.

Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at a fundraising event for Rep. Pat Grassley at the PIPAC Centre on the Lake Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. (Matthew Putney/The Courier via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The outfits were nearly identical, the speeches repeated almost verbatim and even the intonations rarely varied. Over the course of Scott Walker’s three-day Winnebago trip across Iowa, the Wisconsin governor stumped with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker, exhibiting the kind of discipline that most candidates can only dream of.

In his first days as a presidential candidate in the state where he’s leading in the polls, Walker showed the consistency and attention to detail that propelled him to 12 victories back home — including three statewide wins. He sported the same campaign trail uniform (a blue-and-white checked, collared shirt, jeans and belt), and used the same prop (a rumpled dollar bill pulled from his pocket). He told the same anecdote about his thriftiness that’s become his signature (his shopping habits at retailer Kohl’s) and quoted whole paragraphs of his announcement speech from last Monday, almost word for word.

“I’m for high standards,” he said of his education stance at several stops, sweeping his arm upwards to accentuate his point. But standards should be set at the local level, he would follow up, theatrically lowering his arm for emphasis.

Even by presidential campaign trail standards, where the intense media scrutiny pushes candidates to adopt a more buttoned-up approach and White House hopefuls strive to hew closely to message, Walker stands out. On several occasions, when he used a slightly different word at one stop than he had at the previous appearance, he paused and then corrected himself.

In Cedar Rapids, when a voter asked him Friday during a town hall about what he would do to keep jobs in Iowa, Walker took that as an opportunity to dive into his five-point economic plan, making a few connections between Obamacare and her question, but generally sticking to a script that he used everywhere else.

 

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