Profiles in cowardice

Scott Walker may be leading early polls and looking like a strong contender for the Republican nomination, but in many ways, this guy is just not ready for primetime.

Sure, I get why he doesn’t want to stake a position on evolution, for fear of scaring off Fundamentalist science-deniers who vote in Republican primaries (or scaring off Wall Street libertarians who don’t want a Mike Huckabee social conservative), but you can’t just admit that you are too scared to answer the question:

February 11, 2015 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaking at Chatham House in London, was asked Wednesday by a British moderator if he believes in evolution. He chose not to answer…

“I’m going to punt on that one as well,” Walker said [emphasis mine] after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution, and if he believes in it. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other.”

In a statement later Wednesday obtained by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker said “Both science and my faith dictate my belief that we are created by God” and that “I believe faith and science are compatible, and go hand in hand.”

Seriously?  You don’t actually admit that you are too cowardly to actually provide an answer– you just tapdance around it– exactly what he does in the later statement.  Sure, the latter is pure pablum designed to seem like he’s answering the question without offending anybody, but that’s what good politicians do.  They don’t say, “I punt.”  Scott Walker does seem to have a lot going for him on paper, but I suspect that the reality of a grueling campaign will do him in, just as it did Rick “now what was that government agency I wanted to close?” Perry.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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