There was a lot of competition but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was my favorite speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Saturday, with Carly Fiorina coming in a close second.
Lack of personal charisma has always been a problem for Walker, but that wasn’t apparent in his speech before the sold-out crowd at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. Someone with as long a list of accomplishments as Walker’s doesn’t need to wow people with charm and charisma – not that it was lacking, yesterday.
Walker paced the stage, touting the conservative reforms he pushed through blue state Wisconsin, which resulted in a balanced budget. “If you’re not afraid to go big and go bold, you can actually get results,” he said.
In the perhaps the most compelling segment of his speech, Walker thanked the Iowans who prayed for him during his fight against the public sector unions, and ensuing recall effort. Besides the protests at the Capitol, he and his family faced constant harassment at home and death threats – including one person who promised to gut his wife “like a deer.” Another one told his wife that if she didn’t stop Walker, he would be the first Wisconsin governor to be assassinated.
Walker, a Pastor’s son, said that the prayers helped them to get through those dark days.
“Here in Wisconsin because of our reforms, we didn’t just balance the budget, there’s no more seniority or tenure -you hire and fire whoever you want based on performance,” Walker said to great applause..
Walker also took credit for passing pro-life legislation and defunding Planned Parenthood, rolling back excessive regulations on small businesses and family farmers, passing “aggressive lawsuit reforms”, and passing a conceal/carry law “so law abiding citizens can stand up and protect themselves, their families, and their properties.”