From Waukesha, Wisconsin
Considered by some to be the GOP frontrunner, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin will officially enter the Republican race for the White House on Monday, bringing along a Midwestern brand of politics that’s hardened by a host of experienced Republican campaign operatives.
“What has really made a name for him is that he is such a principled conservative who fights and wins,” said Ed Goeas, a veteran pollster who will fill a senior strategic role for Walker’s campaign.
“He really kind of connects with people,” Goeas told me on Sunday, saying that voters often use the word “approachable” when talking about their reaction to meeting the Wisconsin Governor, who survived a bitter recall election in 2012.
“It’s kind of an endorsement of, ‘he’s one of us,'” Goeas said.
Walker spent the day before his official campaign announcement going back to his youth, as on Sunday he visited a McDonald’s where he worked as a teenager in Delavan, Wisconsin, and the Countryside Restaurant, where he washed dishes.
Walker’s brand of politics is somewhat unique in the GOP field, in that he is popular in Tea Party circles, popular among religious conservatives, and also a candidate with strong GOP Establishment ties – one of the very few Republicans who seem to be able to operate easily across the Republican political spectrum.
“I’m still an optimist,” Walker told a crowd in Iowa earlier this year, as he rattled off his accomplishments at home in Wisconsin.
On the stump, Walker has a speech that usually stirs a strong response, often filled the refrain that it’s time to “get the government out of the way of American people.”
On Monday morning, Walker’s campaign released a video making it clear that he’s not going to embrace a moderate route to the White House.
“For too long, they’ve said we have to compromise our principles to win,” the narrator says in this video:
In recent days, Walker’s top aides have made clear that they see the GOP race as a three person battle at this point, with Walker’s main rivals being Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
The site for Walker’s announcement will be the Waukesha County Expo Center, to the west of Milwaukee.
Walker’s own Twitter account announced on Friday that he would get in the race, but that tweet was later taken down from his official feed.
He’ll make the announcement himself – for real – after 5 p.m. Central Time on Monday.