As I write, exit polls in Wisconsin show a tight race in the recall contest between Rep. Gov. Scott Walker and his opponent, the mayor of Milwaukee, Dem. Tom Barrett. As we wait, an observation:
Watching Gov. Walker since his election in 2010, I've found myself wondering from time to time just what he had going for him. Never a striking or prepossessing figure, he seems to slouch at lecterns, tends to repeat himself, and has gone nearly two years now without a decent haircut.
He possesses none of Paul Ryan's ability to make complicated budget issues seem simple, Chris Christie's sheer force of personality, Haley Barbour's bonhomie, or Mitch Daniel's straightforward and reassuring sense of calm, sweet reason. As I say, I've found myself wondering just what the man has going for him.
Over the last few months, though, Gov. Walker himself has provided the answer: courage. He saw what he was convinced needed to be done, he did it, and now he has been standing by his actions, unflinchingly. He possesses no particular charm or wit. He conveys no particular sense of the joy of doing political battle. But he has done what needed to be done. He has fought.
"Courage," wrote Winston Churchill, "is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities." It is also the one quality that Gov. Walker possesses in abundance--and that has earned him gratitude of every American who wishes to restore sanity to our government.
Whatever the outcome of the vote, tonight, Gov. Walker, congratulations.