Is David Walker running for president?
By Chris Cillizza,
Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker isn’t a household name in politics. But, that all could change if he runs for president as a third party candidate in 2012 — a prospect that seems more and more likely of late.
David Walker, chief executive officer of Comeback America Initiative (CAI) and former comptroller of the U.S. General Accounting Office, speaks at a conference on sovereign debt in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg
“I’m not a candidate now,” Walker told Chuck. “I don’t expect to be a candidate but there is an independent draft committee that’s been formed for me.”
Not only did Walker make sure to use the qualifier “now” as it related to the status of a candidacy, he also went out of his way to note that the draft movement is driven by “young people, contrary to the rumors saying that it’s driven by Wall Street”.
Here’s the full interview (it’s worth watching in its entirety and not just because — self promotion alert! — we sometimes host Chuck’s show):<object width=”592” height=”346” id=”msnbceb706” classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000” codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=10,0,0,0”><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640” /><param name=”FlashVars” value=”launch=47142002^0^281748&width=592&height=346” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><embed name=”msnbceb706” src=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640” width=”592” height=”346” FlashVars=”launch=47142002^0^281748&width=592&height=346” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash”></embed></object><p style=”font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 592px;”>Visit msnbc.com for <a style=”text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;” href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com”>breaking news</a>, <a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032507” style=”text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;”>world news</a>, and <a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032072” style=”text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;”>news about the economy</a></p>
As we have written, the time is as ripe as any since at least 1992 for a third party candidate to have a significant impact on the presidential race. Two thirds of the country think it is headed off on the wrong track in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll and independent, unaffiliated voters continue to be the fastest growing voting bloc in the country.
Walker’s resume would, theoretically, fit the times. After spending a decade as Comptroller General, Walker has dedicated himself to bringing attention to the nation’s impending fiscal doom. Through his “Comeback America Initiative”, Walker has issued two detailed plans to pull the country back from the brink of economic collapse.
“Neither one of the candidates have a credible plan to restore fiscal sanity,” Walker told Chuck this morning. “It’s critically important that the general election campaign be about substance and solutions and that’s why we need a third option someplace.”
Walker’s problem — and it’s a big one — is that no one knows who he is. If he emerged victorious from the online convention of Americans Elect, a third party group that has secured ballot access in 25 states, he would get something of a boost.
But, for true relevance, Walker would need to be included in the three general election debates between President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney set for this fall.
That’s a high bar. According to the criteria released late last year by the Commission on Presidential Debates, any third party candidate would have to be on enough state ballots to be able to secure an electoral vote victory and average 15 percent support in five pre-selected national polls.
It’s hard to see Walker — or anyone else not named Ron Paul — meeting that criteria. But, Walker is clearly leaving open the possibility of a bid if the stars did happen to align.