If Gov. Scott Walker wins in Wisconsin today, he deserves most of the credit. In Washington, where handlers are idolized, we tend to believe that there are no winning campaigns anywhere that aren't the result of the work of brilliant consultants, or any losing campaigns that weren't because of a bad candidate.

Gov. Walker looks like a winner, and he has been a great candidate. He is affable, thoughtful, well-informed and an effective communicator. He is a good reminder to other leaders that the voters in 2012 can handle the truth. The governor is both a signal that Mitt Romney might win the presidency and a reason that he might win.

The signal is plain: Voters in a traditional Democratic state appreciate being treated as if they are unselfish and intelligent. Their appetite for listening to shallow promises and watching government splurge on itself is at its end. This should alarm President Obama, whose governing premise is built on the idea of more government.

Walker is also confirmation to Republicans that we are on the right track. Government for government's sake is a political poison. This has not registered with many Democratic leaders or their candidates. Gov. Walker doesn't want to destroy government, he just wants to refresh its boundaries and purpose. Mitt Romney, take heart. It's not over until it's over, and the results are not certain, but before the tidal wave of analysis starts, Gov. Walker deserves praise for having set a good example in leadership and having taught good lessons about staying committed to what you know is right.