Time names Wisconsin’s Walker among world’s most influential


By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. – He swept into power on the crest of 2010’s Republican revolution in the Badger State. He survived a bitter partisan recall campaign, becoming the first governor in U.S. history to stave off such a political challenge.

And now, Gov. Scott Walker makes the list of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people in the world.

WALKER AMONG THE 100: Time Magazine counts Gov. Scott Walker on its 2014 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Walker joins a diverse list of well-known and not-so-known global leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, North Korea’s dictator-in-chief Kim Jong Un, Pope Francis and Miley Cyrus.

Yes, Barack Obama is there, too.

Pop diva Beyonce tops the list (How about a nice, cold Pepsi?).

In a statement, Walker said he is humbled by the honor, but he says he is taking the distinction in stride.

“But being named to this list is not about me, this is about our bold reforms and what they have accomplished,” the governor said. “Together, we turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a nearly $1 billion surplus, cut taxes by $2 billion, and helped the private sector create more than 100,000 jobs and nearly 17,000 new businesses. We are turning things around, and we are moving Wisconsin forward!”

Perhaps more gratifying for Walker is that his potential rival for the GOP presidential nomination wrote the praising piece on Walker for Time.

“Leadership takes many forms in public office. One of the most difficult challenges is standing up for what you believe in when faced with relentless public attacks. Scott Walker faced that test and passed it with flying colors,” wrote New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in his brief homage, headlined “The heartland’s Republican hopeful.”

Christie gushes about Walker’s reforms, most notably his Act 10, which rewrote the book on Wisconsin’s public-sector collective bargaining in Wisconsin and has served as a handbook for conservative calls for such reform nationwide.

New Jersey’s guv says his Wisconsin counterpart has made the Badger State a better place to live and work.

“His reward? A resounding ‘re-election’ in 2012 after the failed recall, prosperity for his state and the satisfaction of knowing that the public does recognize and appreciate an officeholder with the courage of his convictions. Governor Scott Walker is one of those leaders,” Christie wrote.

Of course, Democrats don’t share Christie’s rosy review of Scott Walker. That’s why they are running liberal Madison millionaire and former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke against him in this year’s gubernatorial race. Walker, so far, holds a fairly sizeable lead in most early polls.

Political insiders insist Walker will have to win his third election for governor in four years if he wants a legitimate shot at the presidential sweepstakes.

Time will publish the full list of influential people it its May 5 edition. See it online now here.

Contact M.D. Kittle at mkittle@watchdog.org