Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Scott Walker sacrifices himself for the cause of stopping Trump ... kind of

Two months ago, Scott Walker officially announced to supporters that he was running for president because God had called him to it and because "I am certain: This is God’s plan for me."

Well, either God changed his mind or Walker just plain heard Him wrong. Either way, it's over.

"Today I feel I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field," Walker said yesterday in quitting a race in which he was once considered a frontrunner. He also urged other candidates to follow the example that he was trying to set.

"I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider (dropping out) so the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and, ultimately, to the future of our country."

But let's be honest: Walker didn't drop out for the good of the party or the country, nor did he do so as a sacrificial act of leadership. He dropped out because he was polling at 0 percent and his money had dried up. Naked ambition with a mean streak behind it didn't turn out to be all that attractive to voters, particularly in charisma-free packaging. Furthermore, it's highly unlikely that anybody with a significant degree of support will agree to "clear the field" against Donald Trump by quitting as Walker has.  Humility and self-sacrifice are not traits common among presidential candidates.

Still, by framing his decision as the beginning of a "Stop Trump" movement that is "fundamentally important" to the party's future, Walker does betray just how nervous Republicans have become over The Donald's success. If it's a joke, as many first thought, it has stopped being funny.  And unlike Walker, it's not going away anytime soon.

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.