The 2016 Contenders: Scott Walker

Presidential candidates are a breed apart, often propelled by traits that have shaped their careers and have deep roots in personal histories.

Often their greatest strength can turn at supernova speed into their greatest weakness. The exact qualities that set them apart from the field trip them up eventually over the long haul of a presidential campaign.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s immovability, his polite but firm determination to stay the course, both intrigues and frustrates Wisconsin voters. They acknowledge that Walker’s uncompromising stance helped him implement his policies in Wisconsin and win a standoff with unions over collective bargaining that gained him a national reputation. But they say the governor’s victories have come at a steep price: the polarization of a state with a long history of progressive politics and bipartisan civil governance.

In this series of eBooks, The Washington Post is exploring in-depth all these key characteristics of the leading presidential contenders, the very characteristics that could help make one of them the country’s next commander in chief—or forever sink their presidential ambitions.

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