Today, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker finally abandoned a presidential campaign that had been taking on water for months. But did he drop out simply because he can’t win, or is there something more to it?
Over the weekend, Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins, a reliable source of what passes for thought among Republicans insiders, reported that Walker’s campaign was splintering. According to Coppins, “a number of Walker donors and supporters” had been disseminating a rumor about Walker’s campaign manager Rick Wiley in an attempt to get Wiley, who they felt was sinking the campaign, moved off of his perch as Walker’s go-to advisor.
The details of the rumor appear to be serious enough that Buzzfeed chose only to write about the existence of the rumor itself—“BuzzFeed News could not confirm the details of the rumor, and will not publish it,” Coppins grimly noted.
Reporting the existence of a rumor but keeping the details secret is a method both Coppins and Buzzfeed have employed at least once before. A few years ago, Coppins wrote about pernicious stories orbiting Marco Rubio, which Coppins declined to elaborate on. It turned out that a few popular rumors, which were never confirmed and don’t seem to be true, stated that Rubio had fathered children outside of his marriage.
After Walker’s camp sprung an afternoon leak about him ending his candidacy, Republican shit-shoveler and ex-Walker campaign employee Liz Mair tweeted her thoughts as to where Walker’s campaign went wrong. But she also floated the theory that Walker chose to kill his campaign (abruptly enough that it reportedly surprised his underlings) because of a “very bad story that could well have been coming.”
One last thought: Walker's timing is good. Word is he just avoided getting tied to a very bad story that could well have been coming.— Liz Mair (@LizMair) September 21, 2015
Unless Walker’s campaign was sprouting enough scandals to last two lifetimes, it seems as if Mair and Coppins are talking about the same rumor. Of course, neither Mair or Coppins, both of whom have deep ties to the Republican establishment, can’t burn their sources (or future employers), so whatever story was potentially strong enough to kill Scott Walker’s campaign has gone unwritten.
[image via AP]