Walker’s “Think Locally, Act Globally” Standard of Foreign Policy Experience

Conservative gabber Hugh Hewitt interviewed Scott Walker on foreign policy issues yesterday, and the ensuing headlines involved Walker’s commitment to nullify any U.S.-Iran nuclear deal “on day one” if he is elected.

But a different item caught my attention: the Wisconsin governor seems to be side-swiping his Republican rivals in his rather unorthodox claim that only someone with executive experience can be trusted to know his ass from page eight on foreign policy and national security issues. Speaking of Obama, he said:

[T]he unfortunate reality is this is what happens when you put someone in office who’s never led before. He’s not listening. When you’re a governor, you’re a mayor, you’re a county executive wherever you’re at, and when you have a cabinet and you have to act on behalf of not just the people who elected you, but the whole group, the whole constituency as we talked about a little bit at lunch. You’ve got to lead, and you’ve got to listen to people who hopefully are smart or smarter than you are on any given topic. You ultimately have to make the decision. This president, unfortunately, having been a senator, a state senate, and community organizer, never led anything. And so he’s never been in a position to make those sorts of judgments.

So presumably his 2016 rivals Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and yes, foreign policy maven Lindsey Graham, are all to be disqualified on national security grounds. And by Walker’s standard, any random county executive or small-town mayor is likely to have better “judgment” on international issues than 2008 Republican presidential nominee and current Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain.

Fortunately for Senate Republicans, they can also rely on Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, who gained his critical experience as mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Walker needs to be mocked about this often. It’s fine if he wants to make the case that people like him with zippo foreign policy experience could still serve effectively as Commander-in-Chief. But trying to argue he is uniquely qualified is just stupid.

UPDATE: Here’s an even better point than the one I made about Walker’s weird standard for foreign policy and national security qualifications:

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.