Earlier today, I dubbed Mitt Romney's speech to CPAC an exercise in "checklist conservatism" -- just hitting on all the market-tested issues of importance to conservatives. Well, tonight, Gov. Scott Walker's impressive speech to the conference was an example of the opposite -- courageous conservatism. In Mitt Romney's prepared remarks, a variation of the word "conservative" appeared 24 times. In Walker's prepared remarks, it appeared zero. That's because Walker actually has an impressive record of conservative accomplishments to talk about.
Throughout his remarks, he spoke about his tangible achievements as governor to reform education, balance the budget and loosen the stranglehold of public sector unions.
"It's a simple concept," he said. "Thinking more about the next generation than about the next election."
Walker is facing a recall election, probably around June. And he made a strong case that if they lose, then it will deter others from acting courageously.
“In times of crisis, what’s made this country great is the fact that there have been men and women of courage," he said. "People who cared about their children and grandchildren’s future. That’s what’s made this country great. Let this be one of those moments. Let this be our call to action. Let this be our time in history when we can stand up and say, we were there. We helped move mountains forward and we helped move America forward.”
The outcome of the recall election may very well be more important that the outcome of the GOP presidential primary.