Let the circus begin.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker brought down the house at the Iowa Freedom Summit last week; and ever since then, everyone from grassroots activists, to the mainstream media, have upped the chatter regarding his chances to move to and stay at the front of the field and seize the GOP nomination.

According to Public Policy Polling, Walker has for the first time burst though into double digits (although those numbers include the possibility of a Romney candidacy). He’s not on top yet, but he’s getting there:

He’s reached that level of support despite having the lowest name recognition of any candidate we tested, which is a pretty good indication that when voters get to know him they’re coming to like him. Walker’s near 3:1 favorability rating among those who have heard of him is second only to Carson. Things are headed in the right direction for Walker.

On ABC ‘This Week,’ Martha Raddatz did her best to make Walker say something stupid about Marco Rubio, Syria, immigration, football (BREAKING: he likes it,) and his own breakout performance:


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Was he perfect? No, but you can see what Raddatz was doing. Bam-Bam-Bam goes the hard-hitting interviewer!

I think Walker has the media freaked; you can tell by Raddatz’s tone and treatment of Walker that she was convinced she’d be able to force him to drop a fatal soundbite given enough interruptions and “but…but” redirects.

When Raddatz assumed he’d be running against Hillary Clinton, though, Walker’s answer was pretty perfect:

RADDATZ: The Republican nominee could be in a race against Hillary Clinton. Let’s just say it’s you. What would you say to Hillary Clinton? What is the best case against Hillary Clinton?

WALKER: I think the biggest thing I hear from Americans applies both in the primary contest and I think in the general, if I were a candidate and if I ultimately had earned the nomination, and that is I think people want to look to the future. They don’t want to go back in time, they don’t want to repeat what we’ve had in the past. We need a candidate not of the 20th century, but of the 21st century. Ironically, that’s what her husband brought to the table in 1992 when he-

(CROSSTALK)

RADDATZ: What marks the difference between those two candidates?

WALKER: I think there is a clear difference. I think former Secretary of State Clinton embodies all the things that we think of Washington. She lives here, she’s worked here, she’s been part of the Washington structure for years. Not just as a Democrat, but across the spectrum. I think Washington represents the top-down, government knows best, go (inaudible) mentality. I think Americans overwhelmingly want fresh new ideas that build the economy from the ground, that put the power back in the hands of the people, not only at the state and local level, but of individual Americans. I don’t think they want government telling them what to do, and that’s what I’ve been advocating for a long time.

Walker is right—we don’t want the government telling us what to do. That mini-stump is a great jumping off point for a messaging strategy that works for America, but isn’t the kind of red meat populist narrative that doesn’t work when successful, powerful people serve it up.

Progressives know that Walker has what it takes to lead. That they’re already this nervous about him should have activists, bundlers, and the conservative media taking a second (and third and fourth) look at Scott Walker the Presidential Candidate.