WISCONSIN -- Many political pundits say Wisconsin played a pivotal role in the Republican presidential primary process, but that may have just been the warm-up act. The state will certainly get a lot of attention as a key battleground state, with all candidates calling it important, but speculation has begun over whether the vice-presidential candidate could hail from the Badger state.
Assuming former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gets the GOP's nomination for president, could his vice-presidential pick come from Wisconsin?
Romney campaigned in Wisconsin with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan at his side, and national publications are already touting the pair as an economic dream team. "Romney has already got a strong card, a strong hand when it comes to economic issues. After all, he talks about how he ran a business and saved businesses, so in politics, you're looking for someone who gives you a strong card you don't already hold," UWM Professor of Governmental Affairs Mordecai Lee said.
Lee predicts the vice-presidential candidate will not be Ryan, but instead, another famous politician from Wisconsin. "Scott Walker has changed the world, and that's why I think, not only is he a household name amongst conservatives, but he would electrify the base, in a sense that he has all the strengths of Sarah Palin without any of the weaknesses," Lee said.
Lee served with Walker in the Wisconsin State Legislature. Walker responded to Lee's predication. "It's flattering. I've known Mordecai Lee for years - smart guy. I'll leave those judgements to the pundits. I'm focused on earning the majority of the trust of the voters in the state of Wisconsin again, just like we did in November of 2010," Walker said.
Before any presidential ballots are cast in November, Walker faces a recall election in June. "Literally two months from today, I'll be facing only the third recall in American history. I gotta stay focused on that," Walker said.
"I see him as a good candidate, win or lose the recall. If he wins, then he becomes the hero to the Republican Party - that he not only took a hit, but he survived the hit. He's still standing. If he loses, he's the martyr to the cause," Lee said.
Lee says Walker is well-versed on a number of national issues, and is a guy who is genuinely interested in public affairs. Also, because of Walker's national prominence, he has, in a sense, already been vetted.