Scott Walker's stealth 2016 strategy: Lie low until 2015, then pounce

But Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s game plan for the next three years is quietly taking shape: Win reelection next year in this purple state without moderating a record that has won many hearts in the conservative base; let the other GOP hopefuls get sullied by the mud pit of Congress and each other; then pounce in 2015…

At the same time, Walker, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is making sure he’s not forgotten on the national stage. During a trip to New York this week, he appeared on Fox News, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNBC, staying relentlessly on message. He complained about the botched implementation of Obamacare, talked up the good work being done by Republicans outside D.C. and said “it’s too early” to think about 2016.

Walker has become more circumspect lately about 2016 than he was earlier this year, invariably joking that the media speculates about it so much that he doesn’t need to or quipping that he wants to be president … of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

“He’s going to be a real power to reckon with in the Republican Party, and he’s smart to focus on Wisconsin and what he’s doing as governor,” said Republican Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.