For the wealthy, New York metropolitan region backers of Romney and McCain, Walker is something of an off-fit. Romney is the ex- venture capitalist with the two Harvard degrees could speak their language on slopes of Deer Valley, while Walker never finished college. In fact, he made it a point of pride (and a point of campaign rhetoric) to remind people he brought brown-bagged ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch and drove a Saturn with 100,000 miles on it.

But after an election in which the Republicans got so often tagged as out-of-touch, many think that a severely middle class profile like Walker’s is precisely what the party needs.

“He is a really successful and interesting guy and I think he fulfils what I think will be one of the most important qualities in ‘16 and that is going to be competence,” said Ron Kaufman, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign and one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest aides. “In a very blue state, Scott Walker is not afraid to stick up for what he believes in.”

Republicans say they are looking closely to see how Walker does in his re-election bid this November against Mary Burke, a businesswoman running as a Democrat.