A theory: Unlike a lot of successful politicians, Scott Walker seems to lack that political gene that makes him need to be universally liked. Perhaps this isn’t a mere coincidence? Maybe that gene is also necessary for charisma? … And maybe a prerequisite to being really likable (the gene Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had) is a hunger to be liked?
My friend Thomas LaDuke, a conservative who produces my podcast, recently told me that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would have handled Tuesday’s press conference much better than Pence. Christie, he says, would have stood up to the media and exhausted their questions. Christie is a natural brawler; Pence is not. To be fair, his penchant for fighting has arguably harmed Christie’s presidential chances, but it’s hard to deny he have been better-suited behind that podium.
The point I am making here is simply that different times call for different leaders. Someone who is brave in one setting might be a coward in another. I’m reminded of something that former Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger once observed about a war hero-turned-politician of his day: “[T]here are different types of courage. Leo [Thorsness] was a brave flier and a brave prisoner, doing things in battle and enduring things as a POW that make me shrink to think of. But he lacked political courage.”