4. In today’s GOP, it’s bet­ter to be a tough-talk­ing out­sider than an ac­com­plished con­ser­vat­ive in­sider. Walk­er’s cam­paign theme poin­ted to his re­cord as a gov­ernor who fights the lib­er­al es­tab­lish­ment—and wins. But on the cam­paign trail, his mild-mannered per­son­al­ity didn’t match the mood of an angry GOP elect­or­ate. He nev­er was a par­tic­u­larly cha­ris­mat­ic politi­cian; even when he chal­lenged lib­er­al act­iv­ists in Wis­con­sin, he seemed preter­nat­ur­ally se­rene. His at­tempt to chal­lenge a heck­ler at the Iowa State Fair by say­ing, “I won’t be in­tim­id­ated!” was a be­lated at­tempt to show his tough­ness, in­stead of telling tales of his lead­er­ship in Wis­con­sin. The tough-talk­ing rhet­or­ic of Don­ald Trump and the in-your-face act­iv­ism of Hucka­bee res­on­ates more with con­ser­vat­ives who are look­ing for a street fight­er to take on Pres­id­ent Obama and Hil­lary Clin­ton.

At the same time, con­ser­vat­ive voters are more in­ter­ested in total polit­ic­al out­siders who nev­er served in elect­ive of­fice than politi­cians who worked from with­in the sys­tem. It’s why Fior­ina, whose re­sume is as es­tab­lish­ment as any politi­cian’s, can take off simply be­cause she nev­er won a polit­ic­al race. Walk­er, for all his suc­cesses, has es­sen­tially been a polit­ic­al lifer since col­lege. (He didn’t even gradu­ate in or­der to pur­sue his polit­ic­al in­terests.) As with four-term Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Walk­er found out that ex­per­i­ence is more of a bur­den these days than an as­set.