He’s more policy wonk than politician.
But the visibility of David Walker at GOP events in Connecticut is on the upswing, with the former U.S. comptroller general under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush making cameos at gubernatorial contender Tom Foley’s soft launch and then a state party fundraising dinner within the past month-and-a-half.
Now there is chatter in Republican circles that Walker, one of the loudest critics of federal spending levels and founder of the now-shuttered fiscal policy think tank called the Comeback America Initiative, is positioning himself for a run for statewide office and would be open to joining the party’s eventual nominee for governor on the ticket as his or her running mate.
“There have been some discussions about whether or not I should consider that,” Walker told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Monday of running for statewide office. “I have not made any judgement. As of the present time, I don’t have any plans to run.”
Walker, 62, who resides in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport in a home previously owned by Christopher Shays, expects to make a final decision on his political future in early 2014.
When Foley, the 2010 runner-up for governor, announced last month that he was once again eying the state’s top office, Walker was in attendance. Walker then gave $375 to Foley’s exploratory committee, but stopped short of making an endorsement.
“I think there are other qualified people who are running,” he said.
In September, Walker turned out the lights at the Comeback America Initiative with the release of its final report. He cited a long-standing commitment to spend more time with his family.
Did the comeback fall short? Some contend it has. Walker bristled at the premise that his comeback went out with a whimper.
Asked to handicap the 2014 race for governor, Walker told Hearst that Republicans have their work cut out for them.
“Connecticut is a deep blue state,” he said. “I think there’s an opportunity for the Republicans to win with the right candidate and the right campaign. At the same time, you can’t take Governor Malloy lightly. It’s going to be difficult but not impossible to win.”