URBANDALE, IA—Saying it was important that the candidate have a distinctive, relatable look, campaign consultant Brian Sims reportedly presented Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker with several possible human sides to choose from Wednesday.
During the strategy session at Walker’s Iowa campaign headquarters, the Wisconsin governor reportedly tried on an assortment of potential humanizing identities, from several “salt-of-the-earth family man” personas to a more daring “independent-minded maverick” option, in an effort to find a well-fitting human side that the candidate could put on for the remainder of his campaign.
“Why don’t you give this ‘up-from-the-bottom Midwesterner who values hard work above all else’ personality a shot and see how that feels,” said Sims, who encouraged Walker to carefully consider all his options before selecting one of the identities, noting how important it was to find one that was not only attractive, but also durable enough to hold up to everyday wear for the next eight to 16 months. “Remember, you’re going to be putting this on every single time you walk out the door. The last thing you want is to get onstage in a persona you don’t feel comfortable in.”
“I think ‘straight-talking man of the people’ could work. Yeah, how about we try that out at the steel plant tour tomorrow and see how it suits you?”
“We can always make some small alterations to the bravado or compassion here and there if that feels a little better to you,” Sims added. “Don’t forget, this is the first thing people will see, so let’s make sure it’s just right.”
During the session, Sims reportedly helped Walker into several variations of “the straight shooter who can’t help but say what’s on his mind,” as well as a number of “moralistic man of faith” picks, providing frank feedback to the candidate on how each looked. At one point, sources said, Sims discarded a more colorful “quick-witted charmer” persona immediately after realizing it was a terrible fit on the 47-year-old governor.
According to reports, Walker began to grow tired and irritated by mid-afternoon after trying on several dozen identities and finding nothing that “really popped.” However, sources indicated that Sims was able to bring the session back on track by reminding the high-ranking candidate that it would be a disaster if he went out there as he was without any humanizing facade at all.
“Oh, I think this one would be great on you; it’s got a sturdy Middle America sensibility, an appreciation of life’s everyday pleasures, and a vocal love of the Green Bay Packers,” said Sims, pointing out a simple but elegant “Washington outsider who’s stayed true to his small-town roots” personality. “It would pair really well with an air of down-home innocence, too. Boy, that would look great for going out to a county fair or a high school gym, but I think it’s even formal enough that you wouldn’t look out of place at a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser.”
“I’d also recommend the ‘forward-looking optimist with youthful energy’ for you, but Marco Rubio has been wearing one exactly like that,” he added. “The last thing you’d want is to show up to a debate in the same persona as him.”
As the day progressed, Sims reportedly warned Walker that, while he may be able to mix and match several humanizing sides into a single complex ensemble, selecting an identity that was made up of too many pieces would likely be too much for the governor to pull off.
“We’re probably not going to be able to do anything in the ‘humble public servant’ look—that just doesn’t work for you,” said Sims, who insisted that Walker would be unable to fit into an underdog persona the candidate had wanted to try. “But I think ‘straight-talking man of the people’ could work. Yeah, how about we try that out at the steel plant tour tomorrow and see how it suits you?”
“That was actually the same identity Rick Perry had on during the 2012 primaries, but I think it looks more natural on you,” Sims continued. “We can just trim off the southern drawl and it’ll fit perfectly.”
At press time, Sims was growing frustrated upon realizing that none of the human sides Walker had tried on had effectively hidden his unsightly intellect.