Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, who issued a statement yesterday saying that he is "not a candidate [for president] and don't expect to become one," revised and extended his comments overnight, announcing on Twitter that he'd give real consideration to running on the American Elect line if supporters call for it.
"I am not a candidate for public office but will seriously consider it if the Independent Draft Committee qualifies me for the AE ballot," Walker wrote on Twitter.
The fiscal conservative advocate seems to be trying to walk a careful line: leaving open the door to a presidential bid, but sort of hoping to be talked into it. Walker doesn't have a high enough national profile to have the grassroots clamoring for him to run, though his issue set -- budget discipline and tax reform -- is clearly in step with the national debate.
A small committee to draft former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker to run as an independent for president has ties to the White House and backers of President Obama, WND has learned.
The purported committee is seeking to get Walker on the ballot via Americans Elect, or AE, a mysteriously funded, highly organized effort to put a third-party candidate on this year’s election ticket.
Last month, Walker announced he’d consider a presidential campaign if a draft committee qualified him for the AE ballot line.
Walker’s party affiliation is unclear. He served as Comptroller and head of the Government Accountability Office for both Democrat and Republican administrations from 1998 to 2008.
While at the GAO, Walker partnered with the Brookings Institution and the conservative Heritage Foundation in a Fiscal Wake-up Tour to alert Americans to wasteful government spending.
In 2011, Walker considered running for Joe Lieberman’s vacant Senate seat. Both Politico and the Washington Post quoted sources close to Walker stating he was leaning toward running as a Republican in the Senate race.
The group Americans Elect, which has been obtaining access to state ballots for a to-be-determined independent presidential candidate, admitted in a statement overnight that it has failed to produce a ticket for 2012. AE isn't explicitly saying that the dream is dead, but a statement from CEO Kahlil Byrd comes pretty close:
Over the past two years, Americans Elect has focused on achieving three clear goals:
• Gaining nationwide ballot access for a third presidential ticket to compete in the 2012 race;
• Holding the first ever nonpartisan secure national online primary at AmericansElect.org; and
• Fielding a credible, balanced, unaffiliated ticket for the 2012 presidential race.
Through the efforts of thousands of staffers, volunteers, and leadership, Americans Elect has achieved every stated operational goal. Despite these efforts, as of today, no candidate has reached the national support threshold required to enter the “Americans Elect Online Convention” this June. …
Because of this, under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today. There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.
Every step of the way, AE has conferred with its community before making major decisions. We will do the same this week before determining next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday, May 17.
Ken Vogel has more here on the group's announcement and the background on its sometimes-controversial 2012 efforts. As recently as two weeks ago, Americans Elect officials told POLITICO they were still in conversation with potential presidential candidates, and former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was stoking speculation about a campaign. The fact that no one amassed even the support necessary to qualify for AE's nominating process is obviously a disappointment to the group -- and also raises real questions about the national demand for the kind of centrist, anti-partisan politics admired by AE and sympathetic political elites.