The Cannibalization of Scott Walker
There's an old story (probably an urban legend), about a farmer who gets knocked out in the pig pen, and while down and out, the pigs wind up devouring him in a crazed feeding frenzy.
In many ways, Scott Walker's exit on Monday has set off a similar political cannibalization -- he's down and out of the race, but he has plenty of really meaty assets and connections for the other contenders to gobble up.
First and foremost, Walker's bundlers really knew how to raise funds, creating a $20 million super PAC in just the first several months of 2015.
This fundraising know-how and connections could be a godsend to several of the top contenders trying to gain ground on Donald Trump's self-financed campaign.
One of Walker's prize funders was the Ricketts family, who have spent enormous amounts of money on the past two election cycles, often in very politically diverse ways.This could mean that even some of the leading outsiders (Fiorina and Carson) could have a shot at cashing in on the Ricketts' open wallet.
While the Koch brothers have largely been quiet this primary season, Walker has long been one of the Koch darlings, and the candidate who inherits their doting will walk away with almost unlimited funding potential, if they can make it to the general election.
But it isn't just bundlers and funders up for grabs. Walker's political connections and local networks are an enormous prize.
Within hours, Walker's network in Iowa -- largely seen as his 'do or die' state -- was being carved up between Bush, Rubio, Fiorina, and Cruz.
Each of these candidates rushed in to gather up county chairs, state endorsements, and scheduled campaign stops from the Walker campaign.
It seems that Walker's campaign is only looking for one thing in return for this feeding frenzy: figure out how to derail the Trump candidacy.
Walker has long characterized the Trump campaign as a "side-show" and "watching a car accident." More importantly, Walker is probably correct on the only strategy to derail Trump's campaign.
As long as a large pool of candidates stay in the field, the front-runners will have a hard time landing significant attacks on Trump's lack of substance -- the side-show will continue and Trump's ratings will remain high.
In a 3 or 4-person debate, Trump probably couldn't withstand the attacks on the fact that he has little true policy, and the promise of "great people doing great things" will eventually wear thin.
With Walker's exit, it's now anyone's guess as to who will be next. There seems to be no shortage of candidates polling under 2 percent, both with or without deep pockets to maintain their seemingly hopeless candidacies.
One thing is for certain, it's beginning to look like the Republican primary is going to mirror the 2015 baseball playoffs, with the field being narrowed down to only a couple over the next four weeks.