Everyone knew long before the recent news of the "Vote For Me For President" book, that Scott Walker was running for president in 2016. But, according to Republican strategists I have spoken with, there is a very real possibility that Walker may skip his 2014 re-election to focus on winning the GOP nomination.
The argument is simple: Walker has more to gain by not running for re-election: He wouldn't have to tack to the center and alienate the GOP base / primary voters as Chris Christie has done and he wouldn't have to risk losing a tough re-election and killing his entire political career as George Allen did when his re-election loss in 2006 blew up his highly touted 2008 presidential aspirations.
And primary voters certainly don't hold being out of office against the presidential candidate-- Reagan, Carter and Romney all served one or two terms as governor and then successfully ran for president a few years later.
Most importantly, Walker has already established himself as a well known, well liked, brand within the Republican party. Even if he doesn't win the nomination in 2016, this guy will be set for life as a Republican icon. And, of course, it would be nice to cash in on all this fame, which he is starting to do with his recent book deal.
But, but, but you say... Walker hasn't achieved anything as governor. Achievement, schmievement... Romney's job record was worse than Walker's is now, plus Walker has learned that enough money can muddy the waters on vulnerabilities. And, it's very telling that in Walker's recent budget, he crammed in every rightwing policy item he wasn't able to in the first budget to satisfy GOP primary voters: Statewide vouchers? Check. Tax cut for the wealthy? Check. And he will claim that he balanced the budget and reduced the state's debt.
So, there you have it: not running for re-election is a low risk, high reward, proposition for Walker. Will it happen? Considering that Walker reallllllllllllllllllllllly wants to be President, I would say it's a coin toss.