David Walker has become a ubiquitous presence, of late, on national television news programs.
Last Monday — the same day that the Committee to
Get Walker Running launched its Draft Walker effort with a new Web site, a press release, a Facebook page, and a Twitter feed — Walker was on MSNBC talking with Chuck Todd about the effort to draft him as a candidate on the Americans Elect line (video).
This past Sunday, Walker was on ABC as a panelist on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, who introduced Walker by saying that he was "from what I read online, perhaps an independent for President, this time around" (videos at the bottom of this item).
The fact is, with his media appearances and statements, no one has done more to fuel speculation about a David Walker candidacy than David Walker.
Indeed, although Walker tries to position himself as someone who is watching all of this from a distance — someone who knows only what he reads in the papers — Walker has given a number of cues, this past two weeks, that he knows a lot more about Draft Walker than he's letting on.
Yesterday, Walker was on Fox Business with Neil Cavuto. Apropos the question of the moment — Who's funding Draft Walker? — here's the relevant exchange (video starting at 0:48 — emphasis mine):
CAVUTO: You interested?
WALKER: I'm not a candidate, and I don't expect to be a candidate. I would rather run a issue-oriented campaign rather than a political campaign. But the fact is—
CAVUTO: But they think you could.
WALKER: Well, whether you can and whether you will are two different things. What I would prefer to do—
CAVUTO: They're backing it up with money, Dave.
WALKER: I understand that — well, I don't know that much about it, candidly. It's a truly independent effort. I'm not involved with it. I've not had communications with them.
A few observations:
When Cavuto says "they," he is referring to the Draft Walker committee and its supporters and volunteers.
When a national news anchor — whether on Fox or
any other network — says "They're backing it up with money," the word "money" is code for a significant amount of money. The kind of money that influences — and is intended to influence — decisions.
From the tone and the delivery of both Cavuto's comment — "They're backing it up with money, Dave" — and Walker's response — "I understand that" — it seems very clear that both host and guest are trading on the same background information.
Both Walker and Cavuto take two things as givens:
(a) that a pile of money is being made available for a Walker presidential run and (b) where that money is coming from.
What also seems clear is that David Walker does not want this information made public.
Note how Walker bows his head and looks away, as he
is saying "I understand that."
Notice, too, how fiercely Walker starts to backpedal — and that he introduces vigorous "denial" body
language — the instant those three words are out of
his mouth. "I don't know that much about it, candidly."
A classic "protest too much"-ish "tell" of someone who knows that he just has revealed a lot more than he intended to reveal.
But the cat already was out of the bag. Rough translation of what David Walker said to Neil Cavuto: "I'm aware that some big checks have been written or pledged to Draft Walker. I even know who the check writers are.
But — candidly — I don't know that much about Draft Walker. I don't talk to them directly."
Candidly. Like "frankly." One of those little words that almost never means what it says.
"I don 't know that much about it, candidly."
But I do know some.
:: :: ::
So who's funding Draft Walker?
David Walker and Neil Cavuto seem to know.
Perhaps they and the committee would like to share
with the rest of us.