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Scott Walker will pen book – is he another presidential hopeful?

Walker's book will be titled 'Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.'

By Husna Haq / March 27, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker signs a bill in Madison, Wis.

Morry Gash/AP

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Another political book, another possible White House run?

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That’s what folks are saying about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and his forthcoming book, “Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge.”

Gov. Walker, who made headlines in the last two years for clashing with unions on collective bargaining rights and surviving a bitter recall election, appears to be using his experiences in Wisconsin as fodder for the book that may help launch a presidential campaign in 2016.

In doing so, he’s following a long line of past presidential hopefuls, Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, told Reuters.

“Writing a book has become part of the template of US presidential politics," Prof. Lee said. “It's part of the checklist of things you need to do as it apparently gives you credibility."

Most recently, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced she will pen a book, sparking rumors of a presidential run.

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrote “No Apology” prior to his run last year, President Obama wrote “The Audacity of Hope” before his 2008 run, and John Edwards introduced himself to Americans with his 2003 book, “Four Trials.”

“A book provides an opportunity to personalize Walker and give Americans a sense of who he is,” Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University, told Reuters. "It can also serve as an election pamphlet and help him shape the discussion about him before his opponents can do it."

Walker hasn’t confirmed, or notably, denied, rumors of a 2016 run. Should he decide to run for office, he would join fellow Republicans likely to seek their party’s nomination like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and, possibly, former Secretary Rice.

Back to his book.

According to publisher Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin Group, “Unintimidated... will share the inside story of how the battle for Wisconsin was won – the reforms he enacted, the mistakes he made, the lessons he learned, and how those lessons can help conservatives win the battle for America.”

In early 2011 Walker signed into law a bill that limited the collective bargaining rights of unionized public employees, inciting ire in his Midwestern state. The move made huge waves, leading to mass protests in Wisconsin and a series of recall elections aimed mostly at Republican officials, most notably Walker himself. Despite intense pressure, the governor survived the recall election, becoming the first US governor to survive a recall election.

Helping Walker tell that story will be ghostwriter Marc Thiessen, President George W. Bush's former speechwriter and a Washington Post columnist who once famously defended torture.

The 2016 elections may be years away, but we’re not surprised to see our political reading list – and the 2016 field – getting more crowded by the week.

Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.

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