Walker believes time is on his side: In Ohio in 2011, a measure that curbed collective bargaining for public employees -- and was similar to the measure in Wisconsin that has caused an uproar -- was repealed at the ballot box last fall. Walker was asked what he saw as the chief difference between that measure, and the law passed in his own state. His answer? Time. "In Ohio's case, the voters never got to see the benefit of the reform," he said. Walker is telegraphing that he will be vigorously defending tangible effects of policies, and that enough time has elapsed for voters to pass judgment. "For us in in Wisconsin, there were two key dates -- two key benchmarks -- that I think define the truth of our state," Walker said. "When my two sons ... and every other kid in the state who goes to public school went back to school and in nearly every school district across the state, families saw that their schools were the same or better." "The other big difference was a couple weeks ago, when we got out property tax bills," he added. "For the first time in six years, the average school tax levy went down in Wisconsin. Property taxes are better for most people." Expect to hear those two things repeated over and over as talking points on the trail. Mistakes made, lessons learned: Walker acknowledged that he should have done a better job of explaining the necessity of his policy earlier on in the process. "I didn't seek the national attention. ... In retrospect, yeah, it would have been nice, probably to spend more time talking about the details in January, in February, building a better foundation for that," he said. His team is trying to make that case now, a year later. They just released a positive ad touting the budget repair bill's effects. The question is whether enough voters already made up their minds about the measure in 2011. Going national: Walker doesn't have an opponent yet, but he's already portraying the eventual Democratic nominee as "hand-picked" by union bosses. He also railed against the influence of national union leaders in the effort against him. But Walker won't be able to outrun the fact that he too has a lot of national support in his corner: Nearly half of the mammoth $5.1 million he bought in during the second half of 2011 came from out of state. "I wouldn't have to raise a penny if outside groups had not come in and forced a recall in the first place," he responded. That's not going to stop Democrats from reminding voters about the significant support Walker is receiving from interests and people outside Wisconsin.
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