When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker hits the campaign trail and rolls up his sleeves at a state fair or a coffee shop near you or afar this year, there’s a good chance he bought that shirt on sale at a Kohl’s store.
And you can expect to see plenty of photo opps of Walker riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle throughout the early presidential primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Walker is using his Wisconsin heritage to brandish his image as a product of the American middle class. So, he proudly champions products from Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. and Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc.
Walker, who owns a 2003 Harley Road King, recently rented another Harley for a fundraising ride for U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican who drew national attention when she ran campaign ads bragging about her experience in castrating hogs.
In a previous appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Walker said, “I’d love to be president though – I’ll say it right here and live – of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.”
Harley welcomes the publicity, though the company is not endorsing any candidates.
“While there’s no official relationship between Harley-Davidson and Governor Walker, he is passionate about our brand like the millions of other loyal Harley-Davidson customers around the world. Identifying with the brand is about more than just owning and riding a motorcycle. It’s a lifestyle committed to personal freedom that our customers live and experience in their own meaningful ways,” said Tony Macrito, Harley’s manager of corporate media relations.
Walker has not formally declared as a presidential candidate and won’t do so until after the state’s budget is approved.
Then, if he has his way, he’ll ride that Harley Road King all the way to the White House.