Walker brushed off talk of presidential politics on Friday but made clear that a higher profile has allowed him to promote not only his state but the policies he cares about. "Do I want to run? I want to be governor," Walker said in an interview. "I had to work hard twice in the last two years to be governor of Wisconsin. I got even more votes the second time. For a lot of people who worked hard for me to be governor, I need to be focused on that."
Among Democrats, at least two governors who appear to have aspirations beyond their states — Cuomo and O'Malley — are pushing progressive agendas that pull the heartstrings of the party faithful even as many activists wait to see whether former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or Vice President Joe Biden will try to succeed Obama.
Cuomo has sky-high approval ratings and a long list of accomplishments that include pushing same-sex marriage and enacting the first gun control measure in the nation following the Connecticut school massacre.
O'Malley has portrayed his time as Baltimore mayor and Maryland's governor as indicative of a results-oriented approach. He regularly promotes his state's strong record on education and pushes for gay marriage and gun control. O'Malley has most recently pushed for Maryland to abolish the death penalty.
"It's a long ways off and I'm focused on governing well," O'Malley said of presidential talk during an interview. "Some of the best advice that I've ever received is that doing the job that you have and doing it well is the most important thing."
Associated Press writer Steve Peoples contributed to this report.
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