And so it begins: the race for the all important job of First Lady, ill-defined and unpaid (though the perks are said to be great), and important to the nation. Who she is and how she comports herself says a lot about who we are. and how we comport ourselves.

Since it is not a political statement, I can say without reservations that, based on a profile in today's Washington Post, Tonette Walker, wife of Governor Scott Walker, who is running for the GOP nomination, looks like a great candidate for the job–and also an unusual one.

She is twelve years younger than her husband–Go, Scott!–and often makes her husband explain the issues in the way that a smart woman who is not a political junkie can understand what he wants to do.

“People ask me, ‘Is your wife tough enough to handle this?’ ” said Walker, who plans to formally announce for president July 13. “She is certainly not fragile,” he said, describing all she has been through, including caring for her mother when she was dying of a brain tumor, and, more recently, her father, who died of lung disease.

“Politics is nothing compared to that,” he said.

During the interview in this city of 46,000 people west of Milwaukee, Tonette Walker’s husband popped in and out, threading his way back and forth amid the trophy deer hanging on the bar walls to the crowds outside cheering on a bike race called “Tour of America’s Dairyland.”

The Walkers live primarily in the governor’s residence in Madison, but this pretty town is where they say they feel most at home, where they have a modest white house on a busy street, and where their two sons went to high school.

But even here, the roughness of politics intrudes: During Walker’s 2012 recall election, angry protesters swarmed around their home. Death threats were sent not just to Walker but to Tonette, including one vowing to “gut her like a deer.”

“Scott signed up for this,” but his whole family is dragged through it, said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who endured the recall alongside the Walkers and calls it a “scary time.” She says there is growing interest in the man or woman beside the candidate, perhaps, she said, because in this “reality TV” era “we want to know what happens behind the scenes.”

“She is not a political junkie who gets up in the morning and reads RedState, Drudge, Politico or The Washington Post,” Kleefisch said about Tonette. She gives her husband “the perspective of the smart, average voter . . . she is the ‘first listener.’ ”

“Do I agree with him all the time? No,” said Tonette. “But most of the time things work out a lot better than I think they will.”

The Walkers have two sons, Alex and Matt, college students who are taking time off for their studies to work on their father's campaign. 

It is a very enjoyable profile–she sounds like a pistol and, as a friend of mine pointed out, what other potential First Lady would allow herself to be interviewed in a bar (and yet somehow keep her dignity).