Of course others have used such a strategy, and it tends to work. If some of your previous policies or principles don't align with your target voters, it's a no-brainer to change your position--if you're an ambitious politician, that is.
Those of us attuned to national politics already knew Scott Walker was a kiss-up. There was the hilarious faux phone call from the ultra-rich David Koch, actually an impersonator who released the audio. That Walker is going to kiss-up to Iowa voters, that's not a surprise.