With the nation's governors about to convene in Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker is taking a break from his cross-country Presidential junketing - - and there's more to that, here - - to spend a few days closer to home and finally has said something nice about the city he loves to hate.
Not that it is coming easily, as the Journal Sentinel writes it:
"It's kind of cool, that for a couple of days beginning in August, it's all going to be right here in Wisconsin, in Milwaukee," Walker said in an interview.Like a movie's establishing shot, Walker correctly locates Milwaukee in Wisconsin, though note that Wisconsin is the first locale out of his mouth.
It's probably hard for Walker to articulate the word "Milwaukee," since, as you will recall, Milwaukee is where the County District Attorney sent several of Walker's appointees to prison for various on-the-job crimes perpetrated just a few feet from Walker's then-Milwaukee County Executive office.
Or where Walker, after supporting budget cuts to city public schools, threatening to de-fund urban transit, pushing for partisan barriers to the ballot box, fresh obstructions to health insurance for the low-income, and dangerous limitations to reproductive healthcare for poorer women - - not to mention championing obliteration of cities' home-rule powers covering public employee contracts and residency - - is now polling a City of Milwaukee approval rating of just 30%.
Walker eventually mouthed to the Journal Sentinel some nice things about several Milwaukee institutions that all, by the way, enjoyed some winners-and-losers' public financing.
In fact - - Jeepers!! - - Walker sounds like a surprised Milwaukee tourist himself as he rattled off a few things Milwaukee's "got,' (though as we will see in a bit, he hardly has been consistently supportive):
"Just bringing people to Milwaukee, literally people from all across the country, to see firsthand some of our great attractions will be a huge benefit, because it kind of opens people's eyes that we have a world-class ballpark, got a great lakefront, got the Harley-Davidson Museum. I just think there is tremendous value in that regard that kind of changes people's perceptions," Walker said.
In social outings, the governors will visit all those venues, walking onto the field at Miller Park, getting a chance to to ride Harleys, and feeling the breeze outside Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin.Visiting media or the Governors might want to understand that Milwaukee "got" the Harley-Davidson Museum in large part due to the hard work of Milwaukee Tom Barrett.
A point I do not think Walker will help his audience 'get.'
And our inquiring visitors could amble a few blocks farther West from their downtown meeting site to Marquette University - - the school from which Walker dropped out - - and where early Walker campaign rule-breaking during a student election helped GOP government misbehavior expert John Dean to conclude that Walker was "more Nixonian than even Nixon."
The inconvenient on-the-record truth about Walker's relationship with Milwaukee dates to the 2011 recall election against Tom Barrett, the true Milwaukee advocate among the two.
That's when Walker, the divide-and-conquer specialist, was busy rounding up every suburban, smaller town and rural anti-Milwaukee voter, or as it's also known, Basic Statewide Wisconsin Republican Election Strategy.
Walker went to the upscale Waukesha County exurban and virtually-all white stronghold of Oconomowoc Lake to delivered the fear-driven message eaten up by the GOP base that he didn't want Wisconsin to become another Milwaukee.
Richard Nixon famously said he wasn't a crook.
Don't let Walker suggest he's always been Milwaukee's friend.