This past week Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was in the state of Minnesota. His road trip was best summed up by former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak:
“He promised a ‘road to prosperity,’” Rybak said. “About the only road to prosperity that’s working in Wisconsin is the bridge that’s being built to Minnesota.”
Ba da bing ba da boom!
Charles Pierce at Esquire has more on Watching Scotty Blow, Cont’d: Road Trip:
For a couple of years now, Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, has been embarrassed regularly by the economic performance of neighboring Minnesota, which is governed in a completely different fashion by a Democratic governor, Mark Dayton.
So, on Thursday, as part of his campaign to sell himself as a possible president, which requires him to sell the rubes a State of Wisconsin wholly different from the actual one that he is selling off for parts, Walker dropped by Minnesota. A former mayor of Minneapolis was there to greet him.
In 2010, both Wisconsin and Minnesota faced similar budget woes and a worrisome economic future amid a national recession. Both are also Midwest states, deeply invested in manufacturing and agricultural economic drivers. The only difference was that Minnesotans elected DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to turn Minnesota around, while Wisconsinites chose Scott Walker to lead their state’s recovery. Only one governor was successful.
Then he gets harsh.
In Minnesota, Dayton has moved forward Democratic policies like increasing the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid and investing in the middle class, and now we are seeing one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Just this year, Forbes ranked Minnesota as the ninth best state for business, seventh in economic climate and second in quality of life. In Wisconsin, Walker opposed a minimum-wage increase and equal-pay legislation, rejected federal funds to expand Medicaid, and attacked Wisconsin workers with right-to-work and anti-collective-bargaining policies. As a result, the cost of doing business in Wisconsin is higher than the national average, and median household income is thousands less than in Minnesota. The facts are clear: Walker and the Republican trickle-down economic policies have made it practically impossible for Wisconsin to recover from the recession, and the state consistently sits at the bottom of the region in private-sector job growth.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin comparison has dogged Walker ever since the press and the general public first noticed it. (This is partly because Dayton, while a fine governor, has a very eccentric attitude toward tooting his own political horn — to wit: he won’t do it. Drives political people up the wall.) And, judging by what he said to his carefully screened audience in the Twin Cities — once again, Scott Walker bravely faces down his political opponents by avoiding them — it’s starting to get under Walker’s skin more than a little.
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Gibbety-blah, gibbety-blab, Tim Pawlenty, gibbetty-goop.
Wisconsin has trailed the national average in private-sector job growth since six months after Walker took office. He fell short of a signature campaign promise to create 250,000 private-sector jobs, although 145,000 new positions appeared, and Wisconsin ranked 40th nationwide in private-sector job growth in the 12-month period ending in September. As he tours the country, Walker has boasted that new businesses are starting up in Wisconsin at a higher rate than the rest of the country and that income growth for residents exceeds the national average.
To which Dayton replied.
Dayton, a supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, offered a polite “Welcome to Minnesota” to Walker and said he should come back as often as he likes. “I’m not going to engage in presidential politics at this point,” Dayton said.
Like I said. The guy is a real fireworks display.
It is becoming part of the general campaign narrative that we have at least three potential Republican candidates — Walker, Chris Christie, and the increasingly ludicrous “Bobby” Jindal — who are running on their interpretations of how well they’ve done in office. All three currently have approval ratings in their own states that are headed toward the root cellar. All three of their states are a complete mess in one way or another. Yet all three of them are out there, pitching fantastical visions of states that have nothing to do with actual reality. It’s campaign by karaoke.