James Rowen
Op Ed

The Farewell Tour of Scott Walker

Ex-governor struggling for relevancy. Cue the Twitter photos.

By - Feb 17th, 2019 03:06 pm
Scott Walker. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Scott Walker. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Poor Scott Walker, already reduced to tweeting photos of burger runs:

and trips he’s making on aeroplanes:

lovely, paid speaking gigs, perhaps?

Yet there he is, manufacturing media for himself about which he knows little and has accomplished less:


In this self-inflating and embarrassingly sad plea for relevancy Walker insists to the State Journal that Foxconn can revive manufacturing in the Midwest, adding “It’s something, I tell the president all the time.” He seems embarrassingly oblivious to his tacit admission that he indeed failed to meet his promise of creating 250,000 new jobs in four or five or six or eight years in office, even though he had full control of the government, budgets, and free media on talk radio and advocacy sites to control the outcome.

If Walker had been an effective governor and manufacturing leader for eight years, why would he be talking now about reviving manufacturing, not extending and burnishing it, let alone bringing up Foxconn – – the very manufacturing ‘deal’ whose death is burying the last molecules of Walker’s legacy?

Meanwhile the fresh embarrassment continued.

Offhandedly, he claimed he talks with President Trump about the connections between manufacturing and workforce issues “all the time.”

Sure. Like Trump cares about details like that, or needs information about anything from the governor who lost Wisconsin.

The only links between anything manufactured by a workforce which Trump cares about these days are the subpoenas being issued to his inner circle by House Democrats and indictments being crafted by Team Mueller.

On the other hand, since Walker suggested building a 4,000-mile wall across the US-Canadian border, maybe he can turn Trump’s attention to an even bigger project that could further stick it to Wisconsin exporters.

Walker also added a couple of his patented ineptitudes to a story he ginned up which is actually about nothing more than Walker seeing and hearing his own name:

“There’s gonna have to be automation, there’s gonna have to be artificial intelligence,” he declared in the State Journal story.

– –  which shows that when he says “manufacturing,” Walker’s not looking to help those blue-collar workers whose pay he helped diminish through fast-tracked ‘right-to-work’ legislation he signed after saying he had no interest in doing just that.

Meanwhile, what’s in Governor Tony Evers first budget explains why Walker’s out. Clean drinking water initiatives, more school funding and expanded dental coverage in BadgerCare. We’re seeing ever more of Evers’ priorities in his first budget, and, by implication, the range of of what Walker and his legislative allies had dismissed from public agendas or damaged statewide since 2011. Day by day, Walker becomes ever more irrelevant.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

3 thoughts on “Op Ed: The Farewell Tour of Scott Walker”

  1. Mary says:

    Hello Mr. Rowen,
    Did you happen to see Scott Walker on Milwaukee PBS the other day?

    He was on “Firing Line” with Margaret Hoover. You can watch the 26 minute video online or read the entire transcript online. Here is the last question and answer:

    “Will you campaign for Donald Trump?”

    “Yes, because I think, in the end, if you look at the long list of Democrats running that they are the same or worse than Hillary Clinton on the policies.”

    February 15, 2019
    Scott Walker


    “Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker joins to discuss his legacy as a reformer.”

  2. Thomas Martinsen says:


    Do you believe what Russian hackers have said about Hillary? Could any president be “the same or worse” than Donald Trump? Republican politicians need to stand up against the self serving damage Trump is doing to our democracy, in the relatively soft words of Bush 41 “sooner rather than later.”
    “Later” could be too late .

  3. Mary says:

    Mr. Martinsen:

    “Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood” ( cue Eric Burdon and the Animals 1965)

    My intention was to sincerely ask Mr. Rowen if he had seen Mr. Walker on television. Mr. Rowen’s inclusion of Mr. Walker’s BBQ sandwich photo seems to be an attempt to mock Mr. Walker. My intent was to earnestly ask a question.

    My copying and pasting of Mr. Walker’s last question and answer from the television transcript was in no way an indication that I subscribe to anything that Mr. Walker said, merely an attempt on my part to bring Mr. Walker’s stated intentions to Mr. Rowen’s attention in the eventuality he had missed the program.

    This exchange with you has merely confirmed for me my general avoidance of so-called “social media.”


Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us