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Governor Walker Tasked with Playing to Local and National Audience During State of the State

Gov. Scott Walker
Alex Wong/Getty Images

At seven o’clock pm Tuesday, Gov. Walker will deliver his fifth State of the State Address. He’s expected to touch on a few policy issues, but not provide a lot of depth at this time. Experts say Walker may try to play to both a local audience and a national one, if he is deciding whether to mount a run for the White House.

State of the State Speeches are typically used to pat yourself on the back, according to Marquette University Political Scientist Charles Franklin. So that’s what he expects to hear Tuesday night from Gov. Walker.

“So I think the question will be how much time does he spend on accomplishments that he wants to point to and initiatives going forward,” Franklin says.

Franklin says there's been a lot of chatter about Walker combining state agencies and holding schools accountable for student success. So the professor would not be surprised if Walker touches on those topics. But Franklin says if you’re anxious for specifics, you'll have to wait.

“Usually the detail, the nitty-gritty of the budget won't come out until the February 3 address on the budget,” Franklin says.

Franklin says what might be more interesting to note during the State of the State, is the way in which Walker may speak to both a local and national audience. He may try to win GOP support for a presidential bid.

“The political activists, the folks within the Republican party who are most important for financial support, as well as organizational support, those folks are certainly paying attention,” Franklin says.

Dennis: And what are they looking for at this point?

“I think they're looking at a broad range of elect ability questions, and that's partly a matter of what policies are people speaking to that resonate in a broader national context. They're also looking for whether they think this person has the ability to speak to national issues and a national audience,” Franklin says.

Franklin says around a dozen people are thinking about throwing a hat into presidential ring. And big political interests are watching each, closely.


LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.
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