Tags: Developing

Walker Cites Reagan as Inspiration: ‘He Didn’t Flinch’


The New York Times has a fascinating profile of Gov. Scott Walker:

Critics and supporters alike say Mr. Walker has never strayed from his approach to his political career: always pressing for austerity, and never blinking or apologizing for his lightning-rod proposals.

He regularly clashed with the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors over the past decade when he was that county’s elected executive. He pushed to privatize cleaning and food service workers and sought changes to pension and health contributions and workers’ hours. At one point, he proposed that the county government might want to consider, in essence, abolishing itself. It was redundant, he suggested. …

“This doesn’t faze me one bit,” Mr. Walker said Friday as thousands of protesters from around the country marched and screamed and filled every unguarded cranny of the Capitol, just as they had all week.

He said he had seen plenty of labor protesters before. Crowds of them in green T-shirts once even showed up when he presented a Milwaukee County budget proposal — one of nine proposals in a row, he boasts now, that included no tax increase over the rate the board had settled on the year before. …

Mr. Walker, 43, the son of a Baptist preacher, is an Eagle Scout. He opposes abortion. He rides a motorcycle. For years, he has carried the same bagged lunch to work (two ham and cheese sandwiches on wheat) — a fact he has been fond of mentioning on campaign trails. His political heroes: Tommy Thompson, this state’s former governor, and Ronald Reagan.

“He didn’t flinch,” Mr. Walker said of Reagan. “Obviously, I take a lot of inspiration from that.”


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