Analysis: Gov. Evers’ Missed Opportunities In His State Of The State Address

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Governor Tony Evers gave his second State of the State speech earlier this week before a joint-convention of the Wisconsin Legislature. In the speech given from the Assembly Chamber, Gov. Evers laid out his policy priorities for the remainder of the legislative session and beyond.

For the full text of his speech, please click here.

Rather than bore you with the standard accounting of the speech that you can find elsewhere, your always helpful staff here at MacIver thought we would, instead,  share with you our analysis of the speech and the deeper insight that you can only get here. 

In terms of presentation, Gov. Evers did a decent job delivering his speech. Loved the UW band playing in the aisle to finish off the speech. Speech was filled with back-handed compliments to the Republican Legislature and a couple of jabs directed towards predecessor Scott Walker. 

Bit of unsolicited advice to Governor Evers here at the top: Get over your obsession with Walker. Move on. While a very small part of your radical base loved the dig about visiting a prison, no one else cared. Rise above it, Governor.

But probably the most disappointing aspect of the Governor’s State of the State speech is that, once again, Gov. Evers choose not to discuss the education crisis we are facing in Wisconsin. Just 40% of our K-12 students are proficient in math or reading. Just 40%.

The speech was relatively short, 33 minutes long. For comparison, Walker’s shortest speech before the legislature was 17 minutes. The Gov.’s speech was better than last year, but this is clearly not Evers’ strong suit. If he was better at giving a speech and more comfortable in this type of setting – statewide audience, cameras everywhere, all attention directed towards him – he would have and should have given a longer speech with more details about this priorities to make a strong case directly to the taxpayers of the state that his vision is the best for the future. 

Instead, the Governor briefly talked about six supposed priorities in a two sentence paragraph at the very end of the speech. Less than five seconds on each priority. Struck us as an unusual and a very brief way for the Governor to make the case for specific policies he wants to become law.

Evers didn’t change the minds of any of the legislators sitting in the chamber, nor make a convincing argument to the public about his vision for the state because he spent so little time actually talking about those priorities.

To read the full analysis, click here.