Walker Focusing on Jobs and Bipartisanship
Madison - A day after becoming the country's first governor to beat a recall election, a triumphant Scott Walker told his cabinet Wednesday to put their energy into creating jobs and said he was taking steps to improve bipartisanship.
"We're going to spend the remainder of this term focused like a laser beam on creating jobs," he said to the cabinet.
The Republican governor spent the first several minutes of the meeting going around the room to shake hands with and hugging members of his cabinet, who welcomed him with nonstop applause.
"It's like going to a Badgers pep rally," a hoarse Walker said.
Walker, who defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in Tuesday's recall, was joined at the cabinet meeting by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, the only lieutenant governor in the nation's history to face - and survive - a recall election.
"The good news is we're back," Walker said. "The better news is we're back fully engaged, and as much as we've done good work, we're not done yet."
Incumbent Republicans won three Senate recalls, but appear to have narrowly lost a fourth race. If vote totals pan out as the unofficial tally shows, former Sen. John Lehman will replace Sen. Van Wanggaard later this month to represent the Racine area. That would give Democrats a 17-16 majority in the Senate until the November elections.
Walker said he spoke Wednesday with Public Schools Superintendent Tony Evers, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) and Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller of Monona, who is expected to take over as majority leader once Tuesday's Senate recall races are certified.
Walker said the Democratic legislative leaders were open to working with him.
"It was really a good sense that people are eager to move on," he said.
In another effort to improve bipartisanship, Walker is planning a Wisconsin-style summit with lawmakers over brats and beer.