I’m amused by the mental image of Lawton quizzing Doyle staffers in the hall to find out what’s going on.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton was elected to office with Gov. Jim Doyle in 2002. Her office is at 19 East in the Capitol, just about directly below the governor’s at 115 East. According to Ben Nuckels, her chief of staff: “Governor Doyle’s style of governance doesn’t include daily meetings with Lieutenant Governor Lawton, but the Lieutenant Governor ensures she is indeed abreast of what is going on, out front and behind the scenes at the State Capitol and around the state.”
But, do they talk?
“I would direct further questions to him,” said Nuckels.
Their co-named Web site, http://www.doylelawton.com has n,ot been updated since 2006. The two politicians have gone separate ways on some issues: Last January, Doyle endorsed candidate Barack Obama and Lawton backed Hillary Clinton. Most recently, the two sparred over a controversial tax credit program for filmmakers who come to Wisconsin to make movies.
An Associated Press story last November, following Obama’s election, noted the pair’s sometime feuding, attributing to UW-Milwaukee political scientist Mordecai Lee the notion that “by most accounts, they do not have a close relationship and Doyle may be reluctant to hand over the office to her.”
I sense a little groundwork being laid here.
Doyle not running again? Lawton starting to publicly distance herself?
The Lawton-Doyle problem is a little bigger for Democrats than people realize. Obama has to find a place for Granholm and her successor prior to moving out Doyle. Michigan would be a much greater loss for the Democrats…
Unlike at the federal level, where a President and Vice-President may work closely on numerous issues, Wisconsin’s Gov. and Lt. Gov. are generally not that close.
Thompson never really talked to McCallum, even after 14 years together. The Gov usually has a closer relationship with his DOA Secretary - the guy who really runs the state - rather than the “heartbeat away guy (or gal)”.
The only job of the Wisconsin LT is to stay alive in case the Gov. does not; and to turn her office into an art museuem.
To Lawton’s credit, she increased the number of things a Lieutenant Governor does by a full 100%. Before she showed up, the Lite Guv’s job was simply to stay alive. Now the Lite Guv hosts art shows too.
Maybe the next holder of the office will dare to double her two things and move all the way to four things. I believe that would put the Lite Guv ahead of the Treasurer and Secretary of State in terms of things to do.
Lawton has not really ‘stayed alive’. Her ineptitude makes her the largest obstacle to Doyle receiving any type of federal post….
In other news the sun rises in the east.