At the 2013 Milwaukee County Republican Party's annual Reagan Day dinner Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told a story that he said,"gives me a shiver just talking about it." 

 

That would be the story about how Nancy Reagan was so amazed by Scott Walker's recall victory that she invited him to come speak at the Reagan Library. (Walker failed to mention that ninety-one-year old Nancy Reagan is more of a figurehead of the Reagan Foundations that signs dozens of invites to people every year to speak at Reagan Library as part of the Reagan Forum series. You know who else has scored these special invites? Dennis Miller, Mark Levin, and Dennis Prager. In fact, the person that spoke after Walker was—drum roll please—Greg Gutfeldt!)

OK, sorry—back to Walker's story.

Before Walker gave his speech, he scored a special meeting with Nancy Reagan. (Reality check: It wasn't that special; it happens to many Reagan Forum participants.) So, they get to talking, and Walker tells her that his recall election happened on the anniversary of her husband's death: June 5. 

After Walker makes this point, Mrs. Reagan doesn't push her panic button. And she doesn't dismiss what he is saying as the ramblings of a pathological narcissist with delusions of grandeur. Instead she is apparently awestruck. (You'll find out why we can assume that in a second.)

Then Walker leaves her home in Bel Air and goes to the Reagan Library to give his speech. As he is walking by some of the exhibits on display and, well, let's let Walker tell the rest:

"One of the other great privileges I had, that was unbeknownst to me, that they had set up, was, we came around the corner on the tour, before I gave a speech to about a thousand people at the library, and the curator there, had, I see him and he's got white gloves and he's got something in his hand.

"And they brought over a pair of white gloves for me and he said, 'No one has touched this since President Reagan. It is his mother's Bible that he took the oath of office on. Mrs. Reagan would like you to hold and take a picture with it."

 

At this point the crowd makes a collective gasp.  Several "awwwwhhh"s break out and then the they break into an applause as Walker slowly nods.

In other words, Nancy Reagan was so impressed with Walker that she arranged this quasi-anointment ceremony of letting Walker be the first to touch the Reagan Bible since Reagan. This is huge! In Republican politics, this is like the Pope arranging a swig from the Holy Grail!  

In other news—wait, there's more to this story? Shut the front door!—I got in touch with Jennifer Torres, who is the artifacts curator at the Reagan Library. Torres said Walker did in fact, get his picture taken with the Reagan inauguration Bible, but that is the only part of the story that is true.

When asked specifically if Nancy Reagan had arranged for Walker to hold the Reagan Bible, Torres said in a email that it was Walker, not Nancy Reagan, that made the request to have his picture taken with the Bible—and that Walker made the request before he visited with Nancy Reagan or even flew out to California:

Gov. Walker requested to view the Bible while he was at the Library for a speaking engagement. The Bible is periodically removed from exhibit in order to rotate the pages on display. We decided to remove the Bible the day Gov. Walker was in town to comply with his request, took the Bible back to collections after the photo, and re-installed it on exhibit a few days later.

What about the stuff about Reagan being the last person to touch it? Eh, not so much: 

Since the President's passing, several staff members and conservators have handled the Bible, all while wearing gloves.  It is unknown if President Reagan was the last to have to have touched the Bible without gloves, but it is doubtful.  It may have been handled by family or staff before it was brought to the Library.  Once the Bible was at the Library, it would only be handled with gloves per collections management practices.  The Bible was brought to the Library in 1992, and was placed on exhibit at some point.  It was removed from exhibit in 2010 during the renovation, and re-installed in 2011.

 

When asked if Walker is the only visiting dignitary to have handled the Bible since the library opened, Torres said that he was, but he is also likely the only visiting dignitary to have ever made such a request. 

There you have it folks: there was nothing special about Walker holding and getting his picture take with the Reagan Bible. Except, of course, in Walker's mind. 

And that should concern you. 

 

Jud Lounsbury is a political reporter based in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously, Lounsbury served as a press secretary for several politicians and organizations, including Russ Feingold, Tom Harkin, and Al Gore's Iowa campaign. 

Section: 

Comments

Lesson to be re-enforced here- you can't believe or rely on a word that spills out of Scott Walker's mouth!
I see him and he's got white gloves and he's got something in his hand. And they brought over a pair of white gloves for me and he said, 'No one has touched this since President Reagan. No one except. of course, the guy who handed it to him...
Mr. Walker, I don't think it's shivers you're feeling whenever you're talking about this story, I think it's the flames of Hell lapping at your heels. And to think you are a ministers son...
Sociopaths will say and do anything needed to advance their self- serving agendas.
The man is a pathological liar who has to create stories in order to make himself something bigger than he is and into something that he is not in real life.
Nice to know but not a terribly constructive use of investigative journalism. I'm sure there are other lies more newsworthy.
.....yet another Republican who will say just about anything to enhance his lot.....,pathetic.
People of Wisconsin, WAKE-UP and WISE-UP: Do you really want this fraudulent fool representing your state? He certainly gives full meaning the to term "cheese-head", though not as a term of endearment, by any stretch of the imagination! If he were a news anchor, he'd have been drop-kicked out the door, long ago (unless - of course - he worked for FOX (faux) news! As it is now, he's merely an anchor around the necks of Wisconsin voters and those "other citizens" who prudently chose NOT to cast a vote in his favor...
Sounds more devious than delusional. I suspect Walker made his bible request expressly so he could tell his story.
This Scott Walker is SO vile I can't even bear to comment further.

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Signs were waived on the final day of the convention that read "stronger" and "together".

“This is an example of the banality of evil.”

How high speed rail could transform our economy and revitalize urban development.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).


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