Assaying the Doyle Years
I wrote earlier on Gov. Doyle for Wisconsin Interest. Here’s a shorter take for Milwaukee Magazine, using mostly different sources. The critical conclusion isn’t any different though.
The column begins:
A decade from now, one can imagine a beaming septuagenarian named Jim Doyle sitting on a dais in Milwaukee as the former governor is honored for ushering in a bold new era of train travel.
He will be lauded for laying the tracks of a 21st-century Wisconsin economy. The KRM commuter rail he helped launch would have by then joined I-94 as one of the main streets connecting Milwaukee with the booming Chicagoland economy, drawing thousands of new jobs to Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha. And he will be celebrated for securing the breakthrough $810 million federal grant for his high-speed rail line, thereby creating the “I-Q Corridor,” as tech-booster Tom Still first dubbed it, connecting bustling technology clusters in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.
Or maybe not.Such are the iffy prospects of a burnished legacy for a governor whose two terms were haunted by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and distinguished by a leadership style that shunned risk and punted too many important issues.
Read more here.