Empower Wisconsin | April 23, 2020
MADISON — While the Badger State is burning, Gov. Tony Evers is playing ping-pong.
Perhaps that comes as little surprise from the Pickleball Executive.
Evers took part Tuesday in a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) webinar. He joined the weekly broadcast to update business and community leaders on his feeble efforts to reopen Wisconsin — now that he has ordered his Department of Health Services chief to lock down the state for another month.
The governor told MMAC members that fighting the COVID-19 outbreak is a “24-7” job. Association President Tim Sheehy asked the guv how he was holding up, and whether even the 34-room Executive Residence is starting to look small.
“It sure the hell is,” Evers said. “My wife and I are the primary people hanging out here. It gets small, especially last night.”
As a diversion to his Safer at Home order, the governor said he and the wife bought a “two-thirds-sized ping-pong table.” He said they try to get in 10 games a night.
“But last night she defeated me nine games to 1. So it’s (the residence) getting real small,” Evers said, chuckling. Just an average fellow playing ping-pong with his bride at a 16,000-square-foot, 3.7-acre, taxpayer-funded estate overlooking Madison’s beautiful Lake Mendota.
“Maybe you could get back at her in pickleball,” Sheehy joked.
“Maybe. I don’t know, that’s going to be quite some time,” Evers said.
The Democrat is known for his light work schedule, which, during his first year in office, included plenty of pickleball matches, sources say.
Now, he’s the titular front man in the battle against the novel coronavirus. He spoke confidently Tuesday of his glacial-pace “Badger Bounce Back” plan to restart Wisconsin. Business owners and workers alike are growing increasingly concerned that there may be little to come back to by the time Team Evers gives the all-clear.
But Tony is hopeful. He believes “we’re heading in the right direction.”
He assured MMAC members that we can “chew and walk gum at the same time.”