Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) delivers remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, in this file photo taken March 16, 2013.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Scott Walker, lost in translation

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), the son of a Baptist preacher, frequently talks about his Christian faith. But his familiarity with other religions, especially in a state in which minority faiths represent a tiny percentage of the population, appears to be rather limited.
 
Occasionally, that can be a problem.
 
The Capital Times in Madison reports today, for example, on an unfortunate incident from Walker’s tenure in Milwaukee, before he was elected governor.
In an undated letter unearthed by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now during the August release of documents from the first of two John Doe investigations related to the governor, Walker responded to a letter from Milwaukee attorney and chairman of the Wisconsin Center District Franklyn Gimbel.
 
Walker told Gimbel his office would be happy to display a menorah celebrating “The Eight Days of Chanukah” at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, and asked Gimbel to have a representative from Lubavitch of Wisconsin contact Walker’s secretary, Dorothy Moore, to set it up.
 
The letter is signed, “Thank you again and Molotov.”
Oh dear.
 
In all likelihood, Walker intended to write, “Mazel tov,” which is a Jewish phrase used to congratulate someone or wish them well.
 
“Molotov,” on the other hand, is a word more commonly associated with “a variety of bottle-based improvised incendiary weapons.”
 
The Capital Times’ report added, “Perhaps it was a case of AutoCorrect or that pesky Microsoft Word paperclip causing shenanigans.” That’s certainly possible. It might also be an instance in which Walker was just confused.
 
But as the Wisconsin Republican moves forward with his presidential plans, I’ll assume he’ll be more careful on this.
 

Scott Walker and Wisconsin

Scott Walker, lost in translation