A young Milwaukee county executive with big dreams responded to a letter from a Jewish constituent.
Scott Walker, now Wisconsin’s governor, signed off, “Thank you again and Molotov.”
We presume what Walker was going for was the Hebrew phrase “mazel tov,” which Jewish people (and the Black Eyed Peas) use when congratulating others on momentous occasions. Molotov, on the other hand, is usually coupled with “cocktail,” and is an improvised explosive, which is probably not what Walker wished upon the letter recipient.
Like an American struggling to speak the language in a foreign country, Walker certainly deserves some credit for trying. Hebrew is hard.
The Walker letter was first reported Wednesday by Jessie Opoien of the Capital Times. Walker’s spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The undated letter, which is at least four years old, was in response to an inquiry about displaying a menorah at the county courthouse for Hanukkah.
Walker is a potential 2016 presidential candidate, and one crucial voting bloc is the Jewish one. He was among the politicians who attended the Republican Jewish Coalition conference hosted by billionaire kingmaker Sheldon Adelson last spring. At that event Walker did his best to woo the Jewish audience, describing his father’s first trip to Israel in the 1980s and telling them he displays a menorah in his home during the holidays.
As Walker makes the rounds ahead of 2016, he should just keep it simple. “Shalom” is Hebrew for hello and goodbye, so the margin for error there is small. And if you really want to impress the crowd at a boozy fundraiser offer a hearty, “L’chaim!”