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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped by the GOP to offer the response on the national stage. What he said in his speech didn't surprise.
Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped by the GOP to offer the response on the national stage. What he said in his speech didn't surprise.

Spotlight falls on Wisconsin

Have to admit it, despite the cold temperatures, the spotlight is keeping all of us warm.

During last night's State Of The Union speech by Barack Obama, we were already basking in the glow from the success of a certain professional football team last Sunday.

But following the speech, the political spin masters of both parties know that Wisconsin is the place to be.

Because of who we are, who we vote for and how we interact in this community, we are a perfect gauge in how the rest of the nation will follow.

Both parties know they need to sway independent-minded people, and that in Wisconsin, most of our voter base has no qualms of switching parities to back an individual or set of ideals that match our own.

Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped by the GOP to offer the response on the national stage. What he said in his speech didn't surprise. Ryan focused on the platform he and his party have been talking about lately in the need to control spending. But I have to say that his delivery, while I believe it was genuine, was toned down -- even a little too much.

I'm sure he was conscious to the nature of the timing, given the tone set by the tribute of support for the victims in the Tucson, Ariz., shootings. I'm sure he purposefully kept things quieter, and by his sniffling, I'm guessing he wasn't feeling his best.

But I've seen him speak, I've witnessed first-hand his interaction with the camera on TV. He did a fine job, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it was the top of his abilities.

Today the spotlight shifts to Manitowoc, where Obama will make three stops with national media in tow. The Democrats know they need to offer a blue-collar approach to selling the points of the speech, moving forward the agenda of rebuilding and making investments in the future.

This is Wisconsin's chance to shine, proving that determination, the ability to overcome obstacles and offering a manufacturing hub is good for the nation and its competitiveness in the international market. The…

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PETA attempts to get Jesus as its pitchman

With the idea that any publicity is good publicity, our friends at PETA made an interesting move last week.

After news that the Milwaukee Archdiocese was going to file for bankruptcy, they made an offer to help with a cash donation.

There was a little catch, however.

According to my friends at WISN 12, the People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals sent a letter to Archbishop Jerome Listecki. It said that financial aid would be available if the church would present a statue with Jesus holding a lamb with an inscription reading, "Blessed are the merciful, go vegan."

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese reported that the letter from PETA was never received.

Actually, the letter never has to be sent. Mission accomplished.

Just the release to the media about sending a letter was enough to get TV and radio air time. It got media-types like me to take notice and write about it as well.

Part of trying to stay in the public eye is being relevant. Attaching yourself to a current story is a way to do that.

Kraft, Quicken Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers all were able to attach themselves to Ted Williams, the homeless person from Columbus, Ohio, with a great radio voice whose story was on all three of the TV network news shows on Friday.

Williams' YouTube video from the street went viral, and news outlets were fast to grab at a good story in tough economic times. Firms were smart at being aggressive and attaching themselves to the story while it was fresh and still growing.

PETA's tactics were fresh at one time too. But, after a while, it fits with what they've done in the past. Shock and awe tactics only go so far.

But I have to admit, trying to get Jesus to be your spokesman, that's a bold move.