By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Dec 11, 2014 at 4:22 PM Photography:

We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his undated menorah letter to Frank Gimbel – who, by the way, is my dad’s first cousin.

It’s fun to laugh at politicians, especially ones with potential presidential aspirations. And I’m usually the first to do that. They need to be on point, all the time, and when they’re not, well, bring on the snark.

But you know that when Walker was county executive he didn’t write that letter, right? He didn’t even sign it.

How do I know? I used to have the job of the poor intern who probably made that famous typo, except at the national level. I was a White House intern in 1996 for Bill Clinton in the Presidential Letters and Messages office. As probably one of only two Jews in the office at the time (the place was filled with Arkansans), I would’ve been the one to write that kind of letter. And I guarantee that Clinton would’ve never seen it.

Here’s what would’ve happened in the White House, which is probably a little different than in the county executive's … but not by much: the letter from Gimbel would’ve been flagged by one of the elderly volunteers and sent to our dingy hovel in the Old Executive Office Building.

Because it would’ve been considered as written from a "more important person," it would get a slightly less form-letter response (there were about 500 form letters in rotation). Someone would decide whether to give it to a staffer or to an intern to reply to. Because it was an unimportant throw-away letter from a non-donor, it probably would’ve gone to an intern. Maybe me. In six months at the White House, I think I wrote about 90 of these types of letters. It was demeaning, unpaid work and much less glamorous than I thought it would be.

After spending about an hour on composing something in the voice of the president, a 20-something staffer would take a look at my draft, along with the dozens of others that came across his or her desk that day. Since it wasn’t exactly a matter of national security, that would probably be the only edit. We’d print it on special White House stationary called vellum, then someone would take it across the hallway to be signed by Clinton’s auto pen: literally a mechanical hand holding a Sharpie.

Now, clearly Walker didn't get the 10,000 letters a day that Clinton did. Maybe he saw the letter. Maybe he signed it. But if you think the county executive of Milwaukee  was writing or proofreading every minor piece of Hanukkah related fan mail, you’re kidding yourself.

Cousin Frank, like others, took the opportunity to make a jab at Walker. He said perhaps the governor should maybe think about hiring some Jewish staffers if he runs for president, because right now, "(h)is staff is white Christian."

Cute. Funny. Maybe true. But Walker didn’t write that letter. Have a laugh and move on, there are more important issues to debate in Wisconsin.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.