Last night, I kinda fell in love with Gov. Tim Walz.
In truth, I barely know the governor. I’ve covered him several times, spoken to him barely at all. He’s certainly not Mr. Charisma. And, oft-times, when I’ve heard him speak, I’ve found his style likably down-to-earth but amusingly lacking in flash or what usually passes for eloquence. But, at the moment, those things certainly seem less important than humanity, honesty, straightforwardness and competence.
Last night, from self-quarantine in the governor’s mansion, speaking not even on TV but over the internet, Walz’s regular-guy, Minnesota-nice routine had me at hello.
Seated, tieless, speaking via YouTube from the governor’s mansion so you didn’t have to count how many times he was interrupted by applause, lacking any attempts at flash, making no jokes, telling no lies and doing absolutely no bragging about what a great job he’s doing to get us through the COVID-19 crisis, Walz (who actually grew up in Nebraska) seemed to embody most of the Minnesota qualities I fell in love with when I moved here 42 years ago, and with which I have never fallen out of love.
If you skidded off the road in a snowstorm (as who among us has not), this is the guy you want to have pull over and help push you back on.
He didn’t praise himself. He didn’t criticize you-know-who. He paid tribute to fundamental qualities that, if anything can do it, will get us through this horrible pandemic and get back to being, like all the children in Lake Wobegon, above average.