In this week's "Center Stage" political podcast, Wisconsin’s two U.S. senators explain their verdicts in the impeachment trial, with Milfred and Hands refereeing and taking sides.
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Scott Milfred, the State Journal's editorial page editor, starts the podcast off with a trick-question quiz that Phil Hands, the paper's cartoonist, almost gets right. Our editorial board members play audio from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin's floor speech from the impeachment trial, and clips from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's telephone call this week with Wisconsin reporters.
Baldwin, D-Madison, voted "guilty" in the historic trial against President Donald Trump. But Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and all but one of his Republican colleagues -- Mitt Romney -- voted "not guilty" to acquit Trump.
The podcast includes a taste of Romney's speech, and what Milfred calls the most honest moment of the trial's conclusion, when U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., admits to at least some doubt about how he might have voted if the situation had been reversed.
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Baldwin defended Johnson's right to the truth during her floor speech, emphasizing that Trump lied to Johnson when he told Wisconsin's senior senator that no quid pro quo occurred in Ukraine. She stressed that former Trump adviser John Bolton's eyewitness testimony, had it been allowed at the Senate trial, would have established that.
Hands recalls a cartoon he drew of Baldwin and Johnson in bed together. In the end, our political podcasters agree with both Wisconsin senators that they trust voters to decide Trump's fate this fall. That was a main point of the State Journal's editorial on impeachment weeks ago.
"Center Stage with Milfred and Hands" is the State Journal's weekly podcast from the sensible center of Wisconsin politics, featuring editorial page editor Scott Milfred and political cartoonist Phil Hands -- "the better-looking half" of the newspaper's editorial board, according to Hands.