Governor Jim Doyle makes his final State of the State address tonight, and one observer expects he’ll attempt to cast his stewardship of Wisconsin for the last seven years as a positive one, in the face of difficult economic times.

Doyle and Democrats in the legislature have taken a beating because of tax and fee increases in the state budget. UW Madison political scientist Charles Franklin expects Doyle will use the speech to put that in a larger perspective. “I think in part he’ll counter that by talking about how the budget has left us in a relatively good position, compared to some of the other states,” such as California, says Franklin.

And while Doyle has had many differences with Republicans and with some Democrats, Franklin doesn’t expert there will be much criticism of other politicians in this, Doyle’s final state of the state address. “As a swan song for a governor, it makes a lot more sense to try to frame your administration as a success, and to shoot for some final achievements in your last year, even if those are going to be harder to bring about,” Franklin says.

A change in Milwaukee Public Schools governance and passing his “green jobs” agenda are among Doyle’s priorities in his last year as governor, but he’s likely to face an uphill battle on both.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:65 MP3)

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