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One lawmaker says Gov. Walker running for president could help improve political climate in Madison

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MADISON (WITI) -- Governor Scott Walker was sworn in for his second term as Wisconsin's governor on Monday morning, January 5th, and in his inaugural address, he made sure to draw a distinction between Wisconsin and Washington. With all the talk about a possible presidential run, one lawmaker says he thinks that might actually help improve the political climate in Madison.

There were no major surprises in Governor Walker's inaugural address -- so could that signal a shift in tone this legislative session -- one that might help move the state away from the political animosity it's seen in recent years?

"I didn`t hear any new ideas today, but you know, clearly he indicated that he shares in the goal of trying to provide more opportunities. I like the fact that he mentioned the job training side of the equation. There`s little that could be more important than that," Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said.

Republicans viewed the inaugural address as an opportunity to celebrate what has been done over the last few years and set a positive tone for the future.

"We`ve gone through a tough election cycle. Governor Walker, I know wants to work really hard to bring Wisconsin together focusing around a common vision of saying that we want to have the best schools, we can invest in worker training and get everybody back to work who wants to work," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said.

Governor Walker managed to work in a few jabs at Washington in his inaugural address -- perhaps another sign of his growing national status and a possible presidential run.

"I think Governor Walker has a great story to tell all across the country should he choose to do so, but I know today he is focused on making sure that our budget`s in line, that our priorities are set straight and that the people of Wisconsin know that we are on the job and looking to forward to getting things done with our partners in the state Senate and hopefully working with Democrats wherever we can," Vos said.

While some have worried that an eye on the White House might shift Governor Walker's attention away from his home state, Barca says he's hopeful it might help with the partisan friction in the state's Capitol.

"I`m not so sure this country wants a president that would be polarizing. In fact, I think it suggests just the opposite so maybe that will make him try to not be as polarizing as he was in his first term. That would be my fondest hope that this session he would attempt to lead more by consensus," Barca said.

Vos says more than half of the legislators weren't legislators during Act 10 -- something he thinks might help put old battles in the past and allow them to focus on the present.

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