Some people would kill for a commute of only a few hundred feet, especially when the house you live in looks like this and your office looks like this. But Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) apparently makes the commute in a Lincoln Towncar, and now The Associated Press is asking why:
In Kentucky, the lawns of the Capitol and the mansion are separated only by a narrow tree-shaded street, but Fletcher routinely rides to and from his office. In the meantime, his administration is encouraging Kentuckians to walk more as part of a statewide fitness initiative to combat obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The administration has begun running radio announcements calling on residents to walk or bike more.
The Kentucky governor makes no apologies for riding to work.
"I think that's been a tradition for a long time," he said. "That's what security likes."
Not only does the AP story provide us with the stock quotes from Democrats saying Fletcher should practice what he preaches, but it also gives us a glimpse of what other governors do for their commutes.
Across the country, several governors who live near state Capitols routinely walk to work. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack sometimes jogs the three miles from the Capitol to his home. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer walks, with his dog Jag, seven blocks to his office. And Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn routinely walked the 10 blocks to his office before he had hip replacement surgery.
Like Fletcher, Govs. Chris Gregoire in Washington state, Rick Perry in Texas and Haley Barbour in Mississippi routinely ride to work from their homes next door.
Who knows? Barbour just launched a get-healthy initiative too. As the Clarion-Ledger reported a few weeks ago:
Maybe now Barbour'll start walking to work. Or maybe he'll just read about his short commute in the paper.
"Let's face it, those of us who grew up in Mississippi -- and particularly up in the Delta like I did -we're used to the worst of it," Gov. Haley Barbour said. "We cooked everything in lard, put sugar on anything. If you couldn't fry it, you couldn't eat it.
"Heck," he said, "I've even had fried ice cream."
Barbour pledged Thursday to "set an example" for the rest of the state in following a healthy lifestyle from now on.