Does former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett—who held the city’s top position from 2004 to 2021, only to suddenly resign mid-term and accept a position as the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg—miss his old gig? Specifically, does he miss “the rough-and-tumble of everyday politics”?

“Of course there’s times,” Barrett said during an International Education Week conversation with UW-Madison on Monday, “but then I look at the newspaper, and I follow it regularly, and I’m thinking, ‘It’s all yours, baby! It’s all yours!'”

See the question and Barrett’s response here:

Barrett’s cavalier (heh) remark about his old job (a job now held by Cavalier Johnson, you see) struck some as a bit too cavalier:

To be fair, Barrett does mention the whole State Legislature thing in the interview, and he immediately follows his “It’s all yours, baby” remark with this:

I think in any profession there’s a time to hand off the baton. I loved every minute of it. I tried as hard as I could for as long as I could. I think Mayor Johnson is off to a good start, and I think that’s great. Again, it will always go down as a huge honor in my life, as did my other professional jobs. I loved them. I have been blessed.

Watch Barrett’s full hourlong interview below. [h/t Adam Kelnhofer]

Exclusive articles, podcasts, and more. Support Milwaukee Record on Patreon.


Tom Barrett to live on nice farm in country, a.k.a. take gig as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg