Baer: Gov. Wolf goes to Washington

Gov. Wolf’s in D.C. for the weekend winter meeting of the National Governors Association that includes a Sunday “Evening with the President and First Lady” at the White House (invitation only).

Wolf’s invited and scheduled to attend.

I’m betting the event will be tremendous, believe me, tremendous, best ever.

And I feel certain the weekend, centered at the lovely downtown J.W. Marriott hotel, is a serious attempt to expand every governor’s knowledge of government so they all can make their states better.

After all, there are meetings planned on Capitol Hill and at the White House and with federal agency officials. Who better to make states better than the leadership in Washington?

But the weekend, which actually runs through Monday, also offers what looks like some fun to be had.

There’s a Friday luncheon, for example, hosted by Vice President Pence at the veep’s Naval Observatory residence and a Friday media reception for governors at the National Press Club, followed by a reception at the Indian ambassador’s residence near the National Zoo, followed by a “Corporate Fellows Reception” at Boss Shepherd’s Restaurant and Whiskey Bar near the National Theater.

There’s, of course, working sessions on stuff such as health care, infrastructure,  civic engagement (hmm) and artificial intelligence (boy, am I tempted). And there’s a Saturday session on early childhood education (Wolf likes that) featuring an address by actress Jennifer Garner, an early education activist (who knew?).

Then there’s a governors’ luncheon, titled “Leading the Laboratories of Democracy,” with Republican pollster Frank Luntz (GOP governors outnumber Democratic governors) and a nighttime party at the Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House.

There’s also a luncheon and briefing Sunday with Homeland Security and the FBI, which sure could get interesting if anybody asks about paying for the wall or James Comey’s role in the 2016 election.

Oh, there’s one session for governors’ staff that includes remarks buy a senior partner from McKinsey & Company, the global consulting firm that just did a $1.8 million report for Wolf on how to make Pennsylvania’s budget sustainable. Maybe he can stop by and say thanks.

Monday is filled with briefings up on Capitol Hill and ends with an evening reception with members of the Congress in the Capitol Visitor Center.

(You can see the full weekend agenda right here.)

The good news? Wolf, who takes no salary, pays for his hotel stays when traveling on state business, according to a spokesman.

The bad news? Wolf will still have a state budget mess when his weekend in Washington’s over.