The Lead

Gov. Tom Wolf didn’t have a fave superhero, but he did love “Classics Illustrated” — which explains so much

By: - February 27, 2019 4:37 pm

Answering the important questions. (Gov. Tom Wolf/Instagram)

Gov. Tom Wolf held an Q&A session on Instagram on Wednesday. And while it lacked the intensity of … say … the Watergate hearings, there were a few surprise glimpses into the psyche of Pennsylvania’s chief executive.

For one, the session did settle the “Debate We Didn’t Even Know We Were Having” over whether Wolf prefers an air fryer or a slow cooker.

“Actually, it’s Instapot,” Wolf, dressed in an open-collared shirt, with the sleeves rolled up, confided. “My wife [First Lady Frances Wolf] and I did get an Instapot for Christmas this year.”

The eternal question of onions on his hot dogs? That’d be a big “no.” Wolf prefers ice cream over frozen custard. And his favorite color, of course … navy blue.

But there were also some serious policy questions in the mix.

Asked about the prospect of an increase to Pennsylvania’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage, Wolf said it’ll happen “as soon as the General Assembly votes for it. I’ve been proposing it since I got here.”

Asked about “what role [he saw] restorative justice playing in an initiative to legalize marijuana,” Wolf responded that he “wants to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana,” and “really wants to get people out of prison and back into the workplace.”

On the question of open primaries and when Pa. might see new election machines (which is something of an issue right now), Wolf said he counted himself an open primary supporter. He added, “I would like Pennsylvania to have new voting machines everywhere by 2020.”

His answer on the opioids crisis was a familiar one: It’s a “very complex issue that needs to be addressed from all angles. One of the things we need to do is make sure we tell our kids about the dangers of using drugs.”

And, because nature apparently abhors a vacuum, there was also question about Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s 67-county listening tour on whether the state should legalize recreational marijuana.

And, finally, for those of you who might have thought the young Tom Wolf thrilled to the adventures of Batman or The Avengers, disabuse yourself right now. Wolf preferred “Classics Illustrated” — the condensed, comic book versions of such great books as “The House of the Seven Gables,” “Ivanhoe,” “Moby Dick,” and other public-domain titles that most people haven’t read since 9th grade English class.

Which is the Tom Wolfiest of all answers, when you think about it.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.