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What Jay Inslee Isn’t

Olan Mills strikes again...

So Jay Inslee announced this morning for governor of the Great State of Washington. Current Gov. Chris Gregoire mentioned him in her announcement that she won’t run for a third time, so it seems  likely that Inslee is the anointed one.

Curious choice.

There must have been a match-up issue with other democratic candidates in polling, because Inslee doesn’t appear to be the most qualified. Frank Chopp would be an obvious pick, but Dow Constantine, Bob Ferguson, Lisa Brown, Brian Sonntag, Aaron Reardon and Brad Owens would all make better picks from an electability standpoint.

Bob Ferguson especially. He knocked off a 20-year incumbent by being fresh, independent, and down-to-earth. And by down-to-earth, I mean his campaign knocked on 22,000 doors to talk directly to the voters. You cannot top that kind of activism and community connectedness, no matter what you’ve got going for you connection-wise. And he’s enough of a moderate, that moderate voters would have two good choices. He’s running for AG though, so we’ll probably see a governor run from him in 2020. That’s a shame for Democrats, he’s very electable.

Brian Sonntag is even more electable, the guy is a Dan Evans Democrat, straight down the middle and impossible to beat by a Republican. What would Republican attack ads look like against a candidate like Sonntag? The sitting Auditor, who heads up performance audits of the establishment while still being a member of the majority party? And is a Certified Government Financial Manager? I thought so. He might still run, but odds are slim. Once someone has been picked in either party, the advisors all try to squash “uprisings.”

What the Democrats need is someone who looks different from Gregoire, speaks the people’s language, knows the terrain, is humble, is intelligent, doesn’t have tons of baggage, and has a reputation for fairness. You know, like Rob McKenna.

Inslee Isn’t that. He has a track record of towboating his ideology along with governance issues. In his announcement he suggested he’ll invest state pension plans into clean energy start-ups, to create green jobs.  This makes the green energy companies in the state exstatic, I imagine, and they may kick-start his fundraising, but the population might not be for him getting in bed so thoroughly with an industry, no matter how “good” it is. I think voters will shudder at the risk-taking in an obviously shaky market, especially since it goes directly against free-market principles (the start-ups are underfunded privately, government investment would be huge for them).

Inslee is also kind of like Chris Gregoire, a former trial lawyer, has been in D.C. for a decade now, is kind of thin-skinned, has said some jack-tard stuff that could come back to bite him, and really, has a reputation of activism rather than governance. He represents his district, the 2nd most left-leaning congressional district (next to McDermott’s) fairly well, but I don’t think the rest of the state will like him much.

He’s attacking McKenna out of the gate, as well… not a good sign.


About humourologist

A man who is interested in almost everything, I am a writer, blogger, and political junkie since long before graduating from Pacific Lutheran University. Currently an Action For Washington fellow and content editor, I was a maintenance guy (including groundskeeping) for 3.5 years. I enjoy applying the inarguable principles of mundane life to big ideas, and I get beat up a lot for doing this.

2 responses »

  1. I think you hit it right on about the qualifications of other democrats, there are seemingly more logical choices. I mean who would have thought a Congressman embroiled in the DC mess would prove popular. But, Jay has laid an impressive game changing operation. Systematically he has made the rounds locking up support and raising big cash. At least for the moment, he’s eaten up the room for other candidates.

    Its the same strategy as McKenna. Here we are over a year out with defacto nominees, really because the campaign didn’t start when they announced, its been going on behind the scenes for a long time.

    The real question to ask is if we are moving in this direction of anointed nominees, what sense is a primary. Shouldn’t the people, not just party leaders, get to choose which voices get heard?

    But its premature to call it a closed case. Remember when Hillary Clinton was going to stroll to the nomination. She was better funded, better connected and had the party locked up. Things change quickly.

    I think Dow and Sontag are interesting ones to speculate. Because in leu of cash and party infrastructure, you need people. And they have both proven to have unconventional and motivated bases.

    However don’t assume a contested primary is a bad thing for Jay. He most likely would still pull off the nomination, and there is nothing like a good fight to energize the base against McKenna in the general.

    16 months is a long time.

    • Yeah, when the governor isn’t running because she’s not popular, it probably doesn’t help that she named Inslee in her not-running announcement. That’s more of a tarnish than an annointing.


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