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Dino Rossi, for heaven’s sake, to face Patty Murray

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on July 24, 2010 at 7:48 pm with 4 Comments »
July 23, 2010 6:19 pm

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Puh-leeze, Washington Republicans. Don’t do it again.

Washington last elected a Republican governor 30 years ago and last elected a Republican U.S. senator 16 years ago. That’s not entirely the GOP’s fault; this state simply leans a little blue – though it wasn’t so long ago that the Republicans could snatch control of the Legislature from time to time.

But there are roughly as many independents in Washington as there are members of either party, and the independents decide statewide races. The GOP has been forfeiting the big statewide offices, election after election, by nominating ideologues who can’t connect with the suburbs and the political center.

This is the party whose past gubernatorial nominees include Ellen Craswell, a lawmaker so far to the right she later ditched the Republican Party itself, and John Carlson, a talk radio jock without a lick of experience in public office.

There was an exception: Dino Rossi. After seven successful years as a state senator, Rossi won the Republican nomination for governor in 2004 and battled Chris Gregoire to a statistical tie. (Gregoire won on the third recount by a legally sufficient but mathematically meaningless 129 votes.) He lost a rematch in 2008, but a lot of other strong Republicans also went down in that year’s Democratic tsunami.

This year, Rossi is out to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the only viable Democratic option in the race. We endorse his candidacy, and hers, in the primary. But Rossi must shake off two other serious Republican candidates, Clint Didier and Paul Akers.

Akers, an engaging entrepreneur, hasn’t picked up much momentum, but Didier is another matter. The Eltopia farmer and former NFL player is the favorite of the GOP’s tea party wing, and he’s picked up marquee endorsements from Sarah Palin, Ron Paul and former state Republican Chairman Ken Eikenberry.

Didier is a compelling campaigner who brims with football metaphors and red-meat conservative rhetoric. He might even be capable of bulldozing his way to the U.S. Senate – if he were running in Idaho.

In this state, no way. This might be a good year for Republicans nationally, but it won’t be so good for them in Washington that voters will elect any and all candidates who make it to the November ballot with an R behind their names.

Rossi has shown repeatedly that he can talk to the suburbs; Didier has never run for office before. Rossi has already proven himself as a lawmaker, a responsible fiscal conservative and a budget writer who can work with people of differing philosophies. Didier has chiefly demonstrated an ability to whip up hyper-conservative audiences.

Washington needs a truly competitive Republican Party capable of forcing Democratic incumbents into tough debates on matters of budget excess and other crucial issues. Rossi can make Murray defend her record; Didier would wind up as her ticket to re-election.

Republicans, here’s your chance. Don’t blow it.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Well…the stage is set. Ever since the Republicans stood against the middle class early in the decade, they have isolated themselves as the party of the rich and wealthy.

    They have declared a war against the middle class and the lower classes while vowing to continue enriching their corporate masters. Point in case…unemployment benefits….

    They used major political capital to block and stall any more extension of benefits.

    And that type of action will come back to haunt them this November. The only choice Americans have now is not between the better of two evils…the choice is about which side of wealthy America has our best interest at heart. And for me, the choice is clear…when it comes to lobbyist, donors and political insiders…at least the Democrats still have my best interest in their heart.

  2. jimkingjr says:

    Well, Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to prove they don’t care about small business or Main Street. The latest- letting the atrocious Wall Street compensation amounts stand. When Obama picked those beholden to the very rich, we knew who’s interests he’d protect. And Patty Murray stands right with him. Bring it on, Dino!!

  3. TonyCrago says:

    Key phrase in the piece – ideologues – Dino is as much an ideologue as Didler. Didler is an unknown – faaaar right nutjob to be sure, but otherwise unknown. The people of this state have rightly rejected ideologue Rossi. He’s not only an ideologue, he’s a megalomaniac. He’s a proven liar and he acts like a coward, ducking every member of the media or any event where he isn’t surrounded by bodyguards.

    I am sorry but the GOP doesn’t have ANY reasonable alternative to Senator Murray. She’s done a good job for Washington. Unlike Rossi who makes a living kicking little old ladies out of their foreclosed homes, Murray is a simple person living in a simple apartment in Seattle doing her best to undo all the crap, garbage and mess that the right wingers created for us under the Bush regime.

    Bring Rossi, Didler or anyone else you want. Washington residents would have to be drunk to vote (R).

  4. coovertc says:

    Jimking: sersiously, you are going to vote Republican because Obama didn’t cap Wall Street Bonuses? The Republicans would have made sure the bonuses were bigger! I know it sucks to have to choose between the party completely owned by Wall Street the and party mostly owned by Wall Street, but please don’t get confused about which one is completely owned and which one is mostly owned. The votes on the financial reform bill make that pretty clear.

    Mudbone: Obama should end the BUSH WARS, but part of the reason he won’t is because the Republicans will attack him as being weak. BTW: taxes are the lower now than they were under Reagan.

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