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Monday, April 25, 2005

WA-Sen: Republicans Can't, Well, Beat Maria

Posted by Bob Brigham

Seattle Times:

Sitting in the opulent Senate dining room, stirring more than eating a bowl of bean soup and sipping a Diet Coke, Cantwell shrugged off the idea that she should be running scared.

"It's kind of good to be that (top GOP target) right now," she said, sounding more calm and collected than she did during her last campaign. "It gets people galvanized. It gets people paying attention. It is like getting up for the big soccer game Sunday."

She doesn't even have an opponent and already she is working the word, "soccer" into interviews.

Republicans are working feverishly to proffer more mainstream candidates who can win statewide. If the goal is to defeat a sitting senator, best to do it after the first term. The GOP plans to attack Cantwell as a weak leader out of sync with tax-averse Washington voters.

First, however, the party needs to come up with a name challenger.

So who are the potential candidates? Do any of them have a chance?

Here is the current Cattle Call:

[Dino] Rossi: Rossi would benefit from pent-up feeling that he was robbed of the governor's title. That felt more true about three months ago. The downside is Rossi can no longer hide from social issues, as he did during the governor's race. Rossi is anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage. He no longer can say the job he seeks doesn't have anything to do with such topics. He also loses his status as a change agent, which served him well in the governor's race. Republicans are in power. He is another vote for an over-empowered George Bush.

Rossi can claim he was robbed all he wants, but that will only remind people he is a loser. This would be a higher profile race and Rossi's extreme views are way out of the mainstream. Washington voters will be inherently worried about giving George Bush another seat in the Senate, in Rossi's case they would be giving Bush an extreme, right-wing vote. Rossi is being considered out of respect, not because he would make a good candidate.

Former Congressman Rick White: This grudge match would be a revival of the 1st District congressional battle of 1994. White beat Cantwell in the Republican landslide and held on for two terms until 1998. The first question about White is, where the heck has he been? He is currently president and CEO of TechNet, the technology network, an association of high-tech CEOs based in Palo Alto, Calif. White lives in Washington and commutes to California, but he would have some explaining to do.

Trying to explain that he commutes to California is not going to contrast well with a Senator talking about Saturday morning soccer games. White has been out-of-town and every mention of this fact will remind voters that he is also out-of-touch.

Safeco President and CEO Mike McGavick: McGavick, former chief of staff for Sen. Gorton, is the wonder executive who turned Safeco around. He has politics and policy in his blood. If I were Cantwell, McGavick is the challenger I would least like to run against. He would bring a businessman's touch and political savvy gained in Gorton's shop. But he earns a high salary at Safeco and may not like the legislator role. A CEO is a CEO, unaccustomed to collaborating with 99 peers and making two cross-continental flights a week. Still, McGavick has charm and a knockout résumé.

This is yet another example of how thin of a bench the Washington GOP has to work with. Turning to an outsider for a major race a clear indication to Republicans that even if they could work up through the ranks, it wouldn't matter. I don't see him running and the fact that his name is being mentioned is a clear sign of desperation of the part of the GOP.

[GOP State Chair Chris] Vance: Vance is the outspoken, in-your-face chairman of the state GOP who has never wanted to be just party chairman. He ran for state superintendent of public instruction, a nonpartisan post, in 1996 and lost. He ran for the 9th Congressional District in 2000 and was beaten by Adam Smith, collecting a mere 35 percent of the vote. Landslide Vance lives and breathes politics. He would run and doorbell at a pace that would tire the Energizer Bunny. He is the fallback candidate if the others don't materialize.

Vance is a two time loser and a complete nut. He made an ass of himself every time is stepped in front of a camera during the recount. I'm sure he would love to run and I would love him to run also. Vance would get stomped.

Posted at 02:45 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Washington | Technorati


I live in Washington State and the comments are absolutely correct. Rossi spent his entire campaign saying 'that is no concern of mine' or 'those items are not of the governor's concern'. He made the race close with millions of dollars from a group called BIAW who gets their funding (supposedly to be used for 'rebates' to business that they cover under a sub scheme of Labor and Industries) from the Wash. State Government and use the majority of it to try and push their extremist views down the throats of everyday citizens. The election conctest will come to trial on the 23rd of May, and then surely to the WS Supreme Court, where it will probably be thrown out. Rossi and Vance have spent the past 4 months literally crying and getting the BIAW to do 'devious' options trying to uncover 'voter fraud' but as of now, nothing has come out of it except that the Republican Party is infuriating the vast majority of the state's electorate.

Posted by: RealityCheck [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2005 11:25 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment