As if writing a blog weren’t intellectually masturbatory enough, now I’m going to pretend that people are actually interested in my endorsements. But to make it more interesting, I’m also going to give you my predictions.
President: John Kerry
The Bush administration is without a doubt the most astonishingly incompetent in US history. And I have a BA in History from an Ivy League university, so you can trust me on this. Seriously… Bush makes James Buchanan look like Franklin Roosevelt, and Andrew Johnson resemble Uncle Teddy. He’s turned huge surpluses into huger deficits, and universal good will towards America into universal enmity… in fact, the greatest accomplishment of the Bush presidency was stealing it.
Personally, I’d be happy enough with an “anyone but Bush” endorsement; the fact that John Kerry is such a worthy candidate is icing on the cake. Kerry is thoughtful, curious, intelligent, and honest… everything Bush is not. Is he the most exciting candidate? No. But he may be exactly what we need at this dangerous moment in our history.
Prediction: Given a free and fair election, Kerry 51%, Bush 48%. So it’s a toss-up.
US Senator: Patty Murray
Both Patty Murray and George Nethercutt have something in common: they originally lucked their way into high office. The difference is, the physically diminutive Murray has grown into one of the most effective US senators (in the nation) whereas the politically diminutive Nethercutt has been satisfied to coast these past ten years on his undeserved reputation as a giant killer.
Prediction: the four-foot-and-change Murray whoops the giant killer’s ass, 57% to 43%.
Governor: Christine Gregoire
My regular readers know that I was big Ron Sims supporter. But I’m also a political pragmatist (really… I am) and the choice between Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi is a no-brainer.
Gregoire is one of those middle-of-the-road, somewhat boring politicians that Washington voters seem to favor. She’s clearly pro-business while maintaining strong sympathies for many traditional liberal causes. She’s smart, dedicated, and has years of experience as executive of the state’s second highest office.
Rossi, on the other hand, is a complete and total fraud. He’s running on his experience in business, when really he was just real estate agent… a salesman. By that measure, anybody who has ever been employed in the private sector might call themselves a corporate executive. He’s also staking his campaign on the contradictory claims that he is both an Olympia outsider, and managed to single-handedly close a multi-billion dollar hole in the state budget. (Neither is true.)
The biggest lie however is his attempt to paint himself as the kind of harmless, middle-of-the-road, somewhat boring politician that Gregoire really is. Rossi is just as passionately right-wing as the previous nominee, John Carlson… only with oddly appealing soft-spoken mannerisms, reminiscent of a gay man proudly displaying the Victorian house he just restored. Or perhaps it’s the mannerism of a real estate agent selling a Victorian proudly restored by a gay man.
Whatever. The point is, unless your idea of good government is corporate tax cuts and and the type of massive deregulation that brought us Enron, vote for Gregoire.
Prediction: Closer than I would have liked… Gregoire 52%, Rossi 48%.
Attorney General: Deborah Senn
Please, please for the love of Mike, vote for Deborah Senn. Sure, she’s not the most likable candidate ever to claw her way onto a November ballot… but personally, likability is not the top qualification I look for when hiring an attorney. Plus, she’s a tireless defender of consumers, which is exactly what we want in an Attorney General.
Corporate Washington can afford their own attorneys, and we don’t need to hire them one at taxpayer expense in the form a politically driven, mediocre, empty suit like Rob McKenna.
Oh, and if you’re one of those party Democrats still pissed off at Deborah for one thing or another, give a little thought to the future. Senn’s lifelong dream was to be an AG; this is the last office she’ll ever hold. But if McKenna wins, he’ll use the office as a stepping stone to the Governor’s Mansion or the US Senate. Don’t give a young, nasty Republican like McKenna a toehold on statewide legitimacy… you’ll regret it.
Prediction: Barring HUGE turnout and extremely long coattails… McKenna 51%, Senn 49%.
Secretary of State: Laura Ruderman
I say toss out Sam Reed just because of the shameless way he pandered to voters in championing I-872, the top-two primary. This is an incredibly stupid primary system — even more stupid than the blanket primary it would replace.
I don’t know much about Laura Ruderman, except by all accounts she was an effective legislator with moderate positions from a moderate district. That’s enough for me.
Prediction: the R’s retain their inexplicable lock on this office… Reed 54%, Ruderman 46%.
Commissioner of Public Lands: Mike Cooper
Let’s see, who do you think is best qualified to be the steward of our public lands and natural resources? The guy overwhelmingly backed by the forest products, mining and building industries? Or the guy overwhelmingly backed by environmentalists?
Mike Cooper is a no-brainer. He’s an average guy — a fire fighter — with an above average intellect, and a record of passionately fighting to protect our forests and streams. As a member of the Legislature he consistently receives the highest scores from the League of Conservation Voters.
Incumbent Doug Sutherland is, quite simply, the kind of guy who can’t see the forest for the board-feet of lumber.
Prediction: money and name recognition trumps common sense… Sutherland 52%, Cooper 48%.
8th Congressional District: Dave Ross
I’ve got to admit that I’ve found Dave Reichert’s law-and-order TV ads so persuasive that I’m definitely considering voting for him for Sheriff. But my nod for Congress goes to Democrat Dave Ross.
Ross is truly an independent thinker — and a bit curmudgeonly — not necessarily my kind of Democrat, but probably just the right kind of Democrat for the 8th district. Reichert on the other hand, seems little more than a cardboard cut-out, parroting the conservative GOP agenda. Voters have a clear choice between somebody who is going to simply vote the Republican Party line, or somebody who is going to make their own decisions.
Prediction: Reichert in a squeaker.
State House & Senate: Vote Democrat
Tax reform is my passion, and we’re not going to get any unless the Democrats control both state houses (and even then it will be a struggle.)
Prediction: D’s maintain control of the House… clueless on the Senate.
[Coming up soon Initiative and Referenda endorsements]