NRSC track record doesn’t bode well for Rossi

Here are a few of questions for Dino Rossi to ponder as he continues to consider a run for the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Sen. Patty Murray: what exactly has NRSC chair John Cornyn promised you? Can Cornyn actually deliver? And if he can, will it actually help you?

Back in May of 2009, Cornyn prominently threw his weight behind Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the Sunshine State’s U.S. Senate contest, but after months of trailing Marco Rubio in the polls, and being outraised 3 to 1 in the recent quarter, Crist is widely expected to announce tomorrow that he’s leaving the GOP and launching an independent campaign. At the time of the endorsement Cornyn kvelled:

“Governor Crist is a dedicated public servant and a dynamic leader, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will provide our full support to ensure that he is elected the next United States Senator from Florida.”

The “full support” of the NRSC, huh? Well how’s that working out for you, Charlie?

And then there’s Trey Grayson the Republican establishment pick to succeed Kentucky’s crazy Jim Bunning in the U.S. Senate. The NRSC hasn’t officially endorsed in the race, but according to Roll Call, last summer’s $500 per person fundraiser hosted by 23 GOP Senators at NRSC headquarters left little question as to Cornyn’s backing:

“The NRSC has not officially endorsed Grayson but the location of the event and the fact that NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is one of the hosts of the fundraiser is a good indication of where the committee’s loyalties lie in the race.”

Since then, ophthalmologist Rand Paul has harnessed his father Ron’s celebrity (and grassroots fundraising infrastructure) to surge into the lead, trouncing Grayson 42% to 27% in recent public opinion polls.

Yeah sure, I suppose it’s unfair to judge Cornyn’s recruitment savvy simply on the basis of Crist’s and Grayson’s electoral travails, but NRSC recruited candidates in New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Indiana and California are all struggling to win their primaries, while in Connecticut, hand-picked Cornyn candidate Rob Simmons isn’t doing too well either:

One of the clearest signs of Simmons’s intentions was his recent trip to Washington to see Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the aggressive leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – which is charged with electing Republicans to the Senate. Simmons says that Cornyn approached him about the race, not the other way around.

“He expressed interest in me as a candidate, and I told him I would give it very serious consideration, which I am doing,” Simmons said. “He reached out to me.”

Sound familiar, Dino? Well, after succumbing to Cornyn’s flattery, Simmons now finds himself dramatically outspent, and trailing fellow Republican Linda McMahon by ten points.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that should he enter the race Rossi would have much of a problem getting through our state’s top-two primary, just that NRSC promises of money and support are only that. Meanwhile, Cornyn has displayed an eye for picking busts unmatched since the Seattle Seahawks wasted a first round draft pick and $11 million on The Boz.

So yeah, no doubt it’s flattering to be recruited by Cornyn, but don’t expect his endorsement or his fundraising to do much more for you than they’ve done for Crist and Grayson.


  1. 1

    Vince with Hare Lip spews:

    How many more races does he have to lose before they give him a lifetime achievment award and send him packing??

  2. 3

    Dr. Dre, Easy E, and MC Ren spews:

    with all attention Dino is getting from Goldylocks, I am starting to think that dear goldy is actually scared of Dino running…

    I mean really…Dino hasnt really said anything about running, but yet goldy obsesses over him as if he were a job opening at the Seattle Times.

    oh wait, I forgot…this is the future of journalism….


  3. 4


    More important the the Cornyn kiss of death endorsement is money. After all, Dino hasn’t raised a dime with only 6 months to go until the general election.

    But if Dino expects to be gifted with several million bucks to compete with Patty’s $5M COH, he’ll be severely disappointed. The NRSC will first have to pour money into playing defense — Missouri, New Hampshire, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida. Their next priority will be places where their prospects for taking a Democratic seat are much better than in Washington — Indiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware.

    With only $15 million cash on hand after the first quarter of 2010, how much could the NRSC waste on Dino Rossi? Even dim-bulb Cornyn must know better than to throw much more than a token contribution into losing to Patty Murray. Again.

  4. 5

    rhp6033 spews:

    If Rossi hasn’t figured out by now that he’s being selected as the local sacrificial lamb, then he’s not smart enough to be elected to an office more important than dogcatcher.

    It’s kind of an interesting process, though. Trips to Washington, lots of pats on the back, smothering platitudes, lunch with some pretty big names, vague promises – kind of like a fraternity rush week. Then after he agrees to run, he finds himself going through the election all on his own, wondering what happened to the promises of support, much less the party with all the free beer and pretty women.

  5. 6

    Michael spews:

    Dino’s out. Dino’s done. The huckster wing of the Republican party has given way to the crazy wing of the party. It will be Benton the tenther against Murray in the fall. It will be Murray FTW by at least 10%.

  6. 7

    Slippery Pete spews:

    I agree with all your points Goldy, but I’m not sure why you made them. Then tenor of your post mirrors that of counsel Rossi might receive from a friend, not an uber-adversary.

    If Dino is as SOL against Murray as you say he is (and I agree with your predictions of his demise), then why do you care if he enters the race? I feel like you should be hammering away on his shortcomings, not offering him prudent political advice. Posts like this make it hard to refute comments like Dr. Dre’s @3.

  7. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    There are plenty of intelligent, respectable, accomplished Republican business executives in Washington state, so why is the NRSC trying to recruit a greasy little real estate salesman whose only management experience was supervising 1 part-time janitor while he was a college student?

  8. 9

    rhp6033 spews:

    SP@# 7: Well, it DOES have a bit of a feel like a Div. I team running up the score on a Div. III team. But given the constant complaining from Rossi’s supporters that the governor’s seat was “stolen” from him, I’d say he’s fair game at this point.

    RR @# 8: You might be right, there SHOULD be a qualified opponant to make the race against Murray interesting, at least. But an “intelligent, respectable, accomplished … business executive” might be too intelligent to tilt at that windmill. Besides, given the abuse they would have to take from the Tea Party on the right, why put your family & reputation through that painful process?

  9. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @9 “given the abuse they would have to take from the Tea Party on the right, why put your family & reputation through that painful process?”

    I guess they figure they can always get the greasy little real estate salesman whose boss went to prison for stealing money from widows and orphans.

  10. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @11 No I’m not. I’m just as low as they are. After all, I used to be one of them, and they trained me.

  11. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I like the “greasy” imagery, which has nothing to do with Rossi’s Italian heritage, but depicts perfectly his business practices.