by Goldy, 12/30/2009, 12:08 PM

I just received an email from Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in U.S. history.

Of course, a lot of other folks around here received the same exact email. It was a fundraising pitch on behalf of Sen. Patty Murray, sent from a Murray campaign email account. Nothing remarkable about that.

But from all accounts, the affection and respect for Murray expressed in Byrd’s email is genuine, and provides a sharp contrast to the caricature of Murray with which Washington Republicans like to comfort themselves every six years.

Back in 2004 I described her last reelection contest as a race between the physically diminutive Patty Murray versus the politically diminutive George Nethercutt, who she unsurprisingly defeated by a 12-point margin. So how has Murray consistently produced such wide margins against highly touted Republican opponents?

Quite simply, Murray is one of the best retail politicians I’ve ever met. Spend a few moments with her and it becomes clear that she actually likes people, and unlike Sen. Maria Cantwell (who has different virtues), clearly enjoys talking with complete strangers. Be it one-on-one, in small groups, speaking before a large room, or even in her TV commercials, this everywomanish aspect of Murray’s personality comes through, making it exceedingly difficult for Republicans to succeed with their usual line of negative attacks.

Ironically, this inherent likability makes it easier for Murray to go on the attack herself, as she did early, often and quite effectively against Nethercutt. Don’t let her size and mannerisms fool you; you don’t get to rise to such a high level of power and influence in a men’s club like the U.S. Senate without sporting some awfully big cojones, metaphorical as they may be, and Murray’s not afraid to swing ‘em. Nethercutt entered the 2004 race with a reputation as a giant-killer, but the five foot tall Murray immediately kneecapped him, and he never recovered.

Perhaps this explains why Murray has yet to draw a big name opponent for 2010. After ending the political careers of three sitting Republican Congress-critters in a row, neither Cathy McMorris-Rogers, Dave Reichert nor Doc Hastings are eager to have Murray make them the fourth. And state Attorney General Rob McKenna—without a doubt the most skilled politician on the WSRP bench—is too smart to deliberately seek out a bump in the road on what he hopes to be a smooth ride to the governor’s mansion and beyond. As for Dino Rossi, he just got his ass kicked by an unpopular governor, and besides… you gotta want it to run for it.

That only leaves the traditional GOP fallback candidate: the generic, rich, white guy. And that didn’t turn out so well for Mike McGavick running against a much more vulnerable Cantwell in 2006, now did it?

Right now, with Murray out-raising her best funded no-name Republican opponent by over 227 to 1, and the election only ten months away, it looks like the state GOP has given up on taking out the Democrat they like to laugh off as America’s dumbest senator. Well, um, what does that say about them?

56 Responses to “Patty Murray stands tall”

1. Pepsodent Patty spews:

Byrd boinks Patty, every orthodontist’s wet dream? You pasty white progressives must be so proud that your toothy little lady is being pimped by the KKK. It’s probably the only date somebody that ugh-ly will ever get.

2. Michael spews:

@1 Keep up teh the crazy, it’s probably the only thing you’re good at.

3. Emily spews:

Didn’t Patty Murray run against Rod Chandler the first time? And didn’t she trick him into posing for a picture reaching for something which she changed just a little bit to make it look like he was grabbing for a pay raise? I’d say not to underestimate the Mom in Tennis Shoes.

4. Generic White Guy spews:

Dang me, Patty. Take a rope and hang me.

That was Hot Rod Chandler’s greatest hit. And Patty’s? Something about her two front teeth.

Or maybe it was something about her two left feet in those smelly little over-priced sneakers built by slave labor in the exploited Third World.

5. GBS spews:

The GOP thinks the anti everything approach will win them seats in 2010.

THAT simply is NOT the type of IDEAS or LEADERSHIP the American people are looking for in the next 2 election cycles.

The GOP thinks it’s in exile now?

Hell, man, they can still see the mainland from where they are right now. But if they keep paddling the way they’re going — next stop Gilligan’s Island.

6. GBS spews:

Patty Murray in a landslide victory that is, for all intent and purposes over by the end of August.

7. Daddy Love spews:

The GOP bench in WA is neither deep nor very impressive.

8. Finnegan's Island spews:

[Deleted --- see HA Comment Policy]

9. Rabbit Angstrom spews:

it’s probably the only thing you’re good at.

Well, almost the only thing. I’m also good at reading our trash weeklies, and remember years ago an article about Murray being the worst. senator. ever. With the most disfunctional staff until Cantwell’s came along.

That was before Murray thumped Linda Smith, and is further proof that WA voters have no brains, no shame, and no sense. They’ll elect anything that postures and preens as a Democrat. Hell, they “elected” Christine Gargoyle, didn’t they?

10. David Tatelman spews:

People have been underestimating Patty for years. I even underestimated her years ago when she was running for Shoreline School board, and I thought she was a mousy little lady. See

She’s no joke and the Repubs know that now. They have a bench of one person, McKenna, and he can only run for one office at a time. It won’t be Senator.

11. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 Look who’s talking! The Democrats elected by Washington voters didn’t crash the whole world like you asswipes did.

12. Thurston Howell III spews:

[Deleted --- see HA Comment Policy]

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

@10 Fact is, Patty’s unbeatable, and WSRP knows it. That’s why you won’t see them put a big name candidate or serious money in that race.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 When I was young, ambitious young people who lacked prosperous parents worked their way through college by holding down respectable jobs (e.g., washing dishes, making pizzas, sweeping horse stables), not this kind of shit.

15. Michael spews:


I rest my case.

16. Policy Wonkette Goldstein spews:

Rather like resting your fat ass or slightly-used brain, Michael.

17. rhp6033 spews:

Gee, Rob McKenna just came out today lobbying the legislature to prohibit the use of imminent domain to seize private property for use by private developers.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the U.S. Supreme Court decision a few years ago which gave approval for such seizures. Sure, sometimes we need to do re-development of blighted areas, but it’s too dangerous a tool in the hands of developers and politicians who have ulterior motives.

But what business is it of Rob McKenna to lobby the legislature to change the laws? Isn’t it his job to enforce the laws, not make them? I suspected he had ulterior (i.e., political) motive on his own part. This is the kind of political positioning a politician can make without suffering any down-side.

So is this one of his first shots in a campaign for Murray’s seat? Or does he plan to run for the other open Congressional seat? Or does he know something about Reichart planning to retire that isn’t yet public knowledge?

18. Michael spews:


The supreme court was right that right did exist in the case it decided but, it’s also something that can be fixed by changing the law.

The AG shouldn’t be lobbying.

19. correctnotright spews:

Rob McKenna: Moderate in sheep clothing

Patty Murray: Much brighter than the republicans who have lost to her think she is.

Republicans in Washington state: Hopeless from the chair of the party down to the pathetic candidates now hiding out in small reservations on the east side of the state.

20. N in Seattle spews:

rhp6033 @17:

So is this one of his first shots in a campaign for Murray’s seat? Or does he plan to run for the other open Congressional seat? Or does he know something about Reichart planning to retire that isn’t yet public knowledge?

McKenna is running for Governor in 2012. Everyone acknowledges that.

As the only Republican with a prayer of winning any major office in Washington, he gets to pick which office he’ll run for. He’s sharp enough to realize that the top spot in Olympia (against either a weak Gregoire or Jay Inslee) represents much less of a mountain to climb than a US Senate seat (against a solid multi-term incumbent), and he almost certainly sees Governor as a better springboard than Senator for his next target-office.

As to his lobbying to cast WA law in opposition to the SCOTUS-approved case from Connecticut, it’s a shrewd move. I don’t think very many people in our Washington — Republicans or Democrats — agree with the decision in Kelo.

21. Jason Osgood spews:

David @ 10

That’s a good post, thanks. Being a political newbie, I found the background/refresher helpful.

Hey, one thing. Please don’t feel like you need to follow Goldy’s example by allowing the trogs to post their hateful comments to your blog. Especially the anonymous cowards.

If they want to spew, let them get their own blogs.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

Raise Prices, Lose Customers

Tim’s Cascade potato chips have gone up from $2.99 for a 9 oz. bag to $3.29 for an 8 oz. bag — a 24% overnight price increase.

Fuel costs haven’t gone up; they’ve gone down. Workers aren’t getting higher pay; they’re getting pay cuts.

The trend among food packagers and middlemen is to make packages smaller, hoping consumers won’t notice the price increases.

And these aren’t incremental price increases; they’re garantuan. And unjustified. It’s nothing but greed.

Well, it’ll backfire on them. I don’t buy Tim’s Cascade potato chips anymore. I didn’t get a COLA in my pension or social security, so I don’t have more money to spend, so screw ‘em.

This is the message to businesses: If you cut wages and raise prices, you’ll lose customers.

Goddam cheap labor conservatives have plenty of money to give to GOP candidates and causes; where do you think they get it from? By chiseling their workers and customers, that’s how. Read the label before you buy, because the cans, boxes, cartons, and packages are all getting smaller.

23. GBS spews:

Roger Rabbitt @ 22:

Thanks for the stock tip. I’ll need to find a good food processing/packaging company to invest in.

Tyson chicken? Tuna fish? What do you think?

24. ratcityreprobate spews:

Joel Connoly bashes her in the PI today for raising money she won’t need for this race. He knows that in a leadership position she channels contributions to other D’s, just as the other leaders in both parties do, but couldn’t think of anything to write about today so he blovates on this non-story.

25. rhp6033 spews:

# 24:
“Joel Connoly bashes her in the PI today for raising money she won’t need for this race. ”

The extra cash also serves to simply discourage any credible opposition. Only the true whackos want to tilt at that windmill.

“He knows that in a leadership position she channels contributions to other D’s, just as the other leaders in both parties do….”

Which brings us back to Reichart, the perennial neer’ do well of the local Republicans. Next year he will again be whining that he needs money from national Republican coffers, and lots of effort and expense to hold fund raisers featuring proven national Republican fund-raising personalities, all in order to keep his seat.

A three-term Congressman is supposed to not only carry his own weight with a confirmed voter and fund-raising base, but he should be out stumping for votes for other Republican office-seekers, and raising money on their behalf. You have to wonder how long the national Republicans are going to keep dipping into their treasury to prop him up. They may decide it’s time for some tough-love, and see if he can sink or swim.

26. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

The Governor’s mansion is McKenna’s for the asking. So far I see no way to stop him if he really wants it. If he does get it, he’ll have it for eight years if he wants it. By that time a Dem up and comer will take it back.

After that the U.S. Senate or (heavens forbid) a cabinet job in a future Republican administration would be the logical next step. I don’t see him as Presidential material.

As for all those ugly ignorant wingnuts who slandered Patty Murray as a “dim bulb”??

The light is looking quite dim from your direction – you losing fools..

27. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 19

Reservations on the eastside. You know, you’re right. To have any hope of representation in the lunatic asylum that is Congress Eastern Washington needs to secede. Otherwise inmates of the asylum like Murray will continue to ignore the needs and wishes they have.

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

Watching Wingnuts Eat Each Other Dep’t

Rupert Murdoch is kicking Fox news off his cable channel in a fight over money.

Ya gotta love it!

29. Roger Rabbit spews:

@19 “Republicans in Washington state: Hopeless from the chair of the party down to the pathetic candidates now hiding out in small reservations on the east side of the state.”

Republicans are rather more successful in this state than you realize. They’ve done it by pretending to be Democrats. Current Republican officeholders include, among others, Christine Gregoire, Frank Chopp, Grad Owen, and Brian Baird.

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

@27 “Eastern Washington needs to secede.”

Please do! I’m tired of sending my tax money to those ingrates to pay for their roads and schools. We’re going to keep the I-90 corridor, though, so they can’t set up roadblocks and charge us tolls. They can build tunnels under it to connect South Eastern Washington and North Eastern Washington. With their own money, of course.

31. joel connelly spews:

Darcy Burner wonders: Why the puff piece on Patty when you are so knit-picky and critical with me?

32. Max Rockatansky spews:

@31…because Darcy is a proven liar and 2x loser?

just sayin’……….

33. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 27

Fair enough, silly rabbit.

But Eastern Washington gets the ports. After all the only thing we export any more is food. the lunatic fringe over here shouldn’t be able to charge tolls for port use when they import cheap Chinese trash and export Eastern Washinton agriculture.

34. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Oh, and you folks have to keep Baghdad Jim and the sycophant in tennis shoes. It’s for their own good, as they wouldn’t survive 3 days in a political environment more reflective of the real America than leftist Seattle.

35. Empty Suit Obama spews:

I just received an email from Sen. Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator in U.S. history. ~ Goldy

Well of course you did, you need to arrange your yearly Klan meeting with the Grand Keagle. So much bigger than the ones you hold every tuesday at the Ale house.

28. Roger Rabbit spews:
Rupert Murdoch is kicking Fox news off his cable channel in a fight over money.

Um, maybe the dumb fucking rodent should read the piece first instead of having the bear wipe his ass with his furry coast instead. Fox news isn’t going anywhere dumbshit. I believe the piece says:

Time Warner Cable Inc. and expects to pull its Fox broadcast network from the cable system

…Roadkill claims to be a former Lawyer and judge? Motherfucker, Please!! With that little reading comprehension it’s a wonder he’s able to avoid cars day to day on the roadways.

36. Max Rockatansky spews:


Democrats in charge for over 20 years….

State in debt to the tune of billions and facing financial calamity….

Democrats answer: find scapegoats: blame Tim Eyman, blame TEH EVUL RICH PEEPUL, blame bush, blame blame blame…..never taking accountability that they cant control spending..

Ah yes, dont you just love the progressives..

37. Max Rockatansky spews:

@34….can east King Co join you? We have just as much distaste for Seattle and its limp wristed progressives as you do….

38. sj spews:

McKenna’s only real risk of losing in the Guv race is if he:

a. pulls a Hutchinson and claims NOT to be a Republican,

b. starts acting as if he IS a Reprican.

39. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

28 – It’d be nice Roger but it’s merely a cable network not wanting to meet Murdoch’s price for his schlock products.

Progressives who are Time Warner cable subscribers will be thrilled. Wingnuts will hold their silly “tea parties” at Time Warner Cable corporate offices..

Now that will be fun to see.

40. correctnotright spews:

@36: Hmmm….I don’t know who this Max person is …but she seems to be a typical know-nothing troll.

Here is a big hint idiot Max:

1. the state legally cannot run a deficit.
2. every stat in the union has been crippled by the Bush depression
3. Washington is much better off than Caleefornia (run be a republican)

Max: You make the dumbest and most simplistic arguments seen here in a while…are you the re-incarnation of Stamn?

41. Max Rockatansky spews:


1. Perhaps you should go tell that to Queen Christine and the democratic led legislature.

2. Some worse than others…especially the ones that massively increased spending over the last few years…like WA.

3. So you are saying CA is a republican state? Perhaps you should check out their legislature. CA is a prime example of liberal spending run amok.

LNFAO @ “bush depression”….its the US govt and its policies over the last 20 years that have set us up for economic chaos…and both parties are just as much at fault.

Now, go take your partisanship and shove it up your ass….and then have gman lick it out.

42. sarge spews:

@26 & 38: It’s a bit premature to count out Jay Inslee. He’ll be a great campaigner and do well east of the mountains.

McKenna is beatable.

43. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

42 – Jay ran for Governor once before and didn’t get far.

He may get farther this time around but it’s unlikely that Inslee will overcome the dithering, stasis and voter disappointment that have characterized the Locke and Gregoire years.

Now all of that was better than anything that BIAW would have given this state but I strongly believe that better has NOT been nearly good enough.

44. Mathew "RennDawg" Renner spews:

I would love to see the smartest person in media run challenge Patty Murray. I am of corse talking about Michael Medved. I think he coyld beat her. She could never beat him in a debate. Medved is conservative enough for Republicans and for Eastern Washington and urban enough for Western Washington.

45. Perfect Voter spews:

I heard Michael Medved speaking at a Town Hall event on cable access TV, and I thought he was dreadful. I too have admired some of his sensibilities when listening to his radio talk show, but in this format he was clearly talking down to his audience. He definitely knew All The Answers and was going to be sure you understood that Fact.

He’s also a Discovery Institute fellow and authored an article in defense of slavery in the US. Patty would make mincemeat out of this guy.

And he also looked unhealthy.

46. Perfect Voter spews:

Best two things McKenna has going for him for Governor are (a.) he’s careful to not come over as a knee-jerk right-wing hack; he doesn’t fit the tea-bagger label. And (b.) the Democrats have held the governor’s mansion since Spellman was defeated in 1984; the old “it’s time for a change” and this time, with a competent candidate with a moderate image, the R’s could just pull it off.

47. ratcityreprobate spews:

@44 Michael Medved has the personality of a reptile. McGavick got 40% of the vote against Cantwell, Medved would be lucky to get 30% against Murray.

48. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

Michael Medved has the personality of a reptile.

And a face now made for radio.. And it wasn’t always that way. Never watched him much on his PBS movie review show but when I saw a picture of him after he moved up here – damn he looked dreadful. He seems to look even worse now.

Just play tapes of all his Bush worship and it’d be over for him in a flat second.

49. ArtFart spews:

If McKenna gets elected governor (and it’s likely he will), three years later he’ll be regarded rather like an anorexic Arnold Schwartzenegger.

50. my ancestors came from Europe spews:

its the US govt and its policies over the last 20 years that have set us up for economic chaos…and both parties are just as much at fault.

The right wing has held sway over the beltway since even before Nixon. “Wired for the GOP” sounds cliche now but it’s pretty much true.

51. ArtFart spews:

It seems that every time Patty Murray comes up for re-election, the Republican aparatchiks all get in a big circle and chant the same “She’s-a-dumb-broad” mantra. Somehow, in all these years, they haven’t seemed to notice that it doesn’t work.

52. Knicker-Bomber spews:

Ditto that, Art. We’re flailing and failing. If we can’t beat dumb-broad Murray in three tries, so far, we’re too dumb to live.

Rush is a symptom of our sickness. His heart attack proves he has a heart, but it’s been 15 years since we’ve heard evidence of a working brain. Dems may lose a few in November, but RushRepublicans have utterly lost their way.

53. Inimicus spews:

I believe that Patty Murray’s failing is in valuing her party and position in it over her constituents. She talks and understands and likes people, but she still votes with her party, regardless of her voters. This is her hubris.

She has voted with her party on spending trillions of dollars that doesn’t even exist yet.

What Washington needs, and what the country needs, is a Congress that will be responsible with our money, and more importantly, our childrens money. As Sir Winston Churchill said, “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

Our economy has been weakened by a flood of bad financial decisions. That much is fact. Spending money that we don’t have only further weakens our economy.

Fixing our economy and strengthening our dollar in the world should trump all domestic spending plans.

We need a candidate that not only understands the importance of the job, but the future impact of his or her decisions. Political expediency today can, and will, cost future generations their prosperity.

The candidate exists. Even if you don’t know it yet. There are actually five candidates. No, they’re not GOP superstars, but why do they need to be? We need one of us in office. Not just another party-line vote for either side. Murray’s hubris will be answered. If it isn’t, our children are in more trouble then we are.

54. Max Rockatansky spews:

@50…put the bong down, you are delusional.

The D’s have controlled congress more often than not, so take your “its all the rights fault” and shove it.

55. Max Rockatansky spews:

@53…great post

56. Inimicus spews:


Here’s a chart showing who controlled the White House and both Houses of Congress. I see a lot of blue in Congress since 1945.