As Eli at the The Stranger confirms, President Barack Obama is coming to Seattle on Aug. 17 to hold a fundraiser for Sen. Patty Murray. What’s so special about Aug. 17? It’s primary election day.
And as Eli explains:
There aren’t very many Senate races in the country that get the president’s personal attention. So it’s a sign of both Murray’s good relationship with the White House, and the seriousness with which national Democrats view Dino Rossi’s challenge to Murray’s re-election, that Obama will be here.
Yeah, true, though I’d add that taking the race seriously and “knows she’s in trouble” (as the Rossi campaign asserts) are two different things. I would sure as hell hope the Democrats would take this race seriously, regardless of the opponent, just as Murray and the Democrats took George Nethercutt’s challenge seriously back in 2004. Indeed, one of the big differences between 2010 and the electoral disaster of 1994 is that Democrats are taking damn seriously the possibility of a Republican wave… thus making one that much less likely.
So if I were a WA Republican, I wouldn’t exactly be buoyed by news of a presidential visit.
Another nuance that Eli fails to mention is that this is one of the regions where support for the president and his policies is strongest, and thus one region where a presidential visit is nothing but good news for local Democrats. In fact, you could say that Obama’s visit symbolizes one of the most striking contrasts between the two campaigns: the degree to which the candidates’ stance on major issues is in or out of step with public opinion.
For example, Sen. Murray fights and votes for President Obama’s health care reform bill, and then brings the president home to this Washington to fight for her, while Rossi promises to repeal health care reform after heading to D.C. for a closed-door, high donor fundraiser hosted by anti-HCR GOP senators. Sen. Murray fights and votes for President Obama’s Wall Street reform bill, and then brings the president home to this Washington to fight for her, while Rossi promises to repeal Wall Street reform after heading to Manhattan for a closed-door, high donor fundraiser hosted by hedge fund manager Paul Singer. Sen. Murray fights and votes for President Obama’s DISCLOSE Act, and then brings the president home to this Washington to fight for her, while Rossi refuses to support these tough new public disclosure rules after heading to D.C. for a closed-door, high donor fundraiser hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
See a pattern here? Sen. Murray is bringing President Obama to our Washington to campaign for her because the policy agenda they mutual share is totally in step with the values of Washington voters, whereas Rossi has to slink off to NYC and DC to quietly raise money from powerful corporate interests, because the policy agenda they mutual share is totally out of step with WA voters.
Out of sight, out of mind, I guess his handlers hope.
I mean, if Rossi is so intent on repealing the Obama agenda and returning us back to the George Bush era, why doesn’t he bring former President Bush out here for a high-profile event? In fact, I dare him.