Writing in The Seattle Times, David Postman reports that state Republicans’ newest whipping boy may be fellow Republican, Secretary of State Sam Reed. The anger at Reed extends well beyond the right-wing blogs and conservative talk radio. Even one of his closest advisors wrote: “I am one of those who has no intentions of supporting you in the future.” [Republican Reed faces GOP wrath over recount decisions]
Reed says that he understands that many in his party thought he should use his position to “weigh the scales” on behalf of Dino Rossi, but that it just would not have been proper.
“There are some people who have been dismayed that I wasn’t a Katherine Harris who took the position, ‘I’m a Republican, and by God that comes first.’ “
Ain’t that the truth.
Even his predecessor, Ralph Munro — who earlier floated the idea of a new election but has since seemed to back away — described Reed as fair and honest, pointing out that he had a duty to follow the Constitution and the law. But that hasn’t stopped his fellow Republicans from turning on one of the party’s highest ranking state officials. Given the chance to defend Reed, GOPolitburo Chair Chris Vance could only muster a “No comment.”
Still, Reed does have some support, and not just from Democrats, pleasantly surprised at how nonpartisan he was in executing his office. Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey pointed out:
“Unfortunately some people cannot separate the conduct of a fair and accurate election process as set forth in law from their disappointment with the outcome.”
Personally, I empathize with Republicans disappointed over the outcome of this election; it must be especially painful to have come so close.
But how R’s react to this disappointment from here on out, will do much to shape public perception of this election, and the players involved. Many hardcore Republicans seem to believe that a strident, combative stance will only strengthen their future political prospects. But even as Rossi’s carefully tailored image as a mild-mannered moderate slowly unravels to reveal the right-wing partisan he has always been, Reed’s street cred with the voting public has become firmly established. During the campaign, Rossi talked a lot about being a different kind of politician, but during the recount, Reed walked the walk.
It is ironic that the one Republican who is sure to come out of this election controversy a winner, is the one the Republican leadership currently loves to hate.