Rossi can’t win

June 1st, 2008 by Ken

Washington State Republicans have come out of their state convention split on their presidential preferences among Senator John McCain, Representative Ron Paul and former governor Mike Huckabee.

But, they are united in their effort to get Dino Rossi elected as governor of the State of Washington.  Unfortunately Rossi can’t win.

In his 2004 contest for governor against Christine (Call me Chris) Gregoire, Rossi won on election night and won in two recounts.  He lost the third hand recount by 129 votes. later determined to be 133 votes by the Washington State Supreme Court.

Rossi has been waiting four long years for his rematch against Gregoire and has raised considerable sums of money and dedicated supporters.  But the truth of the matter is – – he can’t win.

One of the slams against Gregoire in 2004 was that she was a lousy manager.  Her time as Washington State Attorney General seemed to bear that out.  Her agency lost several important lawsuits and on more than one occasion, she blamed her staff rather than taking responsibility for the actions of the agency as any good manager would.

But her last three years in the state’s top office have been good ones for the  governor.  She has grown in the job, has been able to avoid any major management controversies (although she has seen much turnover of major senior staff) and she has put together coalitions to get some legislative accomplishments.  In otherwords, she hasn’t made any major mistakes.  She was helped of course with a billion dollar budget surplus.

People have come to accept that perhaps she does have some management capabilities.  That works against Rossi.

Rossi can’t win because in my four decades of covering government, I can’t recall one single instance of a defeated candidate coming back the next time around and beating the person who defeated them the first time.  People won’t vote for someone they voted against the first time.  Rossi can’t pick up more votes than he received the first time around.

And, Barack Obama’s entry into the political arena has resulted in the addition of 200,000 new voters, most of them young,  to the voting rolls right here in our own state.  I doubt many of them will vote Republican in 2008.

For all of those reasons, Rossi can’t win.

Posted in Government, Local Politics, The Real News

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