Yesterday there was a huge rally over at the new campaign headquarters gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee shares with the state Democratic coordinated campaign and President Obama's Washington reelection staff. About 800 enthusiastic supporters showed up to hear Inslee talk, along Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), King County Executive Dow Constantine, and state Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz.
Lots of fighting words and resounding rounds of applause. You might have read about it or saw it on the TV news. That is, assuming any reporters had actually bothered to show up.
Only four journalists bothered to sign in as press: me from The Stranger, Jordan Schrader from the News Tribune, education blogger Melissa Westbrook, and of course a reporter from the Times. The Seattle Emerald Chinese Times. I couldn't help but be reminded of a snarky comment in yesterday's thread on the 90 women suing Rob McKenna:
Note to Jay Inslee: This would be a great time to remind people that you are an alternative to McKenna by, oh, I don't know, being in the public eye a little bit more. Just a thought...
Of course, being in public and being in the public eye are two different things. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the complaint that Inslee has been an anemic campaigner. But honestly, how many voters could possibly have a reasonable take on the size and frequency of Inslee's campaign appearances if reporters don't bother to show up and report on them?
I couple weeks back I complained that "Inslee has never quite gotten the coverage he deserves," and as the refusal to cover yesterday's event shows, that hasn't changed.
I get it. There wasn't likely to be much actual news generated at yesterday's rally, and as far as I could tell, apart from the fact that it happened, there wasn't. But there isn't any actual news generated at most campaign events. That's just the way this game is played.
Whatever. Eventually the paid media in this campaign will overwhelm the impact of the earned media, making what little is left of our state's political press corps less and less relevant. But in the meanwhile, just because you don't see Jay Inslee in the public eye doesn't mean he isn't there... at least in the eyes of those members of the public and the press who actually bother to show up.