On KUOW's Weekday this morning, the Seattle Times' Joni Balter implicitly acknowledged that snapping at a young woman to "go get a job" didn't look so good for attorney general and Republican gubernatorial wannabe Rob McKenna. "It was kinda out of character," said Balter of the candidate her editorial board will surely endorse.
But was it?
Last July at a Young Republicans meeting at the Bellevue Community Center, McKenna retreated to the cupcake table, refusing to speak, as meeting organizers called the police on a Democratic tracker. A month earlier he had me kicked out of a press conference—a couple days later at the KUOW studios, in careless earshot of the other journalists, a flustered McKenna excused my exclusion, complaining to Eli that I was just "a partisan hack."
This is a man who isn't comfortable being caught on camera speaking his mind, and who rudely disregards people who ask him tough questions. No doubt Joni and her editorial board colleagues don't see his rude side. Why should they? Here she is defending him as best she can given the circumstances. But from my experience, McKenna's lack of transparency and arrogant dismissiveness is totally in character.
And that in the end is the question at the heart of this race: Who is the real Rob McKenna? The mild-mannered moderate so many in the press make him out to be? Or the partisan hack on display this week, a man who sounds more like a right-wing troll than a credible gubernatorial candidate?