This morning, on the train down to Federal Way for this afternoon's Newt Gingrich rally, I listened in on the "Romney Restores Washington's Promise" teleconference, in which Romney surrogates Dino "I've lost track of how many times Washington state has rejected me" Rossi and state Senator Joe "state government should be so small it'd fit in your ear canal" Zarelli made the case for Romney. Thankfully, the whole call took around ten minutes, because there's only so much bullshit one human being can tolerate.

Rossi, who has lost several major statewide elections and a spring roll eating contest, spoke mostly about how Romney wants to eliminate the "death tax." He tried to tie this to Washington state by saying that "small business[es]...are going to turn America around," but businessmen who are afraid of the death tax will be forced to sell their businesses to some "nameless faceless corporation from back east" rather than pass their businesses on to their families. False! But way to keep it regional, bro. Which state office are you planning to lose next? Zarelli kept things blissfully fact-free, saying that Obama's policies don't allow Washington state to cut their budget as much as it needs, and states will do better under President Romney. Awesome! Because this state could use plenty more budget cuts.

The call opened up to questions. Joel Connelly, bless him, asked about the debates and comments about earmarks. Rossi expressed relief that the debates are now probably over. Zarelli said something about how he wants the conversation to turn to "foreign policy and national defense," I imagine because that's where Romney really shines. There were no more questions, probably because these two folks are such minor Romney surrogates that even if they fucked up and gave a dumb response, the headline "Minor Romney Surrogates Give Possibly Controversial Answer on Tele-press Conference Call" wouldn't exactly set the internet on fire.

Look: If I were a Washington state Republican, I'd be feeling really abandoned by Mitt Romney right around now. Three of the four candidates have made appearances in Washington in the weeks leading up to the caucuses. Mitt Romney sent one of his lesser sons, and offered up two nobodies in a phone call to give some bland statements about his tax plans. For all his money, he's not willing to put in even a teensy ounce of effort to win Washington? He deserves to lose this state, and lose in a big way. Doing nothing would have been better than sending Dino Rossi. The arrogance of his campaign is frankly astounding.