There are two reactions to Governor Christine Gregoire's big Barack Obama endorsement. And they're both wrong.
First: the right-wing reaction. According to a desperate, batty, and misspelled February 11 e-mail from Gary Randall, the president of Washington's Faith and Freedom Network, Gregoire's February 8 endorsement of the popular Illinois senator was an endorsement for an "elitist, secularist, and socialistic" agenda. Really? Randall's got the wrong candidate. Obama trounced Hillary Clinton in Tacoma, Spokane, and Yakima. (Idaho, too.)
Elitist? Obama's opponent, Clinton, has the establishment endorsements of both of Washington's U.S. senators, former Democratic governor Gary Locke, and the majority of our state's elite superdelegates.
If anyone's elitist, it's Gary Randall and the self-righteous Faith and Freedom Network. Randall lectures: "In [Gregoire's] political world its [sic] all about ideas. There is something that transcends ideas. A Biblical worldview."
Who's the elitist now, Mr. Randall? This is just your cute way of saying—without having to prove it—that what you believe is more important than what Gregoire believes. What a stuck-up, elitist dude you are.
Secularist? Obama, who sprinkles his speeches with Christian imagery, has made common cause with Rick "Purpose Driven Life" Warren and has been baptized in the Trinity United Church of Christ.
Socialistic? Clinton's the one who's mandating universal health care. Clinton's the one who wants to outlaw foreclosures. And Clinton's the one who voted against Bush's fat-cat corporate energy bill. Not Obama.
Liberal Seattle's gleeful reaction is equally inaccurate. In one fell swoop, with her "new generation" speech at KeyArena, Gregoire fooled Seattle's flaming liberals into thinking she's in common cause with their call to overturn the status quo.
Are you kidding? This is a governor who punted on property-tax reform by kowtowing to Tim Eyman; stumped for an elevated highway along Seattle's waterfront; unplugged a comprehensive family leave bill; and put out the word to the Democratic near-supermajority not to do anything too expensive, like adding $100 million into the housing trust fund this session.
Gregoire took Seattle for granted in 2004, when Kerry got 70,000 more votes in King County. Her Obama endorsement was nothing more than savvy politicking.
Gregoire knew Seattle was hot for Obama, and she'll benefit if he's at the top of the ticket in November. Seattle is going to vote in droves for Obama and they'll remember that Gregoire was part of his defining moment at KeyArena. Come November, voters should also remember she's part of the reason Seattle is irrelevant in Olympia.