The Republican Governors Association wants Rob McKenna to be the next governor of Washington State, and their PAC has reserved $4 million in air time to smear Democrat Jay Inslee. Here's their first shot, a commercial that began airing today:
If this is the best they've got—Inslee voted for the bailouts!—Inslee is doing all right.
First, this seems unlikely to polarize swing voters against Inslee: Those bailouts haven't been perfect, admittedly, but they did create jobs. It's not even clear that this makes a great wedge to energize conservatives all these years later. TARP was approved by George W. Bush, passed by most of Congress, and supported by fiscal conservatives including Paul Ryan. And ARRA was passed by most of Congress, too. So this is a convenient hit on Inslee simply because he has a voting record. A 2010 poll showed more voters in Washington supported the stimulus than opposed it. (And as an aside, blaming the federal debt on the Democrats' bailouts is crazy when the debt mostly results from Republican tax breaks and military spending.)
Second, assuming that this is a legit criticism of Inslee, and lots of voters will loathe him for it, here's my question for McKenna: Does McKenna oppose the "$800 billion spending program that never delivered the promised jobs"? If McKenna were there in Congress at the time—or if he could go back in time—would McKenna vote against them? If so, would McKenna take away this money for the UW, this money for the state's small businesses, this money to build our highways, and this money to clean up Hanford?
McKenna's spokesman, Charles McCray III, did not respond to a request for comment.