Friday, May 14, 2010

Gregoire gambit to save Senator Patty?

Who would benefit from Christine Gregoire departing Washington for D.C? Political analysis from Evan at NW Digest
In the speculation about whether Gov. Chris Gregoire may be headed to Washington, D.C. at some point in the near future (to replace Elena Kagan as Solicitor General, so the rumor goes), it’s useful to analyze who benefits from such speculation. As the GOP’s former party chairman Chris Vance alludes, the woman who most benefits from all this is not Gregoire, it’s Patty Murray. Point 1: Citing unnamed sources inside Washington’s congressional delegation, National Journal blew up the story on Hotline. Perhaps the Democratic White House and Congressional grapevines are closer than most imagine, in which case Hotline’s source could be any Democratic aide in Congress. But, if Gregoire were in line for a high-level slot in the Administration, such as Solicitor General, that would likely need Senate-approval. Which makes it more likely that if the Congressional aide learned about Gregoire being on a “short list” not by chance but in the normal course of Congressional business, the staffer is on the Senate side. Point 2: The first “whispers” reportedly came from Olympia, at least according to Political Buzz. So it could be this is all the result of a chatty press corps, wanting to drum up headlines to sell more papers and fill blog space. This does seem to be where the rumor started smoldering before catching fire in the National Journal. From the Tacoma News Tribune: “And why not combine the spring’s most-played political parlor game with this one. Would Dino Rossi stop considering a run for the U.S. Senate and start wrestling with yet-another run for governor? Would the state have to delay the filing period to give him more time to decide?” [end quote] Point 3: Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz doesn’t seem to bothered by this all. Pelz’s comms shop even tweeted a helpful “timeline for picking a replacement” for Gregoire, followed by a tweet with a comment from Pelz that he was pretty sure “[Rossi]‘d rather be Governor than Senator.” For a Party Chair who is likely to be on defense in so many races as it is, to have such eagerness for Gregoire potentially leaving town, may bespeak an ulterior motive (or a masochistic personality). Maybe Pelz is indeed eager to try his hand at playing Kingmaker? ... So, who then ultimately is fueling from [sic] all this speculation — and who benefits the most? On both counts, it’s probably one very nervous U.S. Senator, who doesn’t want the Republican’s top recruit, two-time Gregoire challenger Dino Rossi, getting into the race against her. Recall, a source, most likely from the Senate side, leaked the information. The State Party Chair is either eager for a primary battle, thinks he can play Kingmaker, or is faithfully following the Senator’s song sheet.

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