Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What Iraq Will Cantwell See?

If you haven't heard, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) took off last night for Iraq. She is heading there as a part of an "official election observation delegation".

KOMO TV and KIRO 7 have picked up the AP story.

I opined in an earlier post that Cantwell is trying to cast herself as a champion for the environment, energy, and now it looks like democracy! Er, scratch that last one. In my view, Cantwell is getting her face in the news, and cranking out the press releases like Willy Wonka's choclate factory. Much like that analogy, there's a lot of fudge in her self-reporting, or perhaps more appropriately, self-adulation.

Then again, perhaps Cantwell will come back as a champion of the cause for freedom. Afterall, when Diane Tebelius travelled to observe the elections in Afghanistan last fall, she came back with some powerful insights. Unfortunately, I don't think Cantwell is going at this with an open-mind. Which begs the question, when she returns, what Iraq will Cantwell claim to have seen: the utter failure of the Howard Dean Party, or the hard path to victory of President Bush? In the end, perhaps it's just the simple difference between philosophies; between being optimistic in the face of adversity, or the pessimist who is constantly advocating CUT and RUN.

Either way, I can't wait to see how Cantwell spins her experience in Iraq.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cantwell gets slick

Cross posted at Respectfully Republican

Awhile back, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times focusing on the apparent absence of Gov. Christine Gregoire from the political and newsmedia spotlight. I remarked (somewhat snidley) that it was hard to discern whether her noticeable absence was a "trick or treat" (alright, alright, it was a dumb Halloween pun).

Of course right after Ron Sims was re-elected, there she was again! Poof, right back in action. (See e.g. Election Night Party at Westin Seattle or better yet, King5 Video and the Seattle PI Election blog captures the same sentiment) My musings about Gregoire's PR strategy seem to have been validated, that is Ron Sims took a page from Al Gore's "failed" playbook. Essentially Gregoire kept off the Sims Happy Bandwagon campaign trail, as an appearance might have sparked backlash against Sims. (My hypothesis was that Gregoire is still followed by storm clouds, and Sims couldn't afford any more rain on his parade) Then again, the personal trash traded between Gregoire and Sims in the 2004 gubernatorial primary is still steaming.

Another interesting media strategy is that of Sen. Maria Cantwell. She's up for re-election in 2006, and it looks like she's finally decided to put up the flag in Washington (state). Today's story in the Seattle Times highlights "comprehensive oil-spill legislation" that Cantwell plans to propose. In my best political estimation, Cantwell will try and sell herself as a "leader on energy and environment issues". She'll try and use her media debut as a Meth Fighter to her advantage as being "tough on crime". And then there's Tech Central's ultra-sizzling expose` of The Senator From Windfall.

But much like Gregoire, where has Cantwell been hiding out--especially in the past six years?!? Despite 772 press releases about her "work for Washington state", I'm skeptical-- at best--about her ability to effect change in this state. Why you ask? Because six years is a long time to wait for someone to "find their voice". We can't afford to have a "back-bench" Senator, we need someone who'll take the lead--someone who doesn't just fly the flag around election time.

Some have speculated that the Seattle media helps "lazy" or seemingly voiceless politicians get re-elected. I think in Cantwell's case, having the MSM help usher her back into office is anything but a sure bet. Her own party knows she's vulnerable, and I think we'll see a strong challenger emerge (in either Mcgavick or Hutchinson). Cantwell had better not be counting on the media to come through in the clutch; the treatment in today's paper was benign at best.

Take for instance this important counter-point allowed in by the Seattle Times:

Frank Holmes of the Western States Petroleum Association said much of Cantwell's proposal appears to duplicate what is already going on or to require additional, unnecessary protections.

It's not everyday that the Seattle Times allows in viewpoints that contradict the liberal Washington Senate Delegation. Cantwell had better open the checkbook.

(PS - Senator Cantwell's website is pathetic - Are we still living in the stoneage?)

Help say 'THANK YOU' to Joshua Sparling

This is way too important to pass by in my quest to prepare for tomorrow's final.

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for getting the word out. This was also on Fox & Friends yesterday morning.

Some sick person sent a Christmas card to a wounded soldier...with an interesting inside message: "P.S. DIE" And yes, this was apparently the only card Joshua Sparling recieved.

Please send him a real card right away:

Joshua Sparling
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

Crossposted at Meneltarma