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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

All Quiet on the Western Front?

Cross Posted at: Respectfully Republican and Reagan's Children Blog

Commenting on the upcoming midterm elections, Seattle PI columnis Connelly, writes today that Washington State “will have a front-row seat in the battle for Congress.” True, campaigns are kicking off, but by and large, there is still relatively little “chatter” in the media about a forthcoming fight. So just where is this knockdown battle to rue all battles that Connelly envisions?

While Congressional Republicans want to increase and consolidate their hold on power, many strategists are predicting this could be a bad year for Republicans. In fact, it’s been popular to suggest that something like the 1994 sweep, but in reverse fashion, could occur. Democrats, who have long been salivating for a chance to regain influence in Congress, are gearing up, and you better believe they are willing to pull out all the stops. On a larger scale, other campaigns in the West, especially in California, seem especially ripe for a clash of interests.

Back in my home state, even with the state legislature in Olympia churning at full speed, on the surface at least, it’s politics as usual. In my best estimation, the incumbents and their respective challengers are quietly posturing and plotting for the upcoming campaign season, while quietly building up their war chests.

Actually there is some action to be seen: several Washington Republicans are opposing the UAE-based DPW deal brokered by the Bush Administration. The dissension is nothing new and it’s really just more posturing. Congressman Dave Reichert for example, has been on the opposite side of a number of issues championed by the Bush Whitehouse, from the Terry Schiavo case, to drilling in ANWR. He's also the only Republican Congressman east of the Cascades.

With all of the political calculations spinning, the issues are beginning to take shape: alternative energy, technology & innovation, and the continuing war on terror all seem to be ‘dinner table’ issues that Republicans hope to capitalize on.

Meanwhile, Democrats no doubt hope to keep the Abramoff scandal front and center. Whether that makes political sense when many Democrats had their hands caught in the cookie jar too, remains to be seen. But besides a ‘scandal plagued Administration’ where is the beef from Democrats? According to Connelly's column, Gregoire distanced herself from Dean in a recent visit; what, not a Deaniac?

If Connelly’s right, and I think he is, things will start heating up around here soon enough. Republican candidates like Senate hopeful Mike McGavick are still on the Lincoln Day speaking tour. By the time the last Lincoln Day speech is done, we should see more substance from both sides. And trust me, I’ll be there, as Connelly suggests, hopefully with a front row seat.


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