One of the best strategies to win a blue state if you’re a Republican is to promise to bring fiscal responsibility back to whatever office you seek. It helps if you have a history of fiscal discipline to point to so voters know you’re actually fiscally responsible. Dino Rossi has the chance to use this model against Gov. Christine Gregoire, and it’s got some people a little bit anxious:
Unfortunately, the consequences of over-reach will affect everyone, not just those who think they can afford a highly mortgaged future. I live in a Seattle apartment complex with a fair number of fixed-income retirees, many elderly single women. Even good Democrats among them are appalled at the current state of affairs, and they are panicky. One, an Obama supporter, railed at the bus stop about bus fare increases and the Sound Transit proposal. Another stopped to ask me how much I had paid at the neighborhood supermarket for my fine canvas grocery tote bag. When I said $7, she turned white with a “where-am-I-going-to-get-an-extra-$7” look and scurried off in anger mumbling about never shopping there again before I could explain there are cheaper options.
Liberals should be cautious about creating a backlash at the polls that could hurt. The state’s economic woes play right into GOP gubernatorial challenger Dino Rossi’s fiscally conservative hands, and the race with Democrat Gregoire is tight. As we learned in 2004, there were John Kerry/Rossi voters, and there could well be Obama/Rossi voters in 2008 as pocketbooks get pinched.
What? You actually expected to get free bags to carry home your groceries? Plebeian.
If Gov. Gregoire and Washington state Democrats remain as clueless and out of touch about the needs of the poor and middle class voters amongst them, Dino Rossi could pull this one out.