Dino Rossi made an early campaign appearance as a candidate for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray’s seat last night at an assisted living care facility in Tacoma.

The 28th District (Lakewood, DuPont) Republicans held an event at the Weatherly Inn that was supposed to be a debate among the Republican candidates challenging incumbent Democratic state Reps Tami Green and Troy Kelley, but Rossi was the main attraction.

Rossi had a bit more spring in his step last night compared with his sleepy announcement video Wednesday morning. He’s regained his campaign swagger saying Washington, D.C. needs "some adult supervision."

Our video features his main talking points—a condemnation of government power ("they're taking money from the wealth creating sector of society and putting it into government for temporary jobs,"); a swipe at Murray’s earmarking skills; and commentary on the state legislature, namely that it took $5 billion in one-time "Obama money" in 2009 and injected it into the state budget.

He spoke briefly and off the cuff and was greeted and sent off with standing ovations. As he waited for the audience to settle down after he entered the room, a woman literally screamed, “Thank you, God.”

Framing his debate with Murray Rossi began:

"This election is going to be about the purpose and role of government. Should it be a limited government or an overreaching government? You see what's happening at the federal level where they're gathering up all this power. They're controlling car companies, banks, insurance companies, student loans, and health care."

[Editor's Note: Student loan reform—which will actually save the govenment $68 billion and will lower the cap on student loan payments—didn't get as much attention as TARP and health care and GM. Here's what Rossi is talking about.]

He also got big laughs joking that "When our own bankers, the Chinese—last time I checked they were communists—tell us we're spending too much money, we're spending too much money."

“You folks ready to win?” Rossi asked as he paced back and forth in a clearing amidst tables. “Yeah we are, aren’t we,” he answered quietly.

In the 36 hours since he announced his candidacy, Rossi said, his Facebook page has garnered the 6th most fans for U.S. Senate races in the country.
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