By his presence because of the Tea Party backlash. And by his absence, because Democrats don't have much motivating them on the ticket this year. (Too bad that marijuana measure didn't make it on.)
Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz sent out a candid and revealing fundraising appeal to Democratic voters today:
This year Democrats don't seem to have the energy and sense of urgency that's propelling the Republican right wing and their Tea Party activists.
Let's face it. We won't be able to recreate the fantastic energy that Barack Obama inspired two years ago.
I'm concerned. I talk to a lot of Democrats. They can't imagine that Dino Rossi could beat Senator Murray...
"Oh... We love Patty Murray, she'll have a tough race, but she'll be fine." "Dino Rossi, the two-time loser... Patty will be fine."
Apparently, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (and the high-earners income tax?) aren't jazzing the base.
For their part, the GOP has Tim Eyman's anti-tax measure to reinstate the two-thirds majority rule that the Democrats repealed this year in order to raise taxes—a perfect get out the vote measure to capture the backlash.
And accoring to a colorful Joel Connelly report from a Tea Party forum in Bellingham last night, they've also got Clint Didier.
Well, I guess they're actually stuck with Dino Rossi. So, um yeah, they've also got Dino Rossi.