2012 Election

One (Well, Two) Questions for the McKenna Campaign

By Josh Feit September 10, 2012

As Afternoon Jolt has it, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee's election strategy came together beautifully today: He was endorsed by President Obama (Inslee is, in part, relying on some top-of-the-ticket coattails in November) just as a new poll found Obama with a commanding 16-point lead over GOP nominee Mitt Romney in Washington State.

For today's "One Question," we asked Inslee's Republican opponents in the Rob McKenna camp what they thought about the Obama endorsement, the first the president has made in any gubernatorial race.

McKenna spokesman Charles McCray seized on the fact that McKenna's education platform has more in common with Obama's agenda than Inslee's does; for example, Obama supports charter schools.

McCray says:
I wonder how much apprehension the President is experiencing given Congressman Inslee's same old approach to education.  President Obama's views on public charter schools and paying for performance in education are far more in line with the ideas Rob promotes as part of his New Direction plan.

And, it turns out, there's a little synchronicity for the McKenna camp today too that highlights the exact uncomfortable split on the Democratic side that McCray is talking about.

Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, an ed reformer in the Obama/Arne Duncan mold, is now—as mayor of Chicago—facing off against traditional Democrats and their teachers' union allies in a strike that broke out this morning over the very issues, including teacher evaluations, that Inslee has had to wrestle with as McKenna put them front and center right away.

Meanwhile, we had one more "One Question" for the McKenna camp about the top of the ticket. Given that lightning-rod GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan is in town today (while McKenna—synchronicity again?—is in Moses Lake), we asked McCray what McKenna thought about Ryan and, in particular, his voucher-based Medicare proposal.

McCray says: "Rob believes that Paul Ryan's VP nomination focuses more debate on budget issues, which is appropriate. But Rob's focus on state policy issues leaves little time for Medicare study."
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