Ron Sims hugs his own finger while stumping for President Obama.
There are two things I learned from today's press conference at the Washington State Democratic Party headquarters: 1) The Dems clearly expect Mitt Romney to be the Republican presidential nominee (not much of a surprise); and 2) President Obama intends to run on the economy, not away from it.
"The number one issue is: Is the economy going well?" asked former King County executive and federal Housing and Urban Development number two Ron Sims in setting the tone for a press conference called in response to Mitt Romney's visit to the region tonight. That's pretty much the same question Romney and his fellow Republican presidential wannabes had been relentlessly asking for the past couple years... you know, until several straight months of positive economic numbers forced Republicans to fall back on social issues as if they were running for president of the Republic of Gilead.
When Sims was done talking, Port of Seattle Commissioner Rob Holland picked up the theme of economic triumphalism, touting the 300 million containers a year now passing through our docks as the most in the port's 100 year history. Yay for us!
It's a campaign message—one of economic accomplishments—that was hard to imagine just six months ago, and it's totally thrown Romney off balance. What's he going to campaign on? Cutting taxes for the rich? Repeal of "Obamacare," a health care reform largely based on the one Romney himself implemented in Massachusetts?
Yeah, sure, we've still got 8.3 percent unemployment and the slowest job growth of any post-WWII recovery, but politically, it's the trend that counts, and as long the economy continues to trend up, Romney is fucked.
As for Rick Santorum, while state Dem chair Dwight Pelz says he thinks Santorum will win Washington state this Saturday, he doesn't take him seriously, and no, he's not looking to play games with the Republican caucus.
"We don't encourage people to attend the Republican caucuses," state Pelz explained in response to a reporter's question. "We think they're capable of making the wrong decision all by themselves."