Let me be the first to say that the revelation that King County Councilmember Jane Hague was pulled over for drunk driving earlier this summer should not be held against her at the ballot box. If she were a serial drunk driver, I might have a different opinion, but most of us have probably had a few too many and stupidly started the engine on at least one occasion in our past (I know I have). I'm not trying to excuse the crime -- it's a terribly irresponsible thing to do -- I'm simply saying that everyone, politicians included, should be permitted to run afoul of the law in their personal lives, provided they don't kill anyone and repeat the behavior they're arrested for. Judge Hague based on her job performance, not on her being a few points (she blew a .135) over the legal limit while driving on 520.
But you know what does bother me? Hague delegating the explaining to longtime political consultant Brett Bader, who offered the following statement in this morning's P.I.while acknowledging wine had been served at the event Hague attended prior to her DUI: "Jane was returning from a children's charity event in Seattle. She had not been feeling well that day nor had she slept much the night before, but she was determined to keep her commitment to the organization."
Okay, let's see: She was tired and feeling icky before the event, but was trooper enough to attend anyway. That's great, except why did she go and down what must have been the equivalent of a bottle of wine if she felt like shit? When I feel that way and decide not to back out of an engagement, I typically reach for the ginger ale. But if what Bader says is to be believed, Hague prefers to swallow a healthy amount of vino when attempting to nurse herself back to health. That does nothing to improve my opinion of Hague. In fact, it diminishes it, and makes her look like she's trying to spin her way out of an embarrassing situation when "sorry" would have done just fine.