The Other, Forgotten Washington


It is official.

The Evergreen State is politically irrelevant. At least for the 2008 Presidential Election.

With news focusing on which swing states are being visited by the presidential candidates and their handlers, it is clear the “Other, other” Washington is not at all on the radar screens of either the Republicans or the Democrats.

Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama have bothered to visit Washington for months. McCain made a stop in North Bend in May in order to elaborate on his environmental policies. And if short-term memory serves, Obama hasn’t graced our borders since the primaries.

Being stood up like this is particularly galling because even George W. Bush made a whistle stop a week before the election in 2000 at Bellevue Community College.

The running mates have also been noticably reclusive, avoiding Northwest voters like a room full of patchouli-covered vegans.

A September fundraising appearance in Bellevue by Sarah Palin was downgraded to a visit by Cindy McCain. One would think the governor of Alaska would stop, maybe, just once between flights from the Lower 48 and the Last Frontier. This would be the definition of fly-over country.

To his credit, Sen. Joe Biden did stop once, in Tacoma, mid-way through October. Although it was nice to be briefly in the news as the location where he gave his gaffe-worthy Obama-Will-Be-Tested-On-Foreign-Policy remark, but Biden kind of lacks the star-power self-important Washingtonians feel is our birthright.

To be honest, if presidential politics were like a Star Wars convention, going to a stump speech by Biden is kinda like standing in line to get an autograph from the guy who played Nien Nunb, Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot in Return of the Jedi.

Having Washington written off as simply a Blue State might warm the hearts of partisan hacks. But it is kind of fitting in a way.

Because true Washingtonians – those who have been here long enough to understand the fact that, yes, it rains here in the fall, and winter and spring, and summer – are used to being ignored. If the rest of the country doesn’t appreciate how important we are then so be it. At least locals can be secure knowing how very smart and special we are.

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