The clock is ticking down for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, soon to cease printing and be replaced by some sort of Hearst-owned, non-union Web site. We take no joy in reporting that, and are saddened that the majority of P-I staffers will lose their jobs in this terrible economy. Other newspapers aren't hiring (they're shrinking, in fact), and a career change into the private sector would seem particularly ill-timed right now.
But to our soon-to-be-unemployed frenemies on Elliott Ave. we say there is hope. There are jobs out there, good jobs, and you need only to follow the courageous example of a former colleague and journalist, who has paved a trail for you to follow. There is a bright new future for refugees from the fourth estate, as revealed after the jump...
We are referring, of course, to former P-I writer, former Seattle Times columnist, and erstwhile SW cover babe Jean Godden. Elected to the city council in 2003, she timed her jump from journalism perfectly. She had great brand awareness from all those who read her Times column. The effects of the 2000 newspaper strike, Craigslist, and Internet hadn't yet gutted the local news business. She left her field on her own terms, at the right moment, and she won reelection easily two years ago.
So I say to those poor souls at the P-I, follow Jean's example. And I have a few suggestions for which office you should seek:
Mayor, Joel Connelly. C'mon, Joel, get off the soap box and knock Greg Nickels off his pedestal of neighborhood pork! Who else is going to do it? No one on the city council has enough stature or money to beat the two-term incumbent. And you've got, arguably, more name recognition and inside political savvy than any other scribe in town. Go for it!
Governor, Art Thiel. To seek the governor's mansion from Seattle is usually futile. They hate us smug Seattle liberals on the other side of the mountains. To run from the mayor's office for the top job in Olympia (or from the King County Executive's chair, as Ron Sims discovered) is hopeless. But Thiel has the advantage of his beat: sports, and none of the effete Seattle stigma. If you write about sports, you're a regular fella. And there are Husky, Cougar, Seahawks, and Mariner fans in every corner of the state. And all of them have read Thiel's columns and reporting, or heard him on the radio. Gregoire, after convincingly defeating Dino Rossi a second time, might consider a third term. Art, don't let that happen! I will give you, free, the issue that will allow you to trump her in 2012: Get us a new pro basketball team to replace the Sonics. Gregoire has no sports cred. You do. Run with it.
U.S. Senate, David Horsey. He's got the Pulitzers, the satiric wit, the knowledge of both state and national politics. How many Pulitzers does Maria Cantwell have? None. She's still considered the weak senatorial sister to Patty Murray, and the junior member is up for reelection in 2012. I think Horsey can outsmart her and beat her. And he can draw his own campaign posters.
King County Executive, D. Parvaz. That position, being vacated by Ron Sims, is badly in need of some op-ed sass and pizzazz. Parvaz would bring it, and then some. Those yokels in the Maple Valley will never know what hit them.
City Council, Kery Murakami. One of the best metro reporters in the city, he's perfect for the seat being vacated by Richard McIver.
Dogcatcher, Regina Hackett. Her qualifications are self-evident.