The GOP is at its lowest point politically since the aftermath of Watergate, or so conventional wisdom goes. Erstwhile Republicans like Colin Powell, Meghan McCain and Arlen Specter have shed the party label like so much dry skin in order to polish their tarnished historical legacy, gain a little media notoriety or to save their electoral bacon.
One constituency has remained true blue though, standing behind the Grand Old Party despite being down by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. That is members of the Seattle Seahawks. Consider the latest.
Head coach Jim Mora is scheduled to be the headline speaker at "Republican" county councilmember Kathy Lambert's re-election kickoff breakfast on May 29 in Bellevue.Mora is but one of a long line of Hawks who have donned the GOP jersey despite playing football in an overwhelmingly liberal, Democrat sports town.
In 2007, QB Matt Hasselback and former fullback Mack Strong were center stage for a fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt greeting former President George W. Bush and presenting him with an honorary jersey. Despite leading the team to its only Super Bowl appearance, the duo's actions caused an uproar amongst some of Seattle's more culturally sensitive denizens.
Other Seahawks have traded blue for red as well. Robbie Tobeck, a former Pro Bowl center for the squad, was the keynote speaker at two-time gubernatorial silver medalist Dino Rossi's 2008 campaign kickoff. Of course, topping them all is Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent, who was a GOP congressman in Oklahoma during the late 1990s.
A final note about the Mora gig: Yes, King County elected offices are technically "non-partisan". And Lambert, formerly an elected Republican, is now officially a non-partisan candidate. But county office holders still refer to themselves, in private, as party members, while still attending party fundraisers and events. And when you have two county council members and county exec aspirants, Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips, calling themselves "Democrats" at candidate forums, it goes to show that sometimes labels are worth a lot more than the paper they're printed on.