Rossi, no ladies' man
When he makes his senatorial candidacy official tomorrow, Republican Dino Rossi will be trying to go where no man including him has been able to go in recent years - taking an office held by one of the state's vaunted female Democrats. He is so far polling well against Sen. Patty Murray, and is buoyed by the notion that conservatives, Tea Partiers accepted, are back.
Rossi, no ladies' man
Incumbents surely aren't invincible, as veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter demonstrated last week - striking out as both a Republican and Democrat. Washington's Warren Magnuson and Alaska's Ted Stevens are among the earlier roadkill of supposed senators for life. Murray, not much of a legend to begin with, can't merely coast to re-election against Rossi, a battler and two-time defeated gubernatorial candidate who wants to avoid becoming known as a legendary loser.
But, on a horse-race level, Murray has already received almost $10 million in donations - she's among the nation's top ten senators receiving the most in-state donations - and while money doesn't guarantee anyone a victory, it's pretty much a given when tied in with incumbency and lack of competition, although that equation is about to change.
Murray's nearest fund-raising opponent among announced candidates is farmer Clint Didier with $350,000 and a campaign recently bogged down by news that the anti-big government Tea Partier has received more than a quarter-million-dollars in farm subsidies. Now that he's profited and running for office, he will, if elected and given a government salary, try to get rid of the farm bill, he vows.
With the primary just three months off, some so-called races just don't seem worth holding. Take the guy who really could be congressman-for-life, Norm Dicks. Anyone know who's running against him? His name is Jesse Young and he has zero dollars. Dicks has just over $650,000, about all he needs for his typical non-campaign in which he relies mostly on the free press he gets for doling out major new appropriations.
But the Murray-Rossi scrap will be real politicks - in other words, dirty. That's already obvious in the pre-emptive attacks the Dems have made on Rossi. Voters say they don't like the sliming - at least, when it is done to their candidate. But it's a car wreck few can help staring at. Just a couple days ago the Dems sent out an e-mailer linking Rossi to GOP celeb Sarah Palin - in a bad way. Since Palin has already endorsed Didier (by tweet and Facebook), Rossi supposedly doesn't have her support. He is effectively now taking on two of the nation's strongest female politicians, one from each column.
Woe is Dino. Of course, he is likely to have something to say about this tomorrow. Did we mention the campaign has yet to begin? Don your helmets, mud incoming!