Among the messages sent by voters yesterday was one to the media: your breathless coverage of Darcy Burner, Laura Ruderman and Suzan DelBene amounted to a lot of wasted ink and squandered cyberspace. And while Rob McKenna lays out his campaign goals more specifically and enthusiastically than Jay Inslee, he does it like that irritating bright-eyed nerd who sat behind you in junior high, raising his hand again.
Ruderman, whose mother greatly financed her campaign for the 1st District congressional seat and garnered headlines for it, drew all of 3,500 votes in Tuesday's 2012 state primary election. The much-publicized Burner, a perennial challenger and loser, finished with just 5,200 votes. The fabulously wealthy DelBene bought the support of just 7,200 with the nearly $2 million she gave to her own campaign.
All three Democrats were primary losers to the less-talked-about Tea Party (but not anti-tax) Republican, John Koster, who had a $450,000 campaign fund and got almost 12,000 votes. He and DelBene, as the top two finishers, will face off in November to represent a district that stretches from Redmond to Canada and tends toward the conservative.
Inslee bested McKenna by roughly 32,000 votes in a gubernatorial primary whose main purpose was to weed out the seven also-rans. But watching the top two discuss the vote afterwards, you saw Democrat Inslee still trying to explain how he would provide a bigger state education budget by somehow pumping up the economy rather than raising taxes, while McKenna made fun of him for trying to do it - much to the delight of his Republican hangers-on.
It was a preview of what to expect between now and November - the warm, likeable-but-is-he-capable Inslee and the didactic, I-have-all-the-answers McKenna.
"I've produced a specific plan, a roadmap that will truly put education funding first so we can meet the Supreme Court mandate while protecting programs for the most vulnerable," McKenna orated last night. "My opponent hasn't offered a plan. He serves the adults in the classroom, not the kids - and we need to put the kids first."
It's good speechifying. But even his loyal supporters had to think, enduring that pedantic zeal and wonky grin, Man, I'd like to pants him.