September 22, 2008
Gregoire Vs. Rossi - The Gov Wins One

It was Mr. Nice Guy versus the Democrat pit bull with lipstick. Christine Gregoire was obviously well prepared for 90 second responses on each of the expected topics. She had her 30 second rebuttals to Dino down pat also. Every answer she gave was neatly divided into two parts, an upbeat positive presentation of her goals and alleged accomplishments followed by a vigorous attack on Rossi. The largely softball questions played right into the Governor's debate game plan. Rossi did score some points on the ever expanding deficit and his joke about his campaign staff pool on how many times Gregoire would blame George W. Bush for any state problems. Dino picked six. He wasn't even close. Nevertheless, Rossi failed to respond forcefully to her charges and frequently pitched puff verbiage when a strong, precise answer was needed. For instance, she charged that Rossi's plan for the SR 520 floating bridge said he could build an eight lane bridge for a billion dollars less than Gregoire's six lane proposal. She also claimed that he would pay for transportation by cutting education funds. Neither charge was refuted directly. Fortunately, not many people watch political debates at 9 PM on a Saturday night. There are four more debates scheduled but Dino will have to get his full dogcatcher gear on and go after the pit bull.

Posted by warrenpeterson at September 22, 2008 03:34 PM | Email This
Comments
1. May be Sir Dino just set her up on this one with a strategy that will play out in the upcoming debates? But, like I've stated previously I don't think anyone with an objective call can say that he won this debate. Frankly I called it a toss-up with Washingtonians in general - losing.
Sir Dino my advice w/be be to come off the ropes a bit next time and attack in a tactful manner. Pin her down on the substantial issues and then drive the point home so that even the most liberal-progressives among us 'get the point'.
This may be approaching the point where it's your's to lose. And finally....get Sarah Palin here to support you; that can't hurt; she has a 'practical' approach...much like you're presenting and with the current situation locally and Nationally...a 'practical' and pragmatic approach is what's needed and what voters will understand. You have made significant strides in winning THIS voter over. :)

Posted by: Duffman on September 22, 2008 03:52 PM
2.
Queen Christine did come off as a masterdebater.

(Sorry couldn't help myself.)

But seriously, the whole "Rossi is Mr. Nice Guy" thing is something we've seen in all the ads this season, so I guess I have to believe he has a strategy here. But it sure would, have been a good thing if he'd have stepped over the line just once to show that he can be forceful.

Posted by: johnny on September 22, 2008 04:13 PM
3. Frankly, I found Gregoire to be combative, rude, repetitive and condescending. I couldn't find one specific thing she wants to do, only a bunch of vague goals and sacrifices on the altar of Global Warming and Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Her attacks were hollow and pathetic. It's obvious she wants to use the governor's office as a stepping stone on her climb to the top.

Rossi came off exactly as I, and I believe the vast majority of Washingtonians, want their governor to come off as. Quiet, confident, energetic, and factual. He had specific plans with details, and specific criticisms of the way things are being done.

The bottom line is I can listen to Rossi, but whenever the camera was on Gregoire I had to force myself to not turn the whole thing off.

Posted by: Jonathan Gardner on September 22, 2008 04:17 PM
4. I donno, even the Seattle Time was saying her blaming Bush was idiotic. If even they are doing that, I don't see how she won the debate.

Posted by: Cliff on September 22, 2008 04:22 PM
5. When the public has to "guess" that the candidate has a strategy it generally signals bad weather for the candidate.

My own personal impressions of Rossi are that he doesn't like any blood on the floor. His aversion to face-to-face smashmouth politics may be a result of steering clear of cultural stereotypes much of his career. I'm not saying he won't throw any punches, but when his opponent opens themself up he fails to land the crucial blow to hammer his point home, or put their argument to the mat.

From all accounts he was raised to be a nice guy, but sometimes a nice guy has to stand up and put a bully in their (her) place.

Posted by: Bryan Myrick (thesenator2012) on September 22, 2008 04:34 PM
6. When the public has to "guess" that the candidate has a strategy it generally signals bad weather for the candidate.

My own personal impressions of Rossi are that he doesn't like any blood on the floor. His aversion to face-to-face smashmouth politics may be a result of steering clear of cultural stereotypes much of his career. I'm not saying he won't throw any punches, but when his opponent opens themself up he fails to land the crucial blow to hammer his point home, or put their argument to the mat.

From all accounts he was raised to be a nice guy, but sometimes a nice guy has to stand up and put a bully in their (her) place.

Posted by: Bryan Myrick (thesenator2012) on September 22, 2008 04:35 PM
7. My impressions of the debate-

Gov. Gregiore- Irrational, hair-on-fire, everything is someone elses fault.

Dino- Calm, thoughtful, knowledgeable.

Dino may not have been as forceful as he could have or should have been, but Gov. Gregiore turned me off with her blame everyone else attitude. Doesn't she know that as the State's chief executive, she is ultimately responsible for what happens in state government? Right or wrong everything is HER fault.

Posted by: David on September 22, 2008 04:51 PM
8. Even though he was too Mr. Nice Guy and did not call her many lies, I did not see it as any worse than a draw. She got away with far too much, but he also let her dig a hole and its not beyond that coming back to bite her in future debates.

With that said, there is plenty of room for improvement for him next time. Expect more of the same softball questions that play into her hands. He will have to defend his accomplishments better and not let her get away with her lies about him leaving her with a deficit by at least correcting the record and letting people know that her predecessor was Gary Locke.

Posted by: KS on September 22, 2008 05:53 PM
9. Wow, what a debate.

Gregoire was, at best, debating Bush for the governor. At worst, she was conjuring up the Bush demon to keep the villagers in line. (Seriously, it's difficult for me to envision her in a warm and touching moment. She does not evoke warmth in any aspect.)

Rossi was nice, I guess. I'm not gay, but he smiled nice.

At the end of the day, I almost feel compelled to vote for Gregoire out of fear of what she will do to me if I don't. :)

How's that for responsive politics?

Posted by: BothellBuddy on September 22, 2008 06:07 PM
10. "I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist'. "

--R. Reagan

Posted by: John Bailo on September 22, 2008 07:05 PM
11. Wow..really? I'm really surprised by your thoughts on it.

"He wasn't even close."

Actually he was only 1 off ... by our count she mentioned it 5 times - but then again we turned it off about half way through.

I thought Gregiore was completely raving and I was attempting to be fair in my analysis (though I do admit a bias). My husband and I were laughing at all the times she said "literally" and "you know" over and over and over again. Even this morning we were "literally" joking. And blaming George Bush. So that is the only thing we got from her ... sad.

I did want Rossi to "attack" more but thought he did okay. Not fabulous but not bad.

Posted by: megs on September 22, 2008 07:41 PM
12. I thought Gregiore was pathetic. She was on the defense the entire time and well she should have been since she is a miserable failure. She wanted to drive the point home that we are, will be, should be or strive to be the greenest state in the country. If that goal doesn't stink with wasted money, nothing does. Lead the way in "green" give me a break, leading the way is always vastly more expensive than following the people that want to "figure it out". Then again, I already had my mind made up before the debate. Gregiore has no record to run on. Just like the rest of the democrats, their platform is "I'm not George Bush. Then again, neither is anybody running in any party.

Posted by: Dennis on September 22, 2008 07:49 PM
13. Dino is a master debater!

(he he! I've always wanted to say that).

Posted by: Cliff on September 22, 2008 08:30 PM
14. She put quite the effort in blaming W for her woes and if it wasn't W, it was Rossi and Locke. But she tried to take credit for things that seemed well.
Ya can't have it both ways queenie.
Besides, if it was the "previous administration" or when Rossi did the budget, she's had 4 years to overcome it. Pretty slow learner.
I'd put a paper bag over my head if I lived in Auburn.

Posted by: PC on September 22, 2008 08:30 PM
15. I'd put a paper bag over my head if I lived in Auburn.

Huh? Why is that?

Oh, is Gregoire born there or something?

Posted by: Cliff on September 22, 2008 08:32 PM
16. Queen Christine did come off as a masterdebater.

DOH!!! You beat me to it.

But I like your way better. I just had to say it about somebody. It comes off funnier with Queen Christine.

Posted by: Cliff on September 22, 2008 08:34 PM
17. Everything she did reeked of wasted money. Being the greenest state? I own a window covering company, and we do offer green products, but sell next to none. Why? THEY COST MORE!!!

What's the most appalling of all is her desire to get us out of our cars. If her and mayor Greg FivePennies are successful at that, what is the economic impact of that? Is that something they've ever even considered???

Posted by: Brent on September 22, 2008 08:58 PM
18. As my grandmother used to say...."Lawyers make the best Liars"

Posted by: Susu on September 22, 2008 09:30 PM
19. If shrill, needlessly combative, and disingenuous is your bag then gregoire is your man...

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on September 22, 2008 09:46 PM
20. I have to turn the channel when I see here. When I hear here say anything like "Now is not the time for new taxes, when she has an 18 Billion dollar Sound transit bill on November's ballot, a massive Roads package coming out after the election, and a 3.2 Billion dollar debt.

You can count on one thing from Gregoire, massive and neverending government growth, and massive and neverending tax and fee hikes.

It has been a continual staple of her last four years.

Dino gets my nod because my pocket book can stand no more gouging.

Posted by: gs on September 22, 2008 09:47 PM
21. Warren,

Spot on analysis.

Dino is pretty straight forward and I'm tending to think there is less of McCain rope a dope strategy, and more of a stay low, don't give them any gaffes to run with, and give her a lot of rope to hang herself and strike hard in October.

Posted by: Andy on September 22, 2008 10:28 PM
22. Rossi didn't get his chops by being an attack dog.

Some debate graders like the pit bull, others like a straight facts debate and some like the one-liners.

But, after listening to Dori on podcast who played some clips, it was obvious why Pope and Cato got confused when they started comparing Gregoire and Bush for president, instead of Rossi and Gregoire for Governor.

She needs to do more focus groups. The issues in February are not the issues today. And there is no way to get rid of the albatross called the budget no matter how she dresses it up.

Signed,

Lipstick Man

Posted by: swatter on September 23, 2008 07:52 AM
23. The Queen came off as shrill. And I know we
are not supposed to talk about looks, but
frakly she looked really bad. Her face looked
all screwed up and tight. She came across more
like a nasty school-marm chastising than one who
was defending her record.

Posted by: dano on September 24, 2008 12:10 AM
24. The Queen came off as shrill. And I know we
are not supposed to talk about looks, but
frakly she looked really bad. Her face looked
all screwed up and tight. She came across more
like a nasty school-marm chastising than one who
was defending her record.

Posted by: dano on September 24, 2008 12:11 AM
25. The Queen came off as shrill. And I know we
are not supposed to talk about looks, but
frakly she looked really bad. Her face looked
all screwed up and tight. She came across more
like a nasty school-marm chastising than one who
was defending her record.

Posted by: dano on September 24, 2008 12:11 AM
26. I missed the debate. Dino Rossi is against abortion,embryonic stem cell research & the morning after pill even in cases of rape. When commentators called Sarah Palin shrill at the Republican convention everyone got upset and said it was sexist. And I guess we can say goodbye to education & medical funding so we can have an 8 lane bridge.

Posted by: karen on September 25, 2008 08:25 PM
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