Getting the Governor’s Ear

The way to get the ear of a high-ranking state official like the governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, is to participate in a small group fundraiser. Raising money is a fact of political life these days, even when the official is not on the ballot for 2018. Such events are carefully choreographed by the Governor’s staff: they are hosted by people who live in gorgeous homes or condos or apartments that prospective donors want to see and would never be invited to otherwise. The event itself offers high end food and drink, and is designed to last just about an hour. The events start on time, and end smoothly. Everyone is ushered out. No hanging around all night bending the Governor’s ear. The Governor’s thoroughly experienced young staffers tactfully see to that.

Absent public financing of elections, this is the reality of our political world today. I like Jay Inslee: he’s a solid, progressive, effective governor. He has designs on a run for the White House in 2020, and has given thought to how to defeat Trump — I know that because I asked him.

Like many other Democratic voters, I was taken aback by the severe backlash among anxious older white voters about having a black man in the White House for eight years. I was even more taken aback by the vicious recoil at having a woman occupy the Oval Office — even one as qualified as Hillary Clinton. I hate to think that to defeat Trump we have to offer up a solid white male, but that may be what it takes to quell Trump voter panic enough to get a legitimate President elected.

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