I was suspicious of Christine Gregoire when she first ran for governor. As Attorney General she blew a deadline that ended up costing the State almost twenty six million dollars. To be fair one of her underlings actually missed the filing deadline, but she was AG at the time, so was responsible. I knew little about Rossi, except for the fact that he wasn't from the snake handling holy rolling tongue talking wing of the Washington State Republicans. I also feared that the Washington Education Association would call the shots on the education budget. That was enough for me to vote Rossi. I keep my street creds by occasionally voting for someone other than a D.
Chris Gregoire has earned my vote this Fall. She has held the line on the State budget in the face of raging pressures to expand services. There have been few if any bureaucratic screw-ups that cost the State taxes and returned nothing. If we cannot re-elect a politician who is competent and honest then I have little hope for the future of democracy.
Rossi seems to have been stored on ice for the last four years by the land developers' association. They have been chaffing at the onus of having to pay for the extension of services to their dreams of sprawl. He almost won last election, but shouldn't come anywhere nearly as close this time.
Firefighters will tell you the biggest job at any fire is the overhaul, or sorting the undamaged and salvageable goods from the garbage. To save anything you have to stop the damage, and water that put the fire out can cause a lot on unintended damage. The last eight years have been a disaster that will probably take President Obama's first term to sort out and clean up. The fact that so much time will be spent just putting things back in order will annoy a lot of folk that have unrealistic hopes for the new administration. Charges of betrayal will fly. The unsatisfiable will be unsatisfied. Code Pink will piddle on their pillows. Nader will Whig-out. Blogs will bloviate. Letters will be written. Threats will be made. Nothing is new.
I hope The Obama administration will have flying squads that will move into the Pentagon, Department of Justice, and executive offices and preserve evidence and pass out pre printed resignation letters to all the Bush appointees. All this means that the new administration can't play it the way Clinton did and wait until they take office. The transition from campaign to administration will take months of planning, and I hope it has already begun. Vetting is the most time consuming part of a change, and once more Obama should take a hint from Clinton's mistakes. Clinton thought that just because he had worked with someone they could slide right into his cabinet. Senate confirmation pulled worms out of the cracks in the resumes of at least three of his appointees. President Obama's vetters are going to need to look at his old Chicago pals under an especially strong microscope, and explain to them that what went overlooked in Illinois will be on the front page of every American newspaper in short order.