The Seattle Times on Tuesday released what amounts to a “trial balloon” with a discussion about the prospects of liberal Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee running for president in 2020.
Inslee is a strong supporter of just about any gun control scheme that comes along. He was turned out of Congress at the end of his first term by voters in Washington’s 4th Congressional District largely because he voted for the 1994 Clinton Crime Bill, which included the 10-year ban on so-called “assault weapons.” You don’t do that in the “gun country” of Eastern Washington, as Spokane-based House Speaker Tom Foley also discovered that year.
But Inslee wasn’t out of politics long, according to an online biography. He ran for governor, losing in the primary, and then took a job in the Clinton administration. By then he had moved to the more liberal First District north of Seattle, winning the seat there and staying in Congress for six terms.
He quit Congress early to run for governor, when former Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire decided not to run again.
According to the newspaper:
“The turbulent early weeks of President Donald Trump’s White House have had an unexpected side effect: boosting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s national profile.
“Since the start of February, Inslee has been interviewed, sometimes repeatedly, by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, the BBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, POLITICO and Bloomberg TV, among others.
“Along with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Inslee has enjoyed multiple victory laps after Washington’s legal wins in a lawsuit blocking Trump’s executive order halting travel from seven mostly Muslim nations that have been identified as potential terrorist threats.”
The story said Inslee “downplayed any presidential ambitions,” and then quoted him stating, “I love this job. It’s really not in the stars. I am focused on this.”
A perusal of reader comments reacting to this news shows a split decision regarding Inslee. Some like the idea, but perhaps not for the reasons one might expect. At least one reader wants the governor as far away from Washington State as he can get. It is reminiscent of what some people said was the reason they voted for Bill Clinton for president in 1992; just to get him out of the governor’s mansion in Little Rock.
Others simply say Inslee’s administration has been poor. Loyal Democrats, of course, think the idea is fine.
The Times also mentioned Attorney General Bob Ferguson. His star is rising after beating the Trump administration in court over immigration. Political observers say he is prepping for a run to succeed Inslee in 2020 and that beating Trump on a popular liberal issue gives his stature a boost.
Ferguson also made headlines for pushing a ban on so-called “assault weapons” and a backup bill aimed at licensing and registration. Both bills died, but nobody outside of the Second Amendment community seems eager to discuss Ferguson’s loss on guns.
Inslee is the consummate Democrat politician. He’s been in government for nearly the entire stretch from 1989 after he was elected to the Washington Legislature to the present. By 2019, that will be 30 years.