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December 01, 2005

Gregoire’s Poll Numbers Rising

The Survey USA monthly governor’s poll came out a couple days ago and Governor Chris Gregoire is polling at 44% approve/49% disapprove with 7% undecided.  Although it's obviously not great, it's up from the first SUSA Governor’s poll in June of this year when she was at 34% approve/58% disapprove with 8% undecided.  Ten point rise in 5 months; that’s the good part.  She’s still recovering from a horrendous deficit brought on by the Republican Noise Machine during the prolonged post-election recounts and court case. 

Chris Gregoire has done a bang-up job as governor but doesn’t focus on herself and her achievements so we don’t hear about it enough.  She works on understanding what needs to be done and then does it.  For her, it’s all about getting the right people together to do what is right for the people of this state. 

It is fitting that she gave the Democratic response to George Bush's radio address last weekend.  She is absolutely the opposite of him.  She is modest to a fault; she doesn’t brag about what she’s done or tear down other folks.  She is a strong negotiator and able to collaborate with many others and move them toward a common agenda.  As Attorney General, she negotiated the Tobacco Settlement, an astounding achievement if ever we saw one.  She also negotiated an agreement with the federal government over clean-up at the Hanford site that is likely to be so air-tight as to withstand Bush Administration attempts to demolish it. 

Gregoire is gracious to those who have opposed her in the past, both Republicans and Democrats.  If you didn’t see the tears in Ron Sims eyes on election night, Nov. 8, 2005, after she introduced him, you missed something.  And think about all those Republicans last year who wound up working with her on the Transportation bill at the end of the session – after they had taken some kind of Junior High-like vow not to work with the governor at the beginning of the session.  They came to understand they had a real governor in the Statehouse.

During the session she worked with the legislators in a hands-on, collaborative manner they hadn’t seen for years.  She put her considerable negotiating skills to work and was instrumental in getting several key pieces of legislature through.  The transportation infrastructure bill certainly – which she had to work on twice, once with a bipartisan group of legislators and businesses to get it passed, and again behind the scenes to defeat Initiative 912. 

She was quite helpful on the environmental bills that passed during the last session – the important clean car bill, the bill to restore Hood Canal and the landmark high-performance green building bill, for which she has received national attention. 

Public Works magazine's November cover story recognized Gregoire as one of "the most influential, high impact leaders in the public works community” for her work getting the high-performance green building bill passed in this state.

Working with Democratic legislators and a few courageous Republican moderates, she passed the best budget for K-12 education that this state has seen in more than a decade, including a targeted and permanent funding source for I-728 to reduce class size, and reinstatement of I-732 to increase pay for teachers.  They also reinstated coverage for 23,000 children stranded without health care in the previous Republican/Rossi – led Legislature and extended coverage to 17,000 more children.

Again, working with legislative allies, she fought for and created the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, using the $350 million bonus from the federal tobacco settlement that accrued to Washington State because she was the chief negotiator.  Those funds will support cutting-edge research and technology and create many new jobs. 

She led a bipartisan group of state legislators and business-folk to Japan and China earlier this fall, focused on building relationships and creating jobs.  She just doesn’t stop.  And boy, are we lucky.   

As we look forward to the next legislative session starting in January, it’s useful to remember how much was accomplished during this first year of the Gregoire administration.  We are blessed to live in a state that is moving forward because we have a Democratic-controlled legislature, albeit just barely, and a Democratic governor.  Whatever we can do to assist them and give them more recognition, we should do. 

Posted by Lynn Allen on December 1, 2005 at 11:38 AM in Inside Baseball | Permalink

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Comments

Gregoire only barely beat Rossi, despite starting with an enormous advantage and raising plenty of money, because she ran an extremely incompetent campaign. For example, despite Rossi's lengthy career as aide to a convicted scammer, her ads "accused" him of calling himself a real estate "broker" instead of "associate broker". If she runs the next campaign the same way, she will certainly lose. In the event that she learns how to campaign, she can win reelection regardless of the polls these days.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 1, 2005 2:35:51 PM

Steve,

I agree. She ran a lousy campaign and nearly lost as a result of it. Nevertheless, I think she's a great governor and only hope she can figure out how to run a better campaign next time.

Posted by: Lynn | Dec 1, 2005 3:26:53 PM

The list of Gregoire's accomplishments dwarfs what some governors do in four years!

I'm in California would would like to offer a trade - our Governor for yours. No refunds, all sales final, caveat emptor.

Bill

Posted by: Bill Collins | Dec 2, 2005 8:17:50 AM

No way. I lived in California for the first few months of Schwartznegger's term and it was part of why I came back to Washington. I wanted to get more deeply involved in politics and despaired of a Democratic Party that had no plan to combat him and no one better than Cruz Bustamante to put up against him. And I was right. There is a very robust grassroots Party here.

Posted by: Lynn | Dec 2, 2005 8:58:18 AM

It's possible that Gregoire will help move Democrats away from self-sabotage, but the Holy Spirit's message over on The Christian Prophet blog today says Democrats must change their outmoded ideas.

Posted by: A Christian Prophet | Dec 2, 2005 10:38:54 AM

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