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January 18, 2006

Watching the Governor on TV

On "KCTS Connects" yesterday evening, Enrigue Cerna questioned Govornor Gregoire, for the fourth time since she took office.  The only other one I saw was done from a distance so all we saw was a photo of her on screen as she fielded calls.  This was in person and she was a pro.

Gregoire gets a higher percentage of questions with a nasty edge than any of his other interviewees.  (Do these people ever let go?  They must be being continually riled up by someone under the radar, I suspect, because she is potentially such a threat to the national Republicans.)

She handles each question with grace and respect and answers the real question underneath whatever the person is saying.  She is articulate and a good educator about what is going on.  For example, in talking about WASL, she thoughtfully walks the caller through the complex aspects of the issues.  She talks to each person directly, suggesting they come down to Olympia and testify or watch a hearing.  Occasionally she’ll suggest that a caller contact a state agency to take care of an issue. 

Gregoire is not in the least bit partisan.  These are not partisan issues to her; governing is a matter of doing practical things for people. 

Chris McGann at the PI also wrote about Cerna’s interview with Gregoire this morning which is handy because I was unable to write fast enough to capture it accurately.  Here’s something he captured about a trailer question a caller asked after a first inquiry about transportation issues, the question he likely told the TV station he was interested in having Gregoire answer:

What ever happened to that lovely man Dino Rossi who was cheated out of election?" John from Everett asked.

After answering the question about transportation, Gregoire said,

"I understand the frustration of people," Gregoire said. "It's time as a state that we started to focus on the problems that we are facing ... I hope John will give me a chance."

She covered a lot of ground in an hour.  In addition to answering specific questions, she used the opportunity to talk about bigger issues.  She said that we're blessed with a good economy now and that means that it's a good time to take a look at healthcare and education and other longer-term issues.  She ended with a strong statement about why it is right to pass the new civil rights bill this session.

Gregoire is a terrific governor.  She pays attention to people and interests from across the state; she builds alliances; and she is a sharp negotiator.  Because she has Democratic allies in the leadership of both the Senate and the House, she has the ability to get a lot of good accomplished in the state. 

I'd bet anything that Rove is personally directing the consistent attacks against her because they national Republicans are afraid of her. She is so effective and can demonstrate what good governing looks like.  If she were to go nationwide, on talk shows and such, it would be a stark contrast to the crummy governing going on in the other Washington.
Michael Hood of blatherwatch has been saying that Democrats, particularly the governor, need to go on right-wing radio shows and take calls; these shows have middle of the road listeners.  He is right.  She’ll be fine with the callers.  And the hosts are apparently respectful to all their guests, whatever they say at other times.

Posted by Lynn Allen on January 18, 2006 at 08:15 PM in Media | Permalink


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