The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

29 January 2006

Leaders abound

Yesterday, both the state Democratic and Republican parties elected new party leaders. The Democrats, expectedly, chose former King County Councilman Dwight Pelz over former state Rep. Laura Ruderman by a margin of 95-70. The Republicans, somewhat unexpectedly, jumped for national GOP Committeewoman Diane Tebelius over sitting Vice Chair Fredi Simpson.

The analysis:
Democrats -- I've made it no secret that I don't much like Pelz, as I find him too liberal and blustery. I think the Democratic Party made a poor decision here in passing over Ruderman, a suburban moderate liberal who would seemingly be more effective outside of urban areas. Ruderman was twice elected to the suburban 45th district before launching a losing bid for secretary of state in 2004. At the issue's core, the Democratic Party already dominates Seattle and they aren't going to lose that for the forseeable future. Therefore, Pelz doesn't make much sense to me. On the contrary, Democrats are on the rise in suburbs, and that was what Ruderman brought to the table more than anything else.

Republicans -- In contrast, I think the GOP choosing Tebelius was a good choice. She's more well-known and more experienced than the unknown Simpson, and, from what I know about Simpson, Tebelius is much more of a fighter. The modern lackadaisical GOP needs somebody to push them, and Tebelius shows that better. From what i've heard the last couple years from her, she's also a sharp woman, an immediate advantage over the gaffe-prone Chris Vance. Not that it was a Tebelius advantage, but the GOP was also smart to choose a woman for their top post in a state practically run by Democratic women. You can't keep writing off the so-called "soccer moms" and expect to win. Good show, Republicans.


At 1:44 AM, Blogger Willis said...

You treat the Chair position as if that person is a political candidate who has to personally win over voters - and frankly most people couldn't name either Party Chair if their lives depended on it.

Dwight is going to do exceptionally well, because his job as Chair is to organize the party, and Dwight has a long and successful history as a community organizer (organized the initiative that got rid of the sales tax on food in 1976) that he will bring to bear on his new position. He can marry that with his knowledge of the political landscape - and I think you'll be surprised at how well he'll do. He'll also be better at inspiring the Democratic grassroots - as he lines up with them better politically than Ruderman does.

Now, if the Dems had to pick somoene to run for Governor (between Dwight and Laura), your argument would make more sense.

At 4:42 AM, Blogger TMW said...

Perhaps he will, given his experience. Still, his inspiration lies mostly within the so-called Deaniac wing of the Democratic Party, which is strongest in Seattle, and might not be as inspirational for the moderately liberal crowd in other areas. That said, he's more like Berendt than Ruderman, so I suppose he can't do too badly.


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