Up until now I've not been a big fan of Seattle Times columnist Joni Balter (or Nicole Brodeur, or Danny Westneat, or just about anybody on their politics crew I'm familiar with except Postman). This is an announcement that I have flip-flopped and am now Pro-Balter (yeah yeah, I'm not running for anything), due to her column in yesterday's Times. The column is a wide-open speculative piece about the 2012 governor's race, with careful attention paid to not assume anything about 2008 aside from 2012 being an open seat.
Here's the deal: she picked a dream matchup. She speculates that Attorney General Rob McKenna will win reelection and take the Republican line. This, in itself, is not surprising. McKenna is THEE star for the future of the Washington Republican Party, even moreso than Reagan Dunn or Dino Rossi. However, the kicker is her take on the Democratic nominee, which she speculates will be my favourite doggone Dem around, King County Councilman Bob Ferguson. He first, though, will become King County Executive in 2009 and pull a Gary Locke in running for Gov prior to the end of his first term. She says she believes Ferguson has "the right stuff," and I am and have been in total agreement. The man had the balls to take out Sims' ingrained goon Cyn Sullivan and then withstood a blatant attempt by his own kin to gerrymander him out of the Council. Next up, I do think Bob will run for Sims' job. Larry Phillips will be the anointed successor, but I think Bob can beat him head-to-head. As for governor? I can hope too.
In short, if only for a brief period, Joni Balter rules. Not enough columnists do speculative pieces these days, and I loved it.