Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, November 10, 2006

Caitlin's "Concession Speech"

I honestly had resolved never to blog about Caitlin Ross again, but this post on her campaign website was too good not to address.

As you know, Caitlin is still "waiting for the final returns to come in" to admit defeat. But her "landlord" and political advisor has posted a concession speech of sorts.

Some excerpt and my comments:
She knew that her critics would call her a "carpet bagger" but she also knew that she had lived next to the 9th for four years and that her older sister too had lived near by in Spokane while attending Gonzaga. Further, her grandfather had taught in Spokane and her mother had been born here. She had spent ample time in the 9th with one of her college roomates who grew up here. The 9th was not a foreign land to Caitlin Ross.
Her college roommate grew up here? Is it just me, or is this whole "knowledge by association" the silliest thing you have ever heard? I've been to Great Britain twice and my ancestors were born there. Maybe I'll stand for Prime Minister when Blair steps down.

She knew that she would be challenged for her "age" and lack of "experience". She also knew that those who made such accusations would find no irony that her peers were piloting fighter planes and Abrams tanks in Iraq or that they themselves had done similar duty in Viet Nam in their youth. Certainly these and nameless other duties of countless 22 year olds throughout the decades proved that her age and experience were not real issues.
There are certainly some 22 year old tank commanders. There may even be some 22 year old fighter pilots (in training). But the Constitution of the United States requires that their Commander-in-Chief be at least 35 years old (Senators must be 30 and Representatives 25). The Founding Fathers realized, as stated by James Madison, that a "greater extent of information and stability of character" is needed for higher office. I would argue that Ross' age was not the issue, but rather her complete lack of experience (excluding of course watching C-SPAN and paging in Olympia).
While Eileen Macoll raised the bar two years ago for Democrats by polling one of the highest percentages of voted in memory in the 9th Caitlin has so far bested that by 2 percentage points.

Sometimes winning isn't measured simply by crossing the finish line first but by just moving the boulder and [sic] inch. I think that Caitlin moved it a good foot in the 2006 election cycle for future 9th LD candidates.
In this year of massive voter discontent with the President, Republicans were swept away all over the country, I don't consider two percentage points much of an accomplishment.

In Spokane's 6th District, State Senator Brad Benson lost a seat the Republicans have held since 1943. That's almost as long as the Republicans have held the 9th District. If I were a local Democrat, I'd be mad as hell. They COULD have won the open seat in the 9th IF they had run a serious candidate. By serious, I mean a conservative/moderate Democrat from somewhere OTHER than Pullman, preferably someone with strong local ties as a farmer/businessperson/local elected official/etc. There has to be at least one somewhere in the district. It wasn't Ross' fault. It was the fault of the 9th District Democrats leadership, which is based in Pullman, and made up of left-wing fanatics like Bryan Burke, Sean Gallegos, Jane Guido, Carolyn Cress, Matthew Root, Don Orlich, et. al.

Instead, the Democrats squandered the only opportunity they may realistically have for many decades. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

1 comment:

Paul E. Zimmerman said...

Someone should explain to Ms. Ross that if a 22 year old somewhere does something, it does not mean that 22 year olds everywhere are deserving of the same credit - they really do individually have to have done something before credit is due.

Her age was a real issue because it is rare that someone of that age has done something substantial, meaning the young individual must prove otherwise. Her experience was also an issue because there was simply a lack of it.

While our soldiers currently in Iraq have been doing great things, like their predecessors who did great things in Vietnam, Ms. Ross has been comfortably ensconced in Liberal Arts studies that are, I'm sorry to say, most definitely not remarkable in this day and age; quite the contrary, such endeavors are exceedingly common and ordinary. That does count as experience of a sort, certainly, but not anything at all commensurate with what our men and women in uniform have done and currently are doing, to use her example (though there are obviously many more that Ms. Ross also cannot claim), nor is it experience desired by sensible voters of one who is running for an elected office.

Perhaps if she were to try her hand at business, join the military for a time, become a property owner, or something similar that establishes both experience and a demonstrated interest in the things that create stability and prosperity in our society, we would take her seriously. In my opinion, lacking any of these qualifications at the present time, Ms. Ross comes off to my mind as an enthusiastic, idealistic, inexperienced kid. There's nothing wrong with that - we all start from there - but it is not a qualification for office.