Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Picnic Politics on the Kitsap Peninsula

Was it a picnic, a pep talk, or a conservative think tank with some of the most active and influential movers in Kitsap County? Graciously hosted at her beautiful Poulsbo home by Kitsap County Republican Chairman Sandy LaCelle, the KCRP Summer Picnic turned out to be a bit of all three. I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure to be amongst so many conservative movers and shakers since the 2010 Convention in Vancouver.

Some of the honored guests in attendance, pictured and identified clockwise because it is just seems wrong to say “left”, are: “Firefighter” Dan Griffey for Washington State Representative 35th District; Doug Cloud for Congress, Washington State 6th District; James Watkins for Congress, Washington State 1st District; James Olsen for Washington State Representative 23rd District; and Pete Deboer also for a Washington State Representative spot, 23rd District. Not pictured here were special guest Kirby Wilbur and other notable personalities.

It didn’t surprise anyone for Kirby Wilbur to show up. As a widely respected personality with a long affection for Kitsap County, children playing in the pool didn’t distract one word during his keynote pep talk.

“Jobs,” he said, and holding up his wallet to emphasize the point, “this is the most important thing in this election.” Kirby implored the diverse crowd to not get distracted with unproductive messaging. “We can’t just say we’re not them; we have to say what we’re going to do about it.” This was a key message because it helped clarify that it just wasn’t about what conservatives were “going to do about it” but what they were doing about it right now. You bet, Coach, it’s pep talk time.

“There is a lot you can do by not doing,” he said. “We can still lose this election!” Kirby went on to warn about the implied progressive mandate as the result of a conservative failure. “If you think it is bad now,” I overheard in the crowd.

Then easing the mood as only Kirby Wilbur can do at a moment like this, he embellished a Churchill quote, “or was it Yoda?” [Personally, I think Yoda smoked cigars and probably said it first... Churchill was a Jedi] “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required,” said Sir Winston Churchill. The point, Kirby emphasized, was that supporters need to have more than just a “yes we can” spirit during the campaign, they need to have done those things required to say, “yes we did” after the votes have been counted.

Kirby also stressed the importance and value of Tea Party organizations and said. “I give credit to the Tea Parties for saying, "Not with my country... not with my country."

Other informative from snippets worth mentioning…

In a short discussion with James Watkins about the financial gap between he and incumbent Jay Inslee, “We can’t outspend them but we can outwork them.” He expects the gap to get much smaller after the primary.

Before meeting James Olsen for the first time, I asked an onlooker what he thought about the first time candidate. “He’s not afraid to open his mouth,” he said. In response, James smiled broadly and quipped, “Truth in power.” I imagine we will be hearing much more about James Olsen.

It was a productive weekend for conservative politics on the Kitsap Peninsula.

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