“Who here wants to remove Patty Murray’s tennis shoes from Washington?” The packed house roared. Classic. It was a perfect Dino Rossi moment at the Community Center in Silverdale yesterday, as Rossi supporters came together for a final dash rally in the last week of their campaign. Tightly packed into an A-frame conference room, you would never have guessed that the race to unseat incumbent Patty Murray (D) was so dangerously close.
After a short but lively introduction by Representative Jan Angle of the Washington 26th Legislative District, Rossi charged the crowd with well timed and familiar talking points designed to keep his team passionately involved to the finish line.
Rossi championed a theme that “when government grows, your freedoms decrease,” and pounded incumbent Murray for her unapologetic authorship of massive new health care laws that are increasing costs and eroding the relationship between doctors and patients; reducing both choice and quality of services. He countered liberal rhetoric that Republicans were a “party of no” by emphasizing tax-free ways to improve health care. He cited that tort reform, competition across state lines, health care accounts, and volume bargaining by small business as ways to vastly improve healthcare without any increase of taxes.
Rossi focused on jobs, detailing his own expertise and what he has learned from business on the campaign trail. “Small business wants a modest tax, fair and predictable regulation, and then let lose to pursue the American dream,” he said. Government shouldn’t punish small businesses for being successful, but instead should enable them “so they can do it again and again and again!”
In closing remarks, Rossi left the charged crowd with two key messages. “The moral issue of the campaign” he defined as a political class that has borrowed, spent, and handed the bill off to their children. He wants to stop that. And his “final pledge” to supporters; “with your help November 2nd, when I become your next United States Senator, I am actually going to represent Washington State and not Washington D.C.”
Some observers might have found the rally predictable, but the undercurrent in the room was a story in itself. Folks were impressively undeterred by recent polls benefitting Patty Murray after local visits by Democratic power brokers. In a matter of days, Murray held campaign events with President Obama, Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and prior President Clinton. “How does that happen?” said one supporter. Another spoke with cautious optimism, “we have a week to go.” It was pretty clear leaving the event that the “hoots and hollers” to carry Dino signs was not an admission of anything about the future, except for success.
In the final week of this significant election year, I trust that you all are doing your part to support the candidates of your choice. I’ve written an article on phone banking that shows how easy it is to do, and sign waving is another easy way to help and have fun at the same time. But most of all, in the final days, remember to vote and encourage the vote. This is what will ultimately prevail.
Know your candidates and issues. Vote Smart. November is almost here.
Photos top to bottom; author Johnny Walker, Dino Rossi addresses supporters in Silverdale, Rep Jan Angel introduced event, enthused Dino supporter Jo Nelson