Republican Clint Didier has been trying to get former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to headline political rallies or fund-raising events for him since she endorsed the former NFL player’s U.S. Senate candidacy in May.
In June, Didier campaign advisers told POLITICO that Palin described herself as “all in” for Didier. They hoped to schedule two Palin events, one in Eastern Washington and one on the west side.
Last month, when I visited Didier on his farm near Pasco, he said he still expected Palin would do an event for him before the primary. That could have given his underdog campaign a needed boost to get past GOP establishment favorite Dino Rossi and take on Sen. Patty Murray in November.
But with just a few days before primary ballots are counted Aug. 17, a Palin visit isn’t looking likely.
Didier had been trying to get Palin to commit to an event Saturday.
But Didier campaign consultant Kathryn Serkes told me via e-mail today that event “looks like a no… we can’t wait any longer to plan, so will plan without her.”
In an interview Wednesday, Serkes attributed the difficulty to Palin’s hectic schedule. “She gave her word and she’s doing the best she can. We know that,” Serkes said.
Serkes said Palin did agree to record a personal message that Didier can use in statewide robo-calls to voters.
But as of Thursday afternoon, that hadn’t happened yet.
And that should be no surprise. Sarah Palin’s belief in a strong national defense stands in strong contrast to Ron Paul’s isolationism. Admittedly, Palin has endorsed Paul’s son in the Kentucky Senate race. But Rand Paul has “gone clean for Gene” and backed away from his father’s more controversial foreign policy viewpoints. Didier, on the other hand, has drank deeply from the Paul Kool-Aid, even calling the war in Afghanistan illegal.
A KING5/SurveyUSA poll conducted just as Washington voters have “top two” primary ballots in their hands (all but one of 39 counties are vote-by-mail) finds incumbent Patty Murray and Republican challenger Dino Rossi poised to move ahead to the November U.S. Senate general election by wide margins of 41% and 33% respectively .
Self-appointed Tea Party candidate Clint Didier only garners 11% total support, with a mere 24% of those with a favorable opinion of the Tea Party backing Didier, versus 56% for Dino Rossi. Rossi also leads in Didier’s native Eastern Washington by a 35%-21% margin.
Didier’s “running mate,” Republican Paul Akers only polls 5%. The “joint campaigning” idea that Didier and Akers announced a couple of weeks ago does not seem to have produced any results, other than, as predicted, splitting the vote between the two men.
Didier’s lurch to the far right libertarian policies of Ron Paul has alienated many traditional conservatives in both the Tea Party movement and Eastern Washington who favor free trade, a strong national defense, and victory in the War on Terror. And Didier’s “angry white man” routine has turned off voters, as expected, in more urban Western Washington, where he only receives 8% support.
Efforts by the sham pro-life Washington Life Coalition to smear Rossi as soft on abortion have also failed, with Rossi garnering 52% of the pro-life voter support, versus just 17% for Didier. Ironically , that is the same amount for strongly pro-choice Patty Murray.
Self-proclaimed champion of the Tea Party, Clint Didier has consistently proclaimed that he is the opposite of the “politics as usual” that have so many Americans frustrated and angry. So in a fitting epitaph to his failed U.S. Senate campaign, Didier has just released a negative video ad attacking fellow Republican Dino Rossi so full of lies and half-truths, it would warm the heart of the most left-wing Democrat:
Even the Seattle Times had to rebut this nonsense:
The piece is pretty blatantly misleading on one of its main contentions.
It claims Rossi didn’t cut spending to deal with a budget deficit – that he instead “raised taxes” – referring to a five-cent gas tax increase approved that year.
But the gas tax isn’t even part of the general state budget that Rossi was charged with crafting. The state gas tax is dedicated to a separate roads budget. Rossi did vote for the nickel increase that year, along with many Republicans — it marked the first time the gas tax had gone up in a decade.
And the budget Rossi helped write – he had to compromise with then-Gov. Gary Locke and Democrats who controlled the state House – did cut make cuts to state spending.
Will Dino Rossi counterattack? No. He told a group in Pullman on Friday that he doesn’t run against Republicans. He is a firm believer in Reagan’s 11th Commandment.
So is this what the Tea Party has come to? More of the same old negativity? Devouring our own while the leftists sit back and laugh? Didier has just proven himself to be like every other politican, willing to do or say anything to get elected.
Goodbye Clint. And good riddance.
Patty Murray is in big trouble.
The Hillyard section of Spokane was built to house workers of the Great Northern Railway. As a result, it acquired a reputation as a rough neighborhood that it maintains to this day. Per capita, Hillyard is the poorest neighborhood in Washington state. The decaying buildings have changed little since the Great Depression. It almost feels like a movie set.
Hardly the place you would expect to find the man described as a heartless millionaire real estate broker and the tool of wealthy Washington, DC/Wall Street fat cats.
But on Saturday morning, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi walked in the parade that was part of the 99th annual Hillyard Festival. No other Senate candidate was on hand.
Rossi, dressed casually in jeans, worked the crowd like a man running for city council, not the Senate. Walking from one side of the street to the other, Rossi extended his hand to everyone he could get to and greeted them with, “Hi, I’m Dino.”
No introduction was necessary.
People instantly recognized the two-time gubernatorial candidate. They were surprised he was there in person, not just being represented by flunkies. I overheard people saying, “That’s really him,” “Look, it’s Dino,” and “I can’t believe he’s here.”
And how did the the crowd in this largely Democratic community react to Dino Rossi?
Like a rock star.
Breaking news from the Associated Press:
Republican Dino Rossi raised nearly double the amount of money that Democratic Sen. Patty Murray did last month, but he still has less in the bank in his effort to oust the three-term incumbent.
New campaign finance reports released by his campaign Thursday afternoon show Rossi raised $573,672 last month, compared to the $293,486 raised by Murray during the same period.
Murray, who is seeking a fourth term in the U.S. Senate, spent about $3.9 million last month, most of it for advertising. Rossi spent about $152,000 in July.
Rossi has about $1.8 million in the bank, compared to Murray’s $3.2 million.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Washington to raise money for Murray on Aug. 17, which is primary election day.
Rossi raised more than $517,000 in individual contributions, and brought in an additional 56,500 through political committees. Murray had only $265,000 in individual donations, and another $37,000 from political committees.
It’s probably worth pointing out again that Rossi raised almost as much in one month as his Republican opponents Clint Didier and Paul Akers have during the entire campaign.