Spin Control

Gov popped in on McCaslin

When Gov. Chris Gregoire made the trip to Spokane last Friday, the main purpose was a briefing on the MLK Day parade bomb. But the secondary goal was for Gregoire and the small contingent from Olympia to visit former State Sen. Bob McCaslin, who is in rehabilitation after having a leg amputated.

McCaslin, a Republican, and Gregoire, a Democrat, didn't agree on much legislatively over the years. But that didn't matter Friday.

"I was so proud of her coming to visit a retired state senator," McCaslin said today. "I gave her a hug and a kiss and she gave me a hug and a kiss."

Gregoire made the trip over for the bomb briefing with Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown of Spokane and Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla. She also brought along longtime McCaslin legislative assistant Mike McCliment, a particularly nice gesture, McCaslin said.

McCaslin won't be around for the legislative headaches over the short-term and two-year budget, but that doesn't mean he didn't offer some advice.

"I told them two words: 'Work together.' That's the only way you're going to get out of this." McCaslin was the last legislator around to work through the state's recession of the early 1980s.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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