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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Washington state Republican convention

Sunday Spin: A choice at age 1

TACOMA — It could be argued that persons who bring small children to state conventions should be reported to Child Protective Services. But one might also admire a politician who shows up with his own baby to kiss, or to have as a reason for a celebration.

So Spin Control will not drop a dime on Michael Baumgartner, the current state senator from Spokane who would like to be the next U.S. senator from Washington. As is required for someone aspiring to such high office, Baumgartner and his campaign staff had a table in the hall outside the state convention and worked the crowd. Also in attendance were Baumgartner’s wife, Eleanor, and their son Conrad, who had the good or bad fortune to turn 1 on Friday.

Not to let an opportunity go to waste, Baumgartner enlisted former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton to help with a Gorton family ritual. On a child’s first birthday, he or she was presented with three items, a coin, a book or a bottle. The one the child picked up supposedly foreshadowed his or her future.

A coin meant they would be good at business; a book meant a scholar, and a bottle meant they’d be “sociable.” Gorton said he picked the book.

With many Eastern Washington’s convention goers watching, the three choices were placed before Conrad, who quickly chose the coin. Perhaps he’ll grow up to provide the financial support for a politician father, the elder Baumgartner said.

To be fair, it should be noted that young Conrad may have been swayed by something that happened a few minutes earlier, when he grabbed a foil-wrapped chocolate coin, and munched it long enough to break through to the chocolate. The actual quarter he chose seemed a bit of a disappointment before it was quickly removed from his grasp.

A deal at twice the price?

TACOMA — State conventions are always great places for campaign kitsch, from bejeweled elephants to catchy bumper stickers. The Tacoma gathering was no exception. One big seller was the Ron Paul chocolate bar, which featured the visage of the Texas Congressman surrounded by stars stamped on one side, along with the phrases “Champion of the Constitution” and “Dark chocolate standard.”

At $3.95 a bar they were moving well, a woman at the table said.

Romney supporters could get a range of gear, from tie-dyed shirts to a semi-personalized, red, white and blue campaign button, with their name sharing the circle with “MITT” for $3. The supporter’s name, however, was appropriately smaller.

Sunday Spin: Time not on their side

TACOMA – An axiom of academic politics is that they tend to be very nasty because very little is at stake.

The axiom can sometimes be applied to partisan or “real” politics, particularly at a time like this, when one major party is trying to get its president re-elected and the other has a nominee with all the delegates he needs to be the nominee. Why, then, would sensible people give up their weekends, travel scores or hundreds of miles, and argue over seemingly minute changes in obscure rules, like Saturday morning’s debate on  whether would-be delegates to the national convention should speak for 30 seconds or 15 seconds when making the pitch to fellow partisans that they should have the privilege of traveling to Tampa, paying exorbitant rates for meals and hotel rooms?

Such rule changes may sound as esoteric as the old apocryphal debate on . . .

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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