August 26, 2008 in City

Medal time is over: Bring on Gregoire and Rossi

By The Spokesman-Review

The 2008 Olympics ended Sunday with glorious bursts of digitally enhanced fireworks, lip-synced warbling and Chinese drummers floating through the air for no apparent reason.

Thank God it’s over.

Hey, I loved the Olympics as much as anybody, but when they start airing circus acts like rhythmic gymnastics, I knew we’d hit the bottom of the Beijing birdcage.

The good news now the games have ended is that Americans can finally shed all that global “love thy neighbor” bunk and refocus on our No. 1 spectator sport.

Namely, that infected ingrown toenail we call party politics.

Yes, it’s election season in the good ol’ U.S. of A. And for us jackals in the media, nothing is more entertaining than watching Democrats and Republicans carve each other up with broken bottles like a cowboy saloon brawl.

But as rancorous as Obama vs. McCain is certain to be, I’m more excited by our own cage match right here in Washington state.

Gregoire-Rossi II.

Hoo-boy! No one was more ecstatic than I to see Democrat Gov. Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi emerge as the top two governor vote-getters in the recent primary election.

Their gubernatorial redux should be better (and by better I mean gorier) than all the “Rocky” sequels combined.

How much do Democrat Chris Gregoire and Republican Dino Rossi despise each other?

If Gregoire were on fire …

Rossi would have the governor cited for violating the outdoor burn ban.

If Rossi were ablaze …

Gregoire would wait until the flames died down. Then she’d sit around the glowing Dino embers, singing camp songs and making s’mores with her staffers.

The contempt between these two was cultivated by what happened four years ago.

To recap:

Rossi won the governor’s race on the first count by 47 votes.

Then a suitcase filled with uncounted ballots was mysteriously discovered stuffed behind a sofa in a storage shed on the outskirts of Tukwila.

Another count was made. Lo and behold! Gregoire had hopped ahead of Rossi by 129 votes.

(Or 169 votes if you count ballots cast by Death Row inmates and registered dead Democrats.)

Rossi supporters went berserk. In protest, some Republican precinct leaders actually kicked off their white shoes and tore at their polyester clothing.

The matter finally wound up before a judge where Rossi passionately presented an eloquent case for his victory. Then, after the applause and cheers died down, Rossi was told by the judge, “You idiot. This is traffic court.”

So for the last four years Rossi has been throwing darts into photographs of Gov. Gregoire and plotting his political revenge.

It’s easy to see where this election redo is heading.

Across the state, Rossi-for-governor billboards are popping up that say: “Don’t let Seattle steal this election.”

This is a revision of Rossi’s original sign, which read: “Don’t let She-Devil steal this election.”

Surprisingly, however, it was the state Democratic Party that drew first blood.

This happened earlier this summer when the Dems released an anti-Rossi video that featured the theme song from “The Sopranos.”

Italian-Americans cried foul, claiming that a musical reference to a popular TV show about the Mafia could only be construed as cheap shot against Rossi’s mob connections.

Personally, I’d take Tony Soprano for governor any day of the week. True, Tony has a few anger management issues, but an occasional whacking or two strikes me as a small price to pay if we could just elect someone to LOWER THE FREAKIN’ TAXES!

Let’s face it. Gregoire hasn’t exactly been the strongest governor. In fact, the most decisive act in her entire first term was when she changed her name from Christine to Chris.

Big deal. If Gregoire wanted to prove her leadership she would have changed her name to, say, Clarence.

Anyway, the Dems predictably wimped out. They pulled the “Sopranos” music and so far haven’t come up with a suitable song bomb to drop on Rossi.

A politically astute pal of mine, noting Rossi’s rather diminutive stature, offered one possibility:

Randy Newman’s “Short People.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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