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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

From the GOP roll call

The Roll Call of the States, in which each state delegation reports its votes for presidential candidates, was once an item of high drama at a national convention when the nominee wasn't known before proceedings started.

Lately, however, it has been relegated to the "so what" portion of the convention, the non-prime time sessions when mostly political junkies watch the stream of people -- some in silly hats or costumes, others who look kind of familiar -- stand up and say "Mister Chairman, the great state of . . ." 

The roll call is usually done alphabetically, which means Washington comes in after some other state has put the nominee over the top and the well-orchestrated spontaneous celebration has taken place. So some people might've turned the channel before seeing State GOP Chairman Susan Hutchison say:

"The evergreen state, we are standing tall. Our beautiful state of volcanoes, the mighty Columbia River, vast wheat fields, and yes, often the national Christmas tree, also the proud home of the Boeing airplane company, celebrating its 100th anniversary this month, builders of the greatest jets in the world, we are named after the first president of the United States."

 Slate magazine rated the states for their roll calls, and Washington came in at a below average 32. Not clear if the staff knocked the Washington delegation down for the silly hats, that looked like green foam cut in the shape of an Evergreen and tied around foreheads with an elastic band, or the unnecessary explanation of whom the state was named for. Washington wasn't the only one to brag about Boeing, by the way. South Carolina gave it a plug, too.

Idaho did better in the Slate ratings, coming it at 13 for this brag:

"Where we have famous potatoes. Idaho is the most Republican state in the nation. We are so Republican that when we say the Pledge of Allegiance, it is to the Republicans for which it stands. Our entire congressional delegation is Republican, all of our statewide constitutional officers are Republican, and our legislature is 80 percent Republican. We are indeed a red state."

They gave the top spot to Connecticut, which bragged about manufacturing Pez and nuclear submarines. 

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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