Photo by Matt Phelps

Photo by Matt Phelps

President, governor or retirement — only Inslee knows his plan

What we do know is that he’s off to Iowa in June to deliver the keynote address at a party fundraiser.

OLYMPIA — The political machinery of Jay Inslee is in pretty much full operation these days.

And it’s stirred up a spew of speculation on what Washington’s two-term Democratic governor will do in 2020.

Run for president? Seek a third term? Retire on Bainbridge Island?

His future is a source of renewed rumination because he’s heading to Iowa next month to deliver the keynote address at a party fundraiser.

He’s been invited in his capacity as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. In that role, he’s tasked with getting Democrats elected governor in as many states as possible and Iowa is one place it could happen this year.

Iowa is also where the journey to the White House begins. In just 19 months the state will hold the nation’s first presidential caucuses.

Even before the invite arrived Inslee had been getting mentions as one of a multitude of ambitious Democrats possibly thinking about maybe running for president. At the least, hanging out with the party rank-and-file and officialdom in Iowa will further polish his credentials as a player on the national stage.

Maybe it will even boost a sagging online effort to recruit him to run. Supporters started a petition and created a Facebook page. As of Wednesday morning, 48 people had put their names on the petition and 286 are followers of the Facebook page.

Back to the governor’s political operation. He’s emailing supporters as often as any serious candidate on the ballot this year. Some are pitches for money; he raised $40,391 in April. Many urge recipients to act on an issue.

It’s called digital organizing and keeps Inslee engaged with those vital donors and volunteers.

“It’s incredibly important, even in off-years,” said Jamal Raad, a spokesman for Inslee’s gubernatorial-presidential-aspirational endeavors.

Inslee hired Blue State Digital and Trilogy Interactive to steer the effort. Both are among the go-to digital firms for progressive candidates and causes.

Blue State Digital helped construct the data and digital infrastructure that helped U.S. Sen. Barack Obama build a movement and raise the money to win the presidency in 2008 and keep it in 2012. The company also worked on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.

Trilogy, according to its website, has worked for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., herself a potential 2020 candidate for president, as well as Everytown for Gun Safety, the Service Employees International Union and the Chicago Cubs.

To political insiders Inslee is executing the proper game plan to launch a campaign in 2019 for the White House or another term as the state’s chief executive.

While the Oval Office might seem out of reach at first blush, a third term in Olympia is not. If he declared today he will seek a third term he’s pretty much a lock to win it — and dash the desires of a certain attorney general and a certain King County executive.

The state’s economy is booming, which is a great thing for the governor. And there have been gains made on every plank of the Democratic Party agenda in his tenure, albeit some through the initiative process.

He certainly can’t take credit for every accomplishment. And in the bubble of the state Capitol, you will find bipartisan agreement that many legislative ones occurred in spite of Inslee not because of him.

No matter. Off the Capitol Campus, those advances celebrated by Democrats have happened on his watch and credit will accrue to him regardless.

It is the most high-grade fuel for his political machine driving his political future.

________

This column was first published in the Everett Herald. Jerry Cornfield can be reached at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield@herald net.com. Find him on Twitter at @dospueblos.

More in Opinion

OPINION: What’s wrong with happily ever after? | Windows and Mirrors

The world is filled with the negative; romance novels can be a way from taking a break from it all.

OPNION: Chatting with Congresswoman Schrier

Local columnist recounts experience at Womxn’s March in Seattle.

Roger Ledbetter
OPINION: A very pleasant surprise

A column by Valley resident Roger Ledbetter.

From left, KUOW’s “All Things Considered” host Kim Malcolm interviews New York Times journalist Jonathan Weisman about the rise of bigotry in the United States. Samantha Pak/staff photo
Combating bigotry | Windows and Mirrors

Author and journalist Jonathan Weisman visited the Stroum Jewish Community Center to as part of the center’s “Words to the Wise” series.

EDITORIAL: Communication is key to Valley Record’s success

Monthly meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the third Friday at The Black Dog in Snoqualmie.

Paying twice for their mistakes | Windows and Mirrors

Southeast Asians are at greater risk of being deported to countries many haven’t been to since they were young or have never been to.

A new year at King County Library System

Library director recounts successes of first year at helm.

Use outtages as preparedness reminder

When disaster strikes, you might be on your own.

Come together…but not just right now | Windows and Mirrors

We shouldn’t be coming together just during the holidays or when disaster strikes.

Answers to holiday recycling conundrums

A monthly column from Waste Management