Election a wake-up call
December 3, 2012 · Updated 4:47 PM
Politically speaking, this was a year in which the Republicans should have made gains. Economic growth has been persistently sluggish nationally, and here in our state we have had an unbroken streak of Democratic governors dating back to 1985. Many voters were ready for — or at least ready to consider — a new direction for our state and nation.
On the national level, many voters have been disappointed with President Obama’s presidency. We expected hope and change, but ultimately got stuck with more gridlock and partisan bickering. Mitt Romney had been wildly successful in business and supposedly understood how to create jobs and get the economy back on track.
At the state level, Rob McKenna had spent his entire career in state government, in positions ranging from UW student body president to Attorney General. He had supreme command of the issues facing our state, and proposed specific policy solutions. If he wasn’t ready to lead our state, no one was.
Yet they both lost. The Republican primaries forced Romney too far to the right on many important issues, making it impossible for him to ‘etch-a-sketch’ his way back to the political center in time for election day. McKenna’s decision to join the lawsuit challenging Obamacare, along with his opposition to R-74 and I-502, likely cost him too many votes in democratic King County to win statewide.
So what’s the message here? Elections are won in the political center. The GOP must stop pandering to the far right, and it must moderate its stance on many social issues. Romney’s failed presidential bid and McKenna’s failed gubernatorial bid should be a wake-up call to Republicans.
Alex Jeffers, Bellevue