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

For unsolvable problems | Letter

For unsolvable problems The key to solving any problem is to understand… Continue reading

Non-addictive pain management | Letter

Dear high school student, If you get your wisdom teeth removed, take… Continue reading

A reverse mortgage may save the family home | Coming of Age… Again

The federal government has a program in place to help seniors through this process.

A faithful response to hate | Letter

In response to the fliers recently posted in the Kirkland area by… Continue reading

Hate has no home here | Letter

Recently it was brought to my attention that fliers promoting racism and… Continue reading

What happens when we believe | Windows and Mirrors

How an unlikely group of teenagers achieved success through the support of their community.

I am going all in on Initiative 1631 / Guest column

As a physician, few things are more gut-wrenching than watching a patient… Continue reading

Vote no on Initiative 1639 | Letter

As a woman, and a legal professional who assists women in domestic… Continue reading

Proposition 1 will focus on property crimes | Letter

Kirkland is proposing an important measure to advance public safety services in… Continue reading

Kavanaugh should be rejected | Letter

I find Republican caviling at the Brett Kavanaugh hearings baffling. For just… Continue reading

Having a ‘best friend’ ready to help you manage – powers of attorney | Coming of Age…Again

A power of attorney is easy to create and get signed but it can be abused.

Concerns regarding Bridle Trails growth | Letter

We live north of the Bridle Trails Shopping Center and we would… Continue reading