Open thread: Governor's race

Tell us what you think of Oregon's gubernatorial race. How will it shake out? What impressed you? What disappointed you?

And, for your chatting fodder, ponder this "eating their own" post at NW Republican:

Saxton v Kulongoski: Kulongoski. I hope I am wrong and there is evidence that says I could be wrong. However this is just a bad year for Republicans and somehow Multnomah County will again pull this race out. One thing that has hurt Saxton is that the crazies on the right held out against him. Some of the more unstable bloggers in the conservative blogsphere made it their mission to provide cover for the anti-Saxton irrational crazies. Of course those bloggers tried to pass themselves off as not endorsing Mary Starrett yet their non action gave plenty of dry ground for the Starrett folks to get a little traction. Coming around to endorsing Saxton just a few days before the election doesn't help one iota. Well it helps this blogger to understand the blatant hypocrisy of the crazies. For just two months ago I was lambasted and called a sell out for doing the same thing. Hmmm.... Shoe? Other foot?

Discuss.

Comments

  • Sally (unverified)
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    Betting (albeit not my heart) on Kulongoski to win. What most impressed me was the name change -- to Ted -- a stroke of strategy, neatly carried off, that helped to imbue the governor with Personality and accessibility, traits not theretofore in evidence.

    Meanwhile, back at the Republican Ranch, Saxton and his campaign floundered.

    I'd say this one's been in the bag for at least a couple of weeks.

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    Huh? He's been "Ted" since his first run for office in the 1970s. Where have you been?

  • Sally (unverified)
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    Hmmmm. Really? In Southern Oregon mostly, but in the last season I was in Portland. I didn't remember the Ted Ted Ted folksy out-there guy. Seemed to me in the last campaign he barely showed up even for his victory party night-of. I worried about what the guy had been like on his wedding night. :)

  • Mike Austin (unverified)
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    It's always nice to see the opposition canabilizing (sp?) each other. Will Ms. Starrett turn out to be Saxton's Ralph Nader?

  • Rob (unverified)
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    Ted to win! Hopefully by a wide margin because he deserves it. The Governor provided the only clear direction for the state. However, I wish the campaign had done a better job of letting the electorate know more about all that he has accomplished. And it has been a lot. With any luck the legislature will be more functional and embrace the changes the Governor has proposed.

    Saxton couldn't find firm ground to stand on without pissing off one wing or the other of the political right. He had to come off as all things to all people because if he provided any specific plans he'd lose some support. At the end of the day he just couldn't convince people that they could have their cake and eat too.

  • Mary Oberst (unverified)
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    Hi, Sally-- Ted's wife here, assuring you that Ted showed up for his wedding night. I also want to (A)assure you that he has been "Ted" for his entire public service career and (B) remind you that Ted's last campaign featured lots of bowling events (how folksy can you get?)and (C) recall for you that Ted showed up on election night in 2002 at the Hilton at least twice in the evening and once the following morning. In fact, the real election-night party in 2002 was the following day, at a bowling alley, because the race was too close to call on election night.

  • Sally (unverified)
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    I don't share your view of Kulongoski, Rob, but I think you nailed Saxton. I would add only that it seems he tried to run as "I'm not Ted." That didn't even work for Kerry (arguably a weaker opponent) against Bush (a worse incumbent by about 43 million light years). It sure the hell wasn't enough to put Saxton over Kulongoski.

    Let all such campaign strategies beware.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Mary Oberst | Nov 7, 2006 1:40:45 PM

    Game, set, match.

    BTW, my prediction on the Governor's race, your other half by 3 - 5%

  • (Show?)

    I think Ted will win, though not by a lot. Despite an unenthusiastic base. Despite a thin four-year record. Despite a solid campaign by an opponent who was able to appeal to his entire party and a fair number of independents. Despite a thoroughly uninspired and unoriginal campaign. Sure, it was a bad year to be a Republican, and a third-party challenger putting the squeeze on his opponent from the right, but this really has me wondering if Republicans can win state-wide executive office in the foreseeable future. I'm thinking not. They're simply too divided on the social issues that the suburban conservatives aren't down with.

    I just hope we get the House so Mr Merkley and co. can send some decent legislation up the pipe. Because four more years of Ted won't be any better without it.

  • Sally (unverified)
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    I'm comforted to know that you were ... um, something other than, Mary. :) I hung on my TV set last election night. Seems the wait was very long for Mr. K to appear. Kind of seemed how the whole campaign went. I voted for him. His best vote-getter last go-round seemed to be Kevin Mannix.

    At any rate, the views that seem to "surprise" people here are common currency elsewhere -- in my experience.

  • (Show?)

    Sally,

    Ted and Mary are warm, friendly, steadfast believers in democracy who've worked hard during their entire marriage to serve the public good as Democrats. They are completely without airs. I recently witnessed a sweet moment at the Jackson County Democratic Headquarters in Medford between Ted and a Hispanic high school sophmore who called the HQ's to see if she could attend the After The Debate Party on 10/24. We welcomed her gladly. After Ted handed Saxton his hat in the debate he stopped by the party. The young girl was greeted by Ted who asked her several questions. At the end of the conversation, Ted put his fatherly arm around her and gave her a peck on the cheek. I witnessed the young lady jumping up and down out on the sidewalk excitedly talking on her cell phone. "I got to meet the Governor, can you believe it! He even gave me a little hug and a kiss." I'll quickly describe Ted's interaction with a new US citizen from Kosovo who found out all about Ted's family roots in Poland. The young man declared, "We are neighbors!"

    I don't know where you hang out Sally but I've met Ted several times. He never fails to impress me with his genuiness. If you ever have the opportunity to meet him you will be impressed as well.

  • MCR (unverified)
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    I've felt that Kulo had this one since Westlund dropped out, and I said it at that time. I think he'll win by at least 4 points, and I do not think that Starrett will get anywhere near the 6-7 points that some of the polls had her at. Maybe 4, probably more like 3. Had Westlund stayed in the race, Saxton would have probably cruised to victory with all three remaining below 40%.

    Right now, I'm crossing my fingers that Kulo will get to work with a Democratic legislature this time around, and maybe (seriously) get some things done.

  • Crackpot (unverified)
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    "Despite a solid campaign by an opponent who was able to appeal to his entire party and a fair number of independents."

    If you were referring to Saxton, you're way off the mark. Ron's support from the GOP base has been tepid at best. Oregon Republicans remained sharply divided over their nominee well after the primary election. Remove Saxton from the equation the Theocrat candidate (Mary Starrett) disappears.

    If Ted wins, it'll be because his base rallied behind him and got out the vote while Republicans chose to sit idly by and bicker amongst themselves.

  • (Show?)

    Here's my question: For years, it's been conventional wisdom that if Oregon Republicans could possibly ever manage to nominate a moderate, that they'd be a shoo-in for the gubernatorial race. Many of those folks named Ron Saxton as their dream candidate, but would lament that there was simply no way to get him (or those like him) out of their primary.

    Is Saxton loses tonight, does that put an end to this conventional wisdom? What does it mean for the future of the Oregon GOP? Do they have to find someone even more moderate? Or someone more conservative? Or give up completely, and work the legislative races? What's their path to statewide power, if there is one?

  • Sally (unverified)
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    Good question, Kari. It might be more about this candidate. He's the anti-Clairol candidate. The closer you got, the worser Saxton looked. Ran a bad campaign while Kulongoski's sharpened theirs up past (what many -- including Democrats thought was) anything accomplished as governor.

    Frohnmayer was flat-out a better candidate who lost only because of a spoiler. Starret isn't losing this one for Saxton. But the fringe of the Republican Party may continue to hurt it worse from the inside than you do from the out.

  • Coyote (unverified)
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    Kari, The conventional wisdom of which you speak is only conventional to the downtown Portland Republican set.

    Many of us have said that nominating a moderate would not work. Well we shall see.

    Sally, sorry but Frohnmayer was not a better candidate and if you notice the "spoiler" candidate that was in that race pulled double digit (18%?) support. DF was a disaster by every count.

    He actually ran AGAINST his party. Not a smart move. The odd thing is, is that Tim Nashiff supported him. Huh?

  • Sally (unverified)
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    You're right, Coyote. I should not have said that Frohnmayer was a better candidate. I do think he would have made a better governor.

    Maybe the new paradigm is that a good candidate will almost never be the one that you (or, I guess, I) would want to govern.

    I seem to recollect that cases have been made that this is now largely and widely so.

  • Martin (unverified)
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    Sally-

    I was at the 2002 Victory Party for Ted. (I was also there for Ted on election night 1982 when he lost to Atiyeh-oh yeah, he was Ted back then also). He was slow in coming downstairs because the race see-sawed back and forth all night. He came down once to say "stay tuned".

    The second time he came down more results had come in from Multnomah County and it looked like victory was at hand.

    Mary is correct-the best party was the next day at Grand Central Bowl.

    Tonight-the best party will be at The Benson. You should go watch Ted claim victory again.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    Mary,

    Thanks for jumping in here with the real info....now help me out here, did not Ted have some "Teddy K." bumper stickers for his 1980 run, to tag along with the other Teddy K. for President? Or am I totally mistaken?

    Kari, I have also heard many Indies and Rs say the same thing, give us a moderate R candidate, maybe a fiscal conservative, social moderate, and we can take the state wide offices. But I suspect that that particular CW is going to be proven false. I bet that Mannix's will have proven to be a much closer race than Saxton's.

  • Gordie (unverified)
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    How many months has Saxton been referred to as some sort of extreme conservative/right wing type, and suddenly tonight he's a moderate? He's certainly not waaayyyy right, but moderate? Please.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    Kari:

    I agree with the conventional wisdom you mentioned. If a Republican moderate could get through the primary, he would be very hard to beat. Saxton's problem is, in order to win, he had to move so far to the right he couldn't get back to the middle.

    The problem the Oregon Republicans have is their active party base is too conservative for the state as a whole. They need the moderates to assert control if they're going to have much of a chance.

    That being said, the election isn't over. Saxton may win. And then I'll eat crow and curse myself for not vounteering more time for Ted.

  • anon (unverified)
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    This thread is featured on the Oregonian's web site.

    Go First Blogger!

  • Garrett (unverified)
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    Many rural precincts are in and Kulongoski looks good there. He's running close if not ahead. That bodes badly for Saxton I would think.

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    Two notes based on the coverage.

    Vance Day, "Democrats have a contract on a America."

    Saxton camp says they are going to have a transition team up and running tomorrow.

    Kulongoski up by 20% with 25% of the votes counted.

  • (Show?)

    KULONGOSKI is being projected by KGW as being re-elected.

    Wow..so much for that transition team.

    KGW just mentioned the cherry farm debacle.

  • (Show?)

    KULONGOSKI is being projected by KGW as being re-elected.

    Wow..so much for that transition team.

    KGW just mentioned the cherry farm debacle.

  • Jess (unverified)
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    I had the pleasure of meeting both Ted K. and Mary Oberst when they came to OIT (in Klamath Falls) a few years ago (I think it was during his first campaign for gov, actually)...they were in a hurry and on their way out but they did take the time to stop and buy a potted Christmas tree from our Student Management Association sale. I was just surprised that Ted was a lot shorter than he looked on TV. laugh!

    They both were really nice even though they were in a major time crunch. I instantly liked them and Ted's gotten my vote ever since. ^_^

  • Justin (unverified)
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    Wow, the constitution party got more votes than the greens did. I think maybe its' time for them to give up if they're doing THAT badly!

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    And... in the end... it wasn't even close.

    Not. Even. Close.

  • Daniel James (unverified)
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    Congrats to Ted and Mary. They both make me proud to be an Oregonian, through their behavior and their public service. I was particularly impressed that they didn't have to run a smear campaign, like Saxton. Rather than talking about everything bad they could conjure up, Ted was reelected on his accomplishments. Now, that's the kind of politician I want leading our state.

  • Jim (unverified)
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    Congratulations to Governor Kulongoski!

  • (Show?)

    I'm sorry... did I actually see the word "worser" up there? We really do need to ramp up education spending in The Great State of Oregon. Even jokingly - that's NOT funny. Seriously, go back to grade school!!!

    I'm relieved tonight. For the first time in a long time it seems as if Oregonians finally - collectively - said to themselves... "DUH!"

    Sometimes that's all it takes. Congratulations, Oregon... for the first time in 18 years, you finally got it right. You won't be sorry.

    Ted said tonight that he would not take this victory for granted.... I'm going to go ahead and take that to the bank now.

  • Zak J. (unverified)
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    Math isn't really my thing, but the margin of victory for Ted is well beyond any votes that the Constitution Party may have siphoned from Saxton. Sorry, "NW Republican," but your theory doesn't hold up.

    In short, Mary S. didn't lose the election, Ron did it all on his own with his platform of W. Bush-style Reaganomics (tax cuts without service cuts = more check-dodging Republicans) and his inability to take stands on important issues like getting the National Guard out of Iraq and stopping TABOR.

    Thank God we have Ted again. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-ha!

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