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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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September 18, 2008 7:21 AM

The new blog

Posted by David Postman

The Seattle Times has a new political blog. Politics Northwest will be written by the Times political team.

I hope you all will become regular readers and commenters and help maintain the (mostly) civil tone we've had here.

This is the last thing I'll write for The Seattle Times. I also have a story in the paper today. It's about "Battle in Seattle," the new movie about the WTO protests.

I will be turning in my badge and gun cell phone today. I want to thank all most of you for helping to make Postman on Politics a success. There were many doubters when we went live in May of 2006. Some people said a blog without political opinion wouldn't work. Others said a blog that didn't allow curse words wouldn't work.

But it did work. And that's in large part a credit to those who came here each day to read and the smaller group that regularly left comments. I also appreciate the bloggers who linked to PoP as well.

It's strange to think that at the close of business tomorrow I won't be a journalist -- at least not for the next phase of my life.

I want to keep writing because when I hit "Publish" on this I'm done. But I'll resist the urge to filibuster.

Thank you all. It's been great.

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September 8, 2008 11:01 AM

Please stay tuned

Posted by David Postman

I have stepped away from the blog as I figure out what I'll be doing in my final weeks at the Times. I hope by Tuesday I'll be able to tell you what the future is for the Times political blog. There'll be some changes, for sure. But I'm confident there will be a politics blog.

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September 4, 2008 8:19 PM

The McCain speech

Posted by David Postman

What did you think about John McCain's speech? It seems that the talk last week about whether McCain would do as well as Obama pretty much morphed by tonight into comparisons between tonight's speech and the one delivered last night by running mate Sarah Palin.

I'm particularly interested in hearing from Republican voters who had been less than excited about McCain. And from my travels earlier this year, I think there were a lot of you out there. What do you think now? Is there some magic in that mix of McCain and Palin?

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September 4, 2008 2:38 PM

Another one bites the dust

Posted by David Postman

I’m leaving The Seattle Times. I’m also leaving journalism, at least for the next phase of my career.

I am going to work for Vulcan, Inc., the company founded and led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. I will be doing media relations for the company.

It’s an exciting change for me. It’s also a huge change. I’ve been a reporter since 1982. That’s the year I left my work as a restaurant cook to be a radio reporter. The job with Vulcan is the first non-journalism job I’ve applied for since those restaurant days.

I will have more to say later. But for now, I want to thank The Seattle Times for all the great opportunities I’ve had during the past 14 years. It really has been great. The paper and I part on only the best of terms.

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September 4, 2008 7:42 AM

Palin sets high bar for McCain

Posted by David Postman

Watching Sarah Palin on TV last night it sure seemed like she had won over the Republican faithful. And this morning the AP reports that she

has done in five days what John McCain has never been able to do — fire up the Republican Party's conservative base.

I thought Palin did a great job of delivering that speech. There was not even a small stumble or hesitation as she worked to introduce herself as a small town mom, burnish her credentials and eviscerate Barack Obama.

That’s a lot for anyone to cram into one speech. I think the Boston Globe has it pretty much right:

Facing concerns that she lacks the gravitas for the presidency, she chose instead to demonstrate that she has the wit, composure, and aggressiveness to be an effective vice-presidential nominee.

Continue reading this post ...


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September 3, 2008 2:47 PM

McKenna: Rossi needs McCain to win here

Posted by David Postman

Attorney General Rob McKenna is in St. Paul for the Republican National Convention. According to Bryan Bissell at politickerwa, McKenna told delegates that for gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi to win this November, John McCain and Sarah Palin need to win big.

Finally McKenna talked about the coattail effects of the McCain-Palin ticket, and suggested it had a crucial relationship to gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi's chances.

"If he carries it, Dino wins," McKenna said of McCain, and urged the delegates to work hard to at least keep the presidential vote close. "If he fails to carry it by ten or twelve points, Dino doesn't win."

That’s a tall order for a Republican presidential candidate in the Everblue State. When I traveled around the state earlier this year I heard Republicans say that Rossi would have some sort of reverse coattails that would help McCain do better in Washington.

Update: McKenna's campaign spokesman Adam Faber says that McKenna's point was that McCain needs to end up within 10 points of Obama here in order for Rossi to win. And, he said the 2004 election shows that a "Republican gubernatorial candidate can run far ahead of the presidential candidate in this state. Bush lost Washington by 7.2 points that year while Rossi and Gregoire were in an absolute dead heat."

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September 3, 2008 8:11 AM

Songs to save the farm

Posted by David Postman

The top-two primary last month was only the latest election initiative from the Washington State Grange. The old blanket primary was the group’s work, too. That was in 1934 when the agricultural group teamed with organized labor to push through an initiative to the Legislature.

That same year the national grange requested a song book “properly adapted to the use of Juvenile Granges and our younger members.” In 1935 this book, which I found at a local garage sale, was published:.

The book gives you a good idea of what the Grange was trying to do in the 1930s, with its songs about patriotism, God and the importance of agriculture. As Granges close down and we see farm land disappearing, its no doubt quaint - but poignant - to see these musical efforts to inculcate young Grangers.
grange.jpg

This is the first verse to “Stay on the Farm,” by Jas. L. Orr.

Come boys, I have something to you, Come near, I would whisper it low;

You’re thinking of leaving the homestead, - Don’t be in a hurry to go.

The city has many attractions, But think of its vices and sins;

When once in the vortex of fashion, How soon our destruction begins.

Stay on the farm, boys, stay on the farm, Tho’ profits its come in rather slow.

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September 2, 2008 1:06 PM

America gettting close-up view of Alaska politics

Posted by David Postman

There is a lot of chatter in the trans-continental Internet Tubes this morning about the Alaskan Independence Party and what role Gov. Sarah Palin has played with the group. The party is described as an Alaskan secessionist movement and sure comes off in most reports as a fringe group with right-wing tendencies.

Brendan Kiley - doing a bang-up job in Minneapolis - writes:

Coming from a family of southerners, I learned early on that “state’s rights” is code for opposition of integration and abortion.

But there’s no code in Alaska. The AIP is for state’s rights as in they want the state to secede from the nation. Well, they’re quick to say they really don’t want it to secede, but want a vote on that issue. And they want the federal government to give the state all the millions of acres of federal land in Alaska. And the party’s motto is “Alaska First - Alaska Always.” (John McCain’s motto is “Country First.”) AIPers may not like abortion or integration either. But that’s not what this party is about.

The former Alaskan in me was at first defensive about all the attention given the AIP and the view that it was some sort of frozen, northern nut roll. I was covering politics in Alaska in 1986 when AIP founder Joe Vogler ran for governor on the AIP ticket.

Continue reading this post ...


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September 1, 2008 8:42 AM

Gustav hits as far north as St. Paul

Posted by David Postman

The Republican National Convention will open as scheduled today. But it appears it'll be a far different sort of convention than originally planned. From Politico:

Convention planners said for the first time that they expect McCain to accept the nomination in person, in St. Paul. They had considered a remote appearance from the Gulf coast. ...

Delegations were not being asked to cancel events, but were urged to make them “appropriate” and to use them to sign up volunteers for the comfort package work on Wednesday and Thursday.

A visit by Vice President Cheney was scratched, as was a primetime appearance by President Bush, who flew to Texas to check storm preparations instead.

There's no doubt that there are public relations aspects to some of these decisions. That's not to discount the sincere, compassionate reasons as well. But now the convention will go ahead without appearances by a very unpopular president and vice president. The very "business-like" convention means that McCain does not have to compete directly with the massive crowd that watched Barack Obama accept his nomination last week.


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Recent entries

Sep 18, 08 - 07:21 AM
The new blog

Sep 8, 08 - 11:01 AM
Please stay tuned

Sep 4, 08 - 08:19 PM
The McCain speech

Sep 4, 08 - 02:38 PM
Another one bites the dust

Sep 4, 08 - 07:42 AM
Palin sets high bar for McCain

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