Jay Inslee for President? Climate change his hot topic but labor record haunts
Washington Governor, who is toying with the idea of running for president, is a fabulous retail campaigner with a notable record on an issue -- climate change -- important to the Democratic voters, notes Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat. But will Inslee's selling of labor down the road in order to keep Boeing in Puget Sound prove his Achilles heel when going head-to-head against other Democratic candidates?
Writes Westneat about a possible Inslee candidacy:
In one sense, this is exciting, as our mossy, out-of-the-way state hasn’t fielded a serious presidential candidate for 42 years, when the late Henry “Scoop” Jackson won a couple of presidential primaries against Jimmy Carter in 1976. But is it legit? What would happen if the little-known Inslee started storming through the barns of Iowa for the first presidential caucuses, scheduled for about 14 months from now? Would he have a chance?
Inslee can argue he saved Boeing, and that he really had no choice. But the deal fatally didn’t include job guarantees, andBoeing later drained away nearly 20,000 jobs. Plus the deal put the Machinists union in a vise, pressuring it into canceling worker pensions (as Boeing insisted on in addition to the tax breaks). Organized labor was stillso mad at Insleemore than a year later that it uninvited him from its state convention.
Corporate breaks are if anything more radioactive to the left now than they were then. Imagine the mincemeat that, say, a Bernie Sanders could make of all this: “You signed the biggest corporate giveaway in history, and you lost the workers their pensions? That’s the kind of politician we’re trying to get out of the White House.”
Here's the link to Westneat's full column.