The second thought, which normally comes after the first one, involving the prospect, which is growing dimmer day by day, that our U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, could become Secretary of Interior, having already been passed over for Energy, is who would replace him, if by “replace” you mean purely in the congressional sense and not in any other.
We speculated about it here before. By “we” I mean Jake, Registered Voter and me. Someone named Gumshoe weighed in, too. Speaking of Registered Voter, RV is making appearances over at Lary Coppola’s “West Sound Politics” blog. Mayor Coppola has asked for contributors who are “thoughtful, informed, pragmatic, centrists, as opposed to partisan pinheads who can’t think for themselves.” If you fall into those categories and have a hankerin’ to see your name above the comments, he’s got instructions as to how to contact him.
Getting back to my multiple-comma’d statement about Inslee, some people threw out names. On Wednesday I asked state Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, whether she was interested in the gig should Inslee vacate. She said she was not. She said she had heard of lots of jockeying for position going on among some. There are those prepared to throw their reputations on the line by engaging in a three-month ordeal to become a member of Congress.
One name Rolfes said she heard was that of Rick Steves.
Steves is a world traveler and makes a living offering tips and tales of how to enjoy yourself in places where you can’t watch Magnum P.I. reruns or tell the talking sign that you don’t want a lemon in that.
Steves also has a political side to him. In 2006 he wrote on “The real threat to U.S. security” in the Seattle Times:
“So let’s try something different. Imagine if we required our military to manage with a budget no bigger than all the militaries of our hemisphere combined: That’s Canada — $15 billion; Mexico — $6 billion; everyone from there to Tierra del Fuego — about $16 billion. Round the total up to $40 billion. Add to that a healthy sum to support the United Nations and our allies in their peacekeeping work (say $60 billion a year). Grand total: $100 billion.”
He made headlines a while back advocating the end of marijuana prohibition.
I tried to contact Steves today about the speculation and have yet to hear back from him.
Alas, more stories are appearing about Interior, and more of them don’t include Inslee than do. So it appears Steves could have kept this whole Congress thing quiet had it not been for people talking. If Steves were to run and emerge as the top Democrat and Larry Ishmael the top Republican, you’d have two candidates who’ve done a fair amount of world traveling.