LIVE from Spokane: A loud and enthusiastic greeting for Governor Gregoire
Whatever it is, I know I'm thrilled that the governor has such an optimistic attitude and a strong spirit. Like Patty Murray, Gregoire began by praising Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for running a historic campaign.
She told delegates that Barack Obama will be a partner for Washington State when he is elected as the next President of the United States of America.
And she didn't mince words about her opponent, Dino Rossi. "He pretends that he is an outsider who has never seen Olympia, Washington," Gregoire observed. She reminded Democrats that Rossi spent many years in the state Legislature and likes to boast of his days as the chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
"When I took office I inherited his budget. It was a two point two billion dollar deficit. We have erased the deficit," Gregoire declared to loud applause.
Gregoire touted the recent Pew study that awarded Washington State an "A" grade for government performance and effectiveness. She reviewed the progress that we've been able to make during her first term in office.
"Last year we saw the lowest unemployment in the history of the state of Washington...Forbes Magazine ranked us as one of the five best states in the country to do business," Gregoire said.
Scolding Rossi, she added, "When I took office, he was cutting 40,000 children off healthcare...Since that time we have added 84,000 and by 2010 every child in Washington will have healthcare coverage."
She dismissed Rossi's transportation plan as a fantasy and slammed his approach. In one of the best lines of her speech, she remarked, "He ignores transit alternatives and says, build more lanes".
I've been waiting to hear that dig for a long time. Well done, Governor!
UPDATE: The Governor concluded her speech by asking,
"What's the difference between my opponent and George W. Bush?" and answering rhetorically with a sharp, "Nothing!"
"If you believe we need to renew hope in his country...vote for Democrats!" Gregoire told delegates. "You are the storytellers," she said, urging activists to talk to neighbors and family about the election.
All in all, it was a solid, well received speech. Democrats are fired up and ready to reelect Governor Chris Gregoire this November.