Clinton finds time for state Dems


Herald Writer

SEATTLE – President Clinton has canceled many trips around the country so he can deal with recent events in the Middle East, but on Saturday he didn’t let down his “good friends” Jay Inslee, Maria Cantwell and Gary Locke.

He stumped for the three Democratic candidates for about four hours at the Westin Hotel in Seattle on Saturday evening, raising nearly $500,000 for Inslee and Locke. Cantwell is not accepting party money.

The Locke campaign said it would be Clinton’s last trip to the Northwest as president.

“We know you have taken time from a very traumatic world to be in our Washington,” Gov. Locke told Clinton. “We know the events of the Middle East weigh heavily on your heart.”

Clinton announced that instead of making an appearance in Portland, Ore., today, he will be flying to the Middle East for a Monday summit with Egyptian and Palestinian leaders. Dozens of people have died in the violence of the past two weeks in that region, and 17 sailors were killed Thursday in an apparent terrorist attack against the USS Cole while it was in port in Yemen.

At an intimate reception for Cantwell before Saturday’s main events, Clinton told a group of about 50 mostly minority leaders that he wanted to come to Seattle for several reasons.

“First of all, I’m profoundly grateful to the people of the state of Washington. You’ve been very good to me and Al Gore. The second reason I wanted to come is because I feel a special debt of gratitude and a special bond with Maria Cantwell.”

Clinton noted repeatedly throughout the night that Cantwell, a high-tech executive from Edmonds who is running for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Slade Gorton, had voted for his economic plan when she was in Congress.

“I’m telling you it was all on her shoulders,” he said. “We carried that thing with one vote.”

At a reception for Locke, which cost $100 a plate for appetizers, Clinton heaped praise on the incumbent governor and his wife, Mona Lee Locke. The governor faces a battle from Republican challenger John Carlson.

“They embody my idea of where we’re going as a country,” he said. “Indeed, all of Washington state does. You are the most connected state to the global economy, and one of the most wired states in America.”

Later, at a $1,000-a-plate dinner for Locke and Inslee, he thanked Inslee for a vote against assault weapons.

Clinton verbally welcomed Rick Larsen, a Democrat who is in a very tight race with Republican John Koster in the 2nd Congressional District, which runs from Mukilteo north to the Canadian border. But he only stumped for Inslee, a Bainbridge Island Democrat who had a healthy lead in last month’s primary over Republican Dan McDonald in the 1st Congressional District, which includes the southwest corner of Snohomish County.

Both races are considered top national priorities for both parties.

The Middle East wasn’t the only current event on Clinton’s mind. The baseball playoff game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees was just about to start Saturday afternoon when Air Force One flew over the packed Safeco Field. Clinton later joked several times about how impossible it was for him, at this point in his life, to support the Mariners.

“First I want to say congratulations to the Mariners,” he said. “But I hope you’ll understand that since I have more than a passing interest in the Senate race in the state of New York, this may be the only issue in eight years I don’t side with you on.”

After the Westin appearances, Clinton left for a fund-raiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s U.S. Senate campaign at the home of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

The hundreds of Democrats who shelled out big bucks for the events got a lot for their money. Clinton’s speeches at both events lasted more than half an hour.

“Our challenge is to generate turnout,” said state Democratic Chairman Paul Berendt, on his way from the reception to the dinner, “and no one gets Democratic juices flowing like Bill Clinton.”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Report of downed hot air balloon turns up farmer’s tarp near Snohomish

Two 911 callers believed they saw a hot air balloon crash, leading to a major search-and-rescue response. It was a false alarm.

A few weeks before what could be her final professional UFC fight, Miranda Granger grimaces as she pushes a 45-pound plate up her driveway on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Her daughter Austin, age 11 months, is strapped to her back. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Daily Herald staff wins 5 honors at annual journalism competition

The Herald got one first-place win and four runner-up spots in SPJ’s Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

Most Read