And then there were eleven. Washington Governor Jay Inslee is expected to enter the fray Friday as he announces his candidacy for the Democrat nomination in 2020. He’s all fired up to address a “real emergency”, climate change. Like others expected to enter the race (Biden, O’Rourke), Inslee has been coy when asked outright if his announcement will be soon. Last Sunday CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked the question on Face the Nation. She wondered if he’d announce this week.
“It could be as soon as that. And what we are seeing right now, and I’ve – I’ve been pleased by what I’ve been hearing across the country, that people do want a president that will act on a real emergency which is climate change,” Inslee responded.
Later he told NBC that he has made up his mind.
Inslee will be the first governor to jump into the race. While there is an abundance of U.S. Senators vying for the nomination, Inslee has both Congressional and gubernatorial experience, which sets him apart from the pack. He is hiring consultants from billionaire Tom Steyer’s super PAC NextGen America. It looks like climate change lane cleared when Steyer decided to not run himself.
Inslee, who is considering running for president, has hired multiple advisers who worked for Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer, as well as other veterans of statewide Democratic political campaigns. Inslee and Steyer share a longtime focus on climate change, though Steyer has previously announced that he would not run for president in 2020.
One problem may be that Inslee is a 68-year-old white man who doesn’t have a lot of name recognition. He’s not as old as Sanders and Biden and only a year older than Warren but older than the rest of the field. He’s kissed the ring of Barack Obama and is ready to roll.
In his zeal to push climate change legislation, he has twice tried and failed to increase Washington State residents’ taxes via a carbon tax so no doubt he would try to do the same on a national level. I wonder how he’d expect to be successful with Congress if he couldn’t get the job done in his own far-left state. He’s organized with other liberal states to live by the Paris accord, though President Trump negated the U.S. involvement.
Twice in the past three years, he has tried to persuade the state to adopt a relatively modest tax on carbon, once through the I legislature and once by referendum; both efforts failed. In 2017, Inslee joined Andrew Cuomo, of New York, and Jerry Brown, of California, to create the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states that have pledged to adhere to the provisions of the Paris accord, even if the Trump Administration did not. Inslee argued that this was important, pointing out that twenty-one states now in the Climate Alliance would form the third-largest economy in the world, were they to secede from the United States. “Which I am not advocating,” he said, grinning. “Yet.”
He accepts the New Green Deal as inspiration but thinks “the adults” need to be in charge. That won’t sit well with the far left wing of the party and especially the millennials who have been brainwashed to the point that AOC said the world would end in 12 years anyway as she introduced her manifesto.
Inslee praised the young climate activists who have coalesced around the Green New Deal for their energy and their emphasis on communities, often poor and of color, that are on the front lines of climate change. It was true, Inslee said, and it also might broaden the coalition. But he still seemed to envision that the movement would soon be turned over to the adults. “They’ve raised the ambition level. They’ve married this to environmental justice. Now it’s my job and others’ to put policy behind it.”
He’s supportive of doing away with the Senate filibuster. He calls it an antebellum tradition and sounds as though he admits that on the big issues, there is no consensus. Gov. Inslee may be surprised to see polling that shows the majority of Americans do not rank climate change at the top of the issues they consider most important when choosing a candidate. Also, it may be a bit awkward on the debate stage as most of the Democrat candidates have signed on to AOC’s fever dream of a fossil fuel-free world. Bless her heart.
A Yale University survey released earlier this year found that 38 percent of voters said a candidate’s position on climate change will be “very important” when they go to the polls for the midterm elections.
Voters ranked climate change as the 15th most important issue in voting when asked about a total of 28 voting issues in the poll.
Mr. Steyer’s billions have some work to do.