The crowded field of Democratic hopefuls for president just grew one more last week. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee tossed his hat into the ring.
What separates this liberal politician from the other contenders is his focus and dedication to the climate change issue.
But this relatively unknown governor from the Pacific Northwest is most likely vying for the vice-presidential spot on someone else’s ticket. Like so many other proverbial also-rans with little or no name recognition, it is assumed Inslee will gladly take the number two position.
Yes, the number of candidates running has grown to ridiculous proportions, but by the end of the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary in early 2020, the crowded arena will dwindle to just a few viable options due to money problems and/or low voter counts. That will leave candidates like Inslee to rely on the national exposure they have gotten thus far and the hope a leading contender recognizes their potential as a running mate.
Governor Inslee may be such a choice for vice president. He is a westerner who by and large has a liberal agenda. For someone like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at the top of the ticket, he could take the heat off their early campaign rhetoric such as free Medicare for all Americans.
Inslee has made it clear that his candidacy will revolve around one basic issue: climate change. He feels it is central to many other issues including healthcare, national security, and racial justice. The correlation has many scratching their heads. Explaining this may take up most of his campaigning time.
While announcing his run for the White House last week, he said, “I am running for president because, unlike the man in the White House, I believe in all the people who make up America.”
Vanilla quotes like that will gain the 68-year-old few enemies making him possibly the ideal man to take the helm as the vice-presidential spot for someone far more controversial.
Inslee becomes the first governor seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He has the longest political resume of anyone in the race, yet few outside of the State of Washington know him.
In 1992, after two terms as a state legislator, he was elected to represent a largely rural, Republican-leaning, congressional district in central Washington. In Congress, Inslee attracted national attention by voting for the 1994 assault weapons ban, immediately making him a target for the GOP.
It is hard to imagine such an obscure politician from a rural area exciting the base of the Democratic Party. But his West Coast roots could be a viable offset to a staunchly East Coast liberal (Sanders, Warren, Booker, etc.) attempting to balance the ticket.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.