The bus is unmissable: The McGavick tour machine is a bright red, just like the t-shirts some of the staff and volunteers wear, and like the buttons and frisbees. It's of a piece with the exclamation point, the effort to juice up energy.
It did some of that, partly because it was open and unscripted.
The extended statewide bus tour is a perennial in politics, for good reason. It does generate some energy, and it brings statewide candidates to places that ordinarily don't see a lot of statewide candidates. Places like southwest Washington's Cathlamet, where McGavick, the Republican nominee for the Senate in Washington, spent a couple of midday hours Thursday.
The day was longish to start with, out on the coast, and was scheduled to work through Longview and then another "open Mike" session at Vancouver, and then on the road again to Yakima (the candidate had an early Friday morning appearance there). The Cathlamet location was set up at the marina on the Columbia River, a spot pleasant when it began under cloudy skies and drizzle, and better when it turned sunny and warmer.
Hamburgers, chips and drinks were available and local volunteers had the structure of the event well in hand. But it should be noted, in this time of bubble candidates, that the event was as billed open. The people who showed up, just showed up: About a dozen students working on a civics project, about as many area supporters, and a few Democrats. A Democratic worker dutifully videotaped it all; McGavick pointedly noted that he'd become a fixture on the stops. (Give McGavick a point for not trying to kick him out; give the Democrats a point for being on the ball.) And Democrats, not just supporters or students, got to ask questions. (more…)