Walking down a Statehouse sidewalk a few minutes ago with John Watts, newly hired as lobbyist for a collection of Idaho chambers of commerce, we spotted a familiar face running toward in the Statehouse in our direction: C.L. "Butch" Otter, the governor-elect.
It was a quick round of smiling and laughing - a standard Otter run-in. He turned to Watts and said, "Thanks for those nice comments you wrote to me." Then to us: "And thanks for those nice comments you're gonna write about me." And on our way.
Another person might not have put it over, or it might even have sounded a bit ominous; but there was none of that here. Otter is pure charm. He has the gift of instant likability to a degree most politicians will only ever wish for.
By way of those comments on this site about what he's doing, we'll all have to wait. Our standard is to give incoming officeholders a break between election and inaugural, and not pre-judge. We'll see how Otter, and his counterparts in other offices, do after they're sworn in.
But maybe a few comments about Otter's potential are warranted. Our take is that, even bearing in mind his flawed campaign in running for the job, he has the raw materials to fashion a strong governorship.