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Posts published in “Day: April 11, 2007”

Cantwell in profile

Maria Cantwell
Maria Cantwell

During last year's Senate campaign in Washington, the subject of Maria Cantwell as an office executive (in charge of her Senate office) and as a personality arose several times, resulting in an emerging image of a difficult and harsh boss and a wintry personality.

That subject was then raised by several people through individual accounts, leaving little real reporting on the subject. (We recounted these accounts last May.)

That gap has been filed now, somewhat at least, by a more nuanced portrait, "Mellowing Maria," in the Seattle Weekly last month. It has a fair feel because it does try for nuance: Finding truth in the accounts from last year and balancing them with other-angled observations. In all a more complex portrait, as realistic portraits of human beings tend to be.

Place marker, plus

Jim Risch
Jim Risch

Probably not a lot more than what's on the surface should be read into Idaho Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch's remarks to the Idaho Statesman today, that he'd be interested in running for the Senate seat held by Larry Craig, if Craig doesn't.

Craig and Risch aren't especially close, so - for example - this shouldn't be read (as some might) as an indicator Craig isn't planning to run again. Craig's intentions remain unknown.

But a few other thoughts might be worth mention.

In 2005 Risch had in mind a run for governor, and (so we read things now) he might have made that run except that, by the time he was moving toward announcement time, the bulk of money and support had been soaked up by now-Governor Butch Otter. A fine political strategist, Risch doubtless has no intention of erring the same twice.

At the same time, Risch is doing more than expressing interest: "Should [Craig] decide not to run, there is a reasonable likelihood that Vicki and I will get into that race." That's just short of a conditional announcement of candidacy.

It also may suggest that any plans to run for governor in 2010 - certainly Risch enjoyed the job, and got a lot of good reviews, when he held last year - could be fading. And it certainly should quash the around-town talk (which we never took very seriously) of a Risch race against freshman Representative Bill Sali.

Chat is on

Tonight once again, our regular Wednesday chat is on for 6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, accessible off this page. (Scroll down to the right to the “nickname” box, enter your name, click the button, and you’re in.) It lasts about an hour; feel free to jump in or out any time.

So far we’ve had enjoyable discussions with an eclectic group of people. Greg Smith, a co-founder, should be back on board this evening. Along with, well, who knows who.