Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Maria Cantwell has represented Washington state well in the U.S. Senate.
Cantwell, a Democrat, has focused on economic and job issues critical to this state. Her steady work against unfair foreign competition helped Boeing win the Air Force contract for the refueling tanker.
Six years ago we endorsed Cantwell’s challenger, Repubican Mike McGavick, in what we saw as a razor-thin race. We did so because we believed McGavick was more likely to reach across the political aisle to build a bipartisan consensus that would help this country move forward.
We also felt Cantwell was too-often yielding to our state’s senior senator, Patty Murray.
But over the past six years Cantwell has grown as a lawmaker. She has proven herself to be an excellent fit in the Senate, which is the legislative body designed to look more methodically at the nation’s issues.
And she has also worked well with Republicans on key issues such as improving the economy and creating jobs.
Cantwell visited Walla Walla several times during her dozen years in the Senate. She has a clear grasp of issues important to Eastern Washington. We believe Cantwell has done a solid job of being a senator for the entire state.
Her Republican challenger, Michael Baumgartner, is incredibly smart. He earned a master’s degree from Harvard and is an expert on economics and foreign affairs. Baumgartner, who serves as a state senator from Spokane, is a consultant for the Pentagon who advises generals and diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Baumgartner is a free thinker who is clearly willing to buck his party. He is strongly opposed to the war in Afghanistan and he favors the legalization of marijuana. We agree with his stand on the war — it’s time to bring U.S. troops home.
While Baumgartner is impressive with his knowledge of some issues, his political skills need some polishing. Baumgartner can get overzealous in staking out his positions.
If he doesn’t win this Senate seat, he will return to the state Senate. We see that as an excellent place for him to hone his skills. Baumgartner has a bright political future ahead of him.
Cantwell is already doing a solid job in the Senate. She has grown as a senator over the past six years and we expect that to continue over the next six years.
Washington state has benefited from Cantwell’s work in the Senate. We urge voters to re-elect her to a third term.