The Idaho Democratic Party had a sweet post-primary victory rally on the statehouse steps yesterday. The Republicans usually do this, but they were conspicuously absent this spring. This may have been because top-of-the-ticket goober nominee Rep. Butch Otter was doing his real job in D.C., or it may have been that most of his fellow Republican heavyweights can't stand the guy the rank-and-file picked on Tuesday night to replace Otter.
The Democrats' speeches were great, really. Jerry Brady blasted Otter for his long love affair with Big Oil. Larry LaRocco was on fire, saying he'll work to eradicate meth use in Idaho and to raise the state's minimum wage. Larry Grant vowed to fight fiscal irresponsibility and corruption in Congress, and Jim Hansen called for an end to putting special-interest lobbyists in charge of health care, energy, and public lands policies.
But somewhere along the line, retiring Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb ambled by - and at least half the press corps momentarily left the Dems' gathering to go talk with the Republican leader. Of course the question on everyone's minds was: So how about that Bill Sali? Newcomb's reply: No comment.
Well, maybe so ... except Newcomb has already gone on the record about Sali, quite nicely, thank you. AK at The Sniff Test suggests that some entrepreneurial Democratic soul ought to print up T-shirts with Newcomb's famous quote about his party's nominee. Whatever Newcomb does from here on out vis a vis the Sali Problem, he's not going to be able to turn his back on this one.
The Idaho Democratic ticket gathers to kick off the general election campaign. Meanwhile (above), Bruce Newcomb dropped by to check out the action - and reporters follow.
Update: Longtime Idaho political expert Randy Stapilus has posted a sobering assessment of why Idaho Democrats may need a reality check about Bill Sali's chances of winning in November.