JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Gov. Inslee’s presidential hopes just went down in flames

Nov 8, 2018, 6:02 AM | Updated: 12:25 pm

jay inslee...

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. (AP)

(AP)

Governor Jay Inslee will not be president. After his embarrassing carbon tax loss, Inslee won’t even be taken seriously as a viable option for a party that has plenty of higher profile options to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Inslee has been traveling the country — and important states with early presidential primaries — floating himself as the environmental candidate. He’s the one who will help end climate change! He will take on big polluters! He can get the job done!

Only he can’t.

Inslee championed I-1631, which would have imposed a carbon tax on some polluters, while increasing taxes on Washingtonians. It failed decisively, and with it, any legitimate prospects that he could even become a longshot’s longshot in what will be a crowded 2020 field.

Running on an environmental message is tough enough. Frankly, it’s a losing issue; one voters say they care about, but is nowhere near their top few issues that will influence their vote. But Inslee can’t pass a pro-environment agenda in blue Washington. What makes anyone think he’d be a leader on a national stage?

He and his allies will blame big money influencing the election. In other words, he’ll argue you’re too dumb to see through slick campaign ads (though, simultaneously, they’ll credit you for passing the anti-gun I-1639, a campaign bought-and-paid-for by three Progressive one percenters). This isn’t a good excuse. You see, real leaders can push their message, despite big dollars, if their message is as strong and their leadership.

Inslee is no leader. He spent much of the campaign outside of Washington, focusing on his own future presidential hopes, forgetting to focus on his signature issue here at home. And, consequently, he managed to ruin his legacy here and his future outside of the state.

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RELATED: Why do Washingtonians keep voting down carbon fees?

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