Share this story...
Jay Inslee Democratic debate, poll
Latest News

KIRO Radio hosts react to Gov. Inslee’s debate performance

Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during the first Democratic debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The first night of Democratic debates is now behind us, and featured Washington state’s own, Gov. Jay Inslee. How did it go for the governor? That depends on who you ask.

As Seattle’s Morning News host Dave Ross pointed out, Inslee got the “biggest cheer of the night” when he called President Trump the “biggest threat to America.” But as KIRO Nights host Gee Scott also pointed out…

“You can’t win when your messaging is so screwed up,” KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson said following that answer from Inslee. “Actually, he can’t win regardless of his messaging.”

The biggest struggle, though, was being heard on the crowded debate stage. After it was all said and done, Gov. Inslee took home a dubious title Wednesday night: He spoke for the least amount of time out of all 10 candidates.

“He won the Miss Congeniality award for sure — he was the nicest guy on stage. However, it didn’t win him any favors with the audience,” KIRO Radio Assignment Editor Jillian Raftery noted. “He had to raise his hand; he was trying so hard to get called on in class, but unfortunately they didn’t go to him.”

Suffice it to say, it was tough sledding getting a word in edgewise with 10 separate candidates vying for attention. Still, KIRO Nights co-host Aaron Mason saw Inslee’s politeness as a plus.

“I hate when people get confrontational and fight in this debate — ultimately this is the same team,” said Mason. “I appreciate when people stand out by being themselves, by being genuine, by being authentic, as opposed to trying to cut down people they see as their enemy.”

Inslee’s road to the debate stage

Inslee’s path to the debate stage was fraught with uncertainty, qualifying with just a month to go in late May.

The Democratic Party allows candidates to qualify for the debates in one of two ways: Gathering 65,000 individual donors, 200 of whom must be from 20 different states, or polling at 1 percent or greater in three national polls. Inslee has struggled with the latter since his campaign launched, ultimately qualifying on the former of the requirements.

After joining nine of his fellow candidates on a national stage, he continued to make it clear that climate change will be his primary campaign message.

Inslee remains the only 2020 presidential candidate to have earned an “A” grade from Greenpeace on climate change, followed by Cory Booker with an A-, and Bernie Sanders with a B+.

Most Popular