Skip to comments.Meet Michael Baumgartner, the 'pragmatic conservative' who plans to challenge Cantwell (WA)
Posted on 05/11/2012 9:22:47 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
Who will be on the ballot against Sen. Maria Cantwell a year from now? Maybe Michael Baumgartner.
Haven't heard of him? He's from Spokane. He's not quite 36, one of four new Republican state senators elected in 2010. He stands out for several things. One is his victory a year ago over the incumbent, Chris Marr, in the most expensive such race in state history. It was big news in Spokane.
"People said, 'You've been away. Nobody knows you,' " Baumgartner recalls. He had been away, and Marr tagged him as a carpetbagger.
Baumgartner grew up in Pullman. His father was a professor of forestry at Washington State University and his mother was a kindergarten teacher.
He has lived an international life. In his school years, Baumgartner studied during summers in Jordan, Syria and Kuwait. At WSU, his economics degree was earned after a year in France. After graduation, he did a year with the Jesuits in Mozambique.
While working on his master's in public administration at Harvard, he had projects in Malaysia and Nepal. After graduation, he worked in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
In 2007, he signed on with the State Department in Iraq, and after a year of that he worked for a contractor in an anti-opium program in Afghanistan.
In Helmand province he met the woman he married. She's British.
Some Republicans are proud of their insularity. Not this man.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
I realize that this is an old article and the term “pragmatic” is not reassuring. But this guy is very smart and he has fire in his belly and he won his current post (state Senate) in a major surprise. Also, he has spent considerable time in the Middle East and has a more in-depth understanding of how they think than most people. Given the troubles in that part of the world, his knowlege would be very valuable.
This is an outlier race, second tier at best. I want to remind political historians on FR (you know who you are) that in 1980, a lot of U.S. Senate races saw second tier and even third tier Republican candidates surge at the last minute and win upset victories. It could happen again.
What does “pragmatic” mean?
Real conservative do not need modifiers.
“Pragmatic” usually means wishy washy.
It’s written by aconfused newspaper reporter, NOT the candidate or his campaign.
I don’t know much about the guy, but I’ll take him. It’s my understanding that eastern Washington is generally very conservative, but Seattle/King County usually just has too many Democratic votes when it comes to most statewide races.*** If Cantwell could be replaced with a Scott Brown-type, I’d be happy for the improvement.
*** (Washington State FReepers, feel free to correct me if I have it wrong about your state’s political map.)
Pragmatic = Progressive = Socialist.
I don’t know about that last part. Many of the GOP Senate candidates put up in 1980 were top tier (with a few notable exceptions, such as, oddly, in the Cranston challenger in California with 68-year old Paul Gann, who was even older than Cranston). We also have the problem that many states will not vote for GOP Senate candidates today (unless under unusual circumstances), unlike in 1980, where we were competitive in almost every state.
I wouldn’t say many states are non-competitive in Senate races, IF we have a first-tier candidate and/or there’s no entrenched incumbent running.
It was a special election but we got one in MA and now that’s he’s in he’s poised to be reelected.
We’ll see how well Lingle does in Hawaii, I don’t think she’ll win.
Steele did pretty well in Maryland in a very bad year, but that state seems to be going south and getting even more rat.
Mega Rino Castle would have easily won Delaware in 2010.
Douglas could have put VT in play, much like Lingle.
Baumgartner I doubt will be in this, I wouldn’t even put this as a second tier race I’d have to call it safe rat without some evidence otherwise. If Rossi couldn’t beat the imbecile Murray in 2010....
Your overall point is good, but sometimes a little-known candidate comes out of nowhere to score an upset. Baumgartner strikes me as that kind of candidate. As for ideology, I imagine his voting record would be similar to Slade Gorton, the last Republican U.S. Senator from Washington state.