Bar hopping is not my kind of social venture. But I did it on election night from Twist to Spitfire to Kells Irish Pub in downtown Seattle.
It’s adventurous, isn’t it? It’s part of my career even though I am not a drinker. I began this tradition when Gary Locke ran as King County Executive in 1993. Yeah, he too held his victory party in a tavern in Pioneer Square.
It’s the life of being a journalist. You go where the story is. And the candidates that my editor assigned me were Larry Phillips, Dow Constantine and Betty Patu. My colleagues covered Fred Jarrett, Ross Hunter and Susan Hutchinson. That’s very unusual for a small newspaper like us, doing the work like big guy the Seattle Times.
Compared to my editor’s job, who had to compile all the info from us, wrote the story and editorial, as well as put together the whole paper the next day, mine is relatively easy. Get a quote from the losers or winners and snap their photos.
It sounds easy, but in no way simple. The bar was packed not only with people, but emotions of excitement, anger, frustration, sadness, joy, and disappointment. That night, the candidates disappeared among the crowd and noise. When I found them, some were lost for words, out of exhaustion and the unexpected outcome of the election.
I developed empathy especially for Larry who lost the race with only 12 percent of the votes. But he handled the night well and many of his supporters lingered a long time even though it’s over for Larry.
The Asian community split its support between candidates Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips in the King County Executive race. I joked with Dow, winner of the King County Executive race, does it mean Asian Americans work harder in Dow’s campaign than Phillips?
Both sides’ supporters had big names and were passionate about their candidates. Some Phillips’ supporters were sensitive and competitive.
They accused the Asian Weekly of uneven coverage on the two candidates. Take a look at our story and judge for yourself. I actually appreciate readers telling us honestly to our faces rather than moaning behind our backs.
Larry’s campaign was not well run. Its television advertisement seemed second-class. Dow’s ad is much more effective. Not only was its message was weak, Larry’s face looked tired with eyes barely opened. He actually looks more handsome in real person.
Dow also scores points by having a Filipino American Jared Johnson in his campaign.
If Dow is wise, he will use Obama’s ’08 strategies, reach out to everyone including your opponents, independents and Republicans. Whatever works for Obama should work for Dow.
As for Susan, don’t just smile. It doesn’t get you far. Speak. Debate. Challenge the media. Make noise. Show toughness. Don’t disappoint us women.
Now that the primary is over. We can be more vocal about who we would endorse. Our endorsement of all candidates will announce two or three weeks before the general election online and in the print version.
Patu and Chin
Wilson Chin and Betty Patu are competing for Seattle School Board position of the South District. I know both candidates and like them. Wilson was at home on election night at home. You see, his son was going to China to study early next morning. A great father, he wanted to spend time with his son before he will be far away from home.