Gov. Jay Inslee is heading east this week to campaign for the presidency. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins gave Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick an update on the governor’s bid, and what it could mean for Inslee now that billionaire Tom Steyer has entered the race.
“What’s notable is just how much time the governor is spending on the campaign trail,” Jenkins said. “If you want to run for president...you gotta get out there and press the flesh.”
Inslee is heading to the East Coast, with stops in New York and Washington, D.C., before heading back to Iowa.
He’s also preparing for the next debate, scheduled for July 28 in Detroit. While polls seem to be hovering around 1 percent to “barely registering territory,” Jenkins said, the campaign would argue his performance in the last debate upped his approval and recognition across the nation.
Meanwhile, his continued push for a climate-centered debate is gaining some traction with the Democratic National Committee.
“The DNC executive committee met last weekend,” Jenkins said. “They’ve now referred the matter to a full meeting of the DNC in August. So, no decision anytime soon. And it’s still far from a done deal.”
But Inslee continues beating the drum about it, including requesting supporters to sign a petition in favor of the idea.
And another candidate has entered the race with a strong focus on climate change: billionaire Tom Steyer. The liberal activist says he’s going to run on two issues: reforming the country’s broken political system and saving the planet from climate change. Steyer plans to spend $100 million of his own personal fortune to pay for his campaign, according to The New York Times. “It’s late in the game, Steyer isn’t well known nationally, so to meet the threshold for the next round of debates might be problematic for him,” Jenkins said.
And, he added, it’s worth noting that Inslee — and now Steyer — aren’t the only candidates talking about climate change.
Listen above to hear the full conversation.