The Times endorses Sen. Maria Cantwell for her experience, competence and seniority on critical issues.
Seattle Times (Editorial) - Maria Cantwell’s experience, pragmatism and seniority make her the best choice to return to her U.S. Senate seat.
Those strengths are visible in the Democrat’s dogged work on issues important to Washington, including trade, energy and against media consolidation.
In the midst of a Congress overwhelmed or paralyzed, Cantwell is taking the long view on issues close to home. Credit her for persuading the Obama administration to embrace a national freight strategy that promises to improve mobility for cargo moving through local ports, protecting more than 1 million Washington jobs in freight-dependent industries.
Her challenger, Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, has some good ideas about tackling a bloated federal deficit and limiting U.S. military intervention abroad. To keep Social Security solvent, Baumgartner would support means testing or raising age-eligibility requirements. Cantwell says Social Security will be solvent until 2033.
Baumgartner criticizes Cantwell’s votes for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the current debate revolves around how quickly the U.S. leaves Afghanistan. His desire for an earlier exit than the administration plans is the right one.
Ultimately, Cantwell has the advantage because of tireless, state-based work in Congress. In his two years in the state Senate, Baumgartner has built a solid political record, including working across the aisle on some issues. He has promising opportunities in the state Legislature.
In two terms, Cantwell has earned her reputation as a workhorse. She has been a key presence in international trade missions and nimbly translates those lessons into job-friendly policies back home. She worked hard for Boeing to get the Air Force tanker contract. Cantwell smartly highlights the connection between aerospace jobs and necessary investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and employment help for jobless veterans.
She’s an independent thinker. Cantwell bucked her party recently to be the only Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee voting for fast-tracking Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. This would be a critical win for our trade-dependent state since it forces Congress to vote on a trade deal within 90 days.
Baumgartner has provided a credible challenge. But Cantwell remains the better choice.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.