Press Talk: What they were thinkin'. Really!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor

Published:

 
photoLou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505 or lou.brancaccio@columbian.com. Twitter: http://twitter.com/lounews.

Hey, I just realized I have this strange power.

No, not that election-predicting stuff — although I did say Mayor Tim Leavitt would win with 52 percent, and he won with 52 percent.

That's chump change compared to what I'm about to tell you. I actually am able to hear what people are really thinking.

What the …

But why me? Was I teleported here from a distant galaxy? Was I bitten by a radioactive spider? Was I put on this Earth to right all the wrongs, plus dance late into the night?

Who knows.

Let me prove it to you. The other day, I was listening to this tribute to Vancouver City Councilors Jeanne Harris and Jeanne Stewart. Both of these long-term politicians got thumped in the recent election. And it ain't easy thumping entrenched politicians. Hey, stuff happens. But a tribute is not the time or place to detail that stuff. So, even though you might be thinking stuff, you keep quiet.

And that's where my new power comes in handy. Here, let me show you:

Councilor Bart Hansen to Harris:

"One of the things you taught me was don't have a knee-jerk reaction."

But here's what Hansen was thinking:

"Talk about knee-jerk reaction. If she had only taken her own advice and not imploded with that 'gavel down' silliness, she'd still be a councilor. And one more thing — and this is very, very important — I love firefighters! Can we get them more goodies? I love firefighters! Did I say that already? I love firefighters!"

Councilor Larry Smith to Harris:

"(You've) been a strong advocate of the city of Vancouver being a full-service city."

What Smith was thinking:

"What day is that Clemson-Ohio State game on?"

Councilor Jack Burkman to Harris:

"Tremendous job. Thank you."

What Burkman was thinking:

"Was that sensitive enough? Was that sensitive enough? I'm sensitive. Was that sensitive enough?"

Councilor Bill Turlay to Stewart:

"I really am going to miss you."

What Turlay was thinking:

"I really am going to miss you."

Mayor Tim Leavitt to Harris and Stewart:

"It's been a true pleasure serving with both of you on this council. You'll both be dearly missed."

What Leavitt was thinking:

"Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I'm free at last!"

I, of course, condone none of this type of thinking. It simply is not nice!

Now, is it possible that they weren't really thinking all of that? Well, to make sure I wasn't just using a tricky writing technique to get my own thoughts in here, I double-checked myself with something my bestie, Commissioner David Madore, said.

Yep, that Madore. Half of the M&M boys. Madore is the one who sneaked his good buddy — state Sen. Don Benton — into that cushy $100,000 county environmental services director job. Benton, of course, couldn't tell the difference between a CO2 footprint and a Wienerschnitzel footlonger. So I recently said to Madore — after an onslaught of cow patties ended up on his head because of the Benton hire — that surely he had second thoughts.

What Madore said:

"Sounds like you are stuck in the past and have not informed your presumption with the reality of the track record that exposes that fallacy. Self-evident truth speaks for itself if we welcome a teachable spirit."

What Madore was thinking:

"Do you have any more of those 'Don't Do Stupid Stuff' mugs? I'll take a case!"

I have to admit my powers failed on one guy. That would be Commissioner Tom Mielke, the other half of the M&M boys. Every time he says something, my "What he was thinking" power comes up blank.

Oh my!