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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

February 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The wisdom of Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee-isms

Gov. Jay Inslee has a certain way with words.

During his campaign and first weeks in office, Inslee has gifted us with a collection of memorable quotes – some colorful, some quasi profound, some downright goofy.

Call them Inslee-isms. ™

Many of the new Democratic governor’s would-be aphorisms spring from a seemingly boundless optimism that leads to some pretty over the top phrasing.

Hence Inslee’s boast at a news conference last week that Washington is “the most innovative state in human history.” Furthermore, as he said at a debate last year, Washington has “the most precious environment in the history of the solar system.”

A satirical Olympia blog has compared Inslee’s constant cheerfulness to the “What, me worry?” slogan of Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman.

North Korea advancing its nuclear program? “All is well!” Inslee joked recently, quoting the movie Animal House.

Inslee’s sunny demeanor served him well during the 2012 campaign when contrasted with a cerebral but scolding rival in Republican Rob McKenna. It’s early to judge how it will play as governor.

Asked about his speaking style, Inslee’s spokeswoman Jaime Smith called her boss “inspiring and passionate in a way few public figures are.”

“When you listen to the sum total of his remarks, you are often left with a sense of having just heard someone who speaks genuinely and from his heart, not from a script or textbook,” Smith added. “He has a special gift for taking extremely complex policy issues and talking about them in human terms.”

In the spirit of better understanding the mind of our new leader, here’s a collection of some of his more entertaining statements, to be updated as needed. (Suggested Twitter hashtag: #Insleeisms)

“We do have a secret sauce here, and that is innovation,” ­Oct. 11, 2012 Seattle debate

“I’m a believer in the future. The future does pick winners.”Oct. 16, 2012 Seattle debate

“We’ve got the most precious environment in the history of the solar system.” – Oct. 2, 2012 Yakima debate

“We are the most innovative state in human history,” news conference, Feb. 13, 2013

“I’ve embraced moving forward so that everybody can move forward together…” The Stranger. Oct. 30, 2012

“This is where I raised three feral boys in the apple orchards near Selah.”Tri City Herald, Aug. 6, 2011

“I’m pretty sensitive to small businesses. I was one.”Oct. 11, 2012 Seattle debate

“I think we should start by accepting a no tolerance policy for violence in all its forms: guns, knives, clubs, fists or otherwise.” Oct. 11, 2012 Seattle debate

“The other party still seems to think that quantum physics don’t apply and the Earth is not warming, and the fires are not burning in Cle Elum and the waters not becoming more acidic that are making our oysters industry have to move to Hawaii, but all those things are happening, and the science is clear on that. That means by necessity, we’re not picking the science, physics is picking the science.”Seattle Times interview September 2012

“What we have to sell in the state of Washington is not always beneath our feet but it is between our ears and over our shoulder. And that’s brainpower.” News conference, Feb. 13, 2013

“I hope that people will take their rear-view mirrors off and begin to drive forward.” - Crosscut, Feb. 8, 2013

“I’m reminded of the scene with Kevin Bacon from ‘Animal House’ when he ran through streets shouting ‘All is Well, All is Well.’ I’d like to say that we don’t have to worry about this.” (News Tribune, Jan. 25, 2013, responding to question about North Korea’s nuclear program)

“A transportation package is going to be difficult because there is a tooth fairy but there is no transportation fairy.”  News conference, Feb. 13, 2013

Comments | More in Governor, homepage, Politics Northwest | Topics: Insleeisms, Jay Inslee

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