Inslee was never long for this world. Although he met the qualifiers to get on the debate stage at the end of last month—where he sported fetching Clark Kent-esque, black-framed glasses—he struggled to find his footing in a crowded field, except in my heart, and he faced an uphill climb to make the next one. While his run at national politics is over for the moment, he did announce that he’d seek a third term as Washington’s governor.
On a serious note, Inslee arguably did more than any other candidate to make climate change—which he reasonably views as the singular existential issue we face not just as a country but as a planet—an issue in the 2020 race. As NBC News wrote Wednesday night:
Inslee put out a detailed 10-year plan on how he’d move the country to clean energy, spurring other candidates to put out their own plans. Butting heads with the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, he demanded that the organization hold a debate focused on climate change.
The DNC rebuffed his pleas in June, but CNN announced soon after that it would hold a town hall on the issue with the candidates in September. Inslee, however, did not meet the polling criteria the network used for the event — a minimum of 2 percent in four DNC-recognized polls — and was not on the list of attendees the network announced on Tuesday.
And still, even in defeat, Inslee never lost his sense of (dad) humor:
Fare thee well, Gov. Inslee. May we meet again under happier skies.