Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Political Desk: The Ground Game

The color of this year's primary is blue. You can see it in the yard signs.

And yard sign, by the way, is a bit of misnomer. I have seen some of them on yards, but most of them occupy stretches of public and/or unclaimed land along major thoroughfares. They blossom along routes like Bellevue Way, such that it is a high point of my morning commute, seeing which new flowers have been added to the mix.

Anyway, blue. For a while, it was easy to identify the two parties - Democratic blue and Republican red. Now, it is almost awash in all shades of blue - navies and sapphires and teals and deeps. Blue/White makes a very readable sign (and is cheap, being one color on white), and seems more mellow than red/white (which has been taken over by people in Bellevue against light rail in their neighborhood).

Some of the blues are blue by heritage - Dino Rossi has always been a blue background kinda guy, as has Mark Hargrove (Geoff Simpson goes for a white background, as does Clint Didier, who eschews the blue). Others take advantage of the increasingly murky nonpartisan nature of positions like judges to appear safe and nonthreatening.

I am seeing red/white/blue signs, but the red is often used as an accent or a division between parts of the sign. Red on blue vibrates, which defeats the message of the traffic zipping past at 25 mph. Stan Rumbaugh just launched a r/w/b sign that works out very nicely.

Lastly, there are exceptions - oranges seem to be the radical color this season, which hope to stand out from all the OTHER blue signs. But blue feels like the color of the age, which is OK by me.

More later,