One of the smartest moves by all three statewide candidates, especially Bob McDonnell, was to not directly engage The Washington Post in their constantly biased reporting and scathing editorials. Their latest attack on Ken Cuccinelli is an affront to journalism itself.
As it is, Republicans have long made the mistake of directly engaging The Post and making them an issue, in 2006 George Allen was running more agains The Post than against Jim Webb. You cannot win a fight like that, and bullies like The Post are waiting for a reaction so they can keep the story going and going and going. The difference between Maccacagate and Thesisgate is Allen went right after the Post and gave them an accuse to keep it news and made it seem more appropriate to keep reporting on it. McDonnell pushed aside the thesis stuff early on and moved up, stuck to his script, and kept his cool using various good post quotes in his ads in Northern Virginia and using Post criticism of Deeds. What's happened? Independents are flocking to McDonnell, party because I think many think the press is being unfair by constantly bringing this thesis business up in every single article. By staying silent, they have exposed the Posts bias without saying a word.
The way the Post has attacked specifically McDonnell and Cuccinelli, and they deft way they have handled themselves, has exposed this paper for what it is . . . and old school, Jacksonian newspaper that is really a political party organ. Its never worse then in their coverage of Virginia politics because the DC elite that run and read the Post have never liked Virginia and have always wanted to to become more urbane. You know, like Maryland. Its a cultural as well as a political hatred the DC elites that run the paper hold for Virginia and they see McDonnell and Cuccinelli (and Bolling, and all Republicans not named Chichester or Potts), they hate conservative political views and consider those in the masses that hold them to be beneath them. And they especially hate that they can't caricature McDonnell has a hillbilly yokel, a racist, or a right-wing exteremist. I finally figured out why they hate Bob McDonnell so much when he is none of the classic caricature of Republicans in Virgina. Its because people like Bob McDonnell- you know, well educated, smart, experienced in the military, business, the law, nad politics - is suppose to be one of them. He's suppose to be a member of the elite and they realize that McDonnell can win over these independents in the Suburban Axis of NoVa-Richmond-Hampton because he's one of them and he understands them.
Hell, on Nov. 4 I think I might even buy The Post just see the unraveling reach is completion.
JR has a great podcast with Bob McDonnell, Michael Steele, Barbara Comstock, and Chris Stolle up right before the election. Pretty clear what he wants to do, pretty clear what they all want to do. Commonsense conservative solutions for job growth through transportation construction, energy infrastructure from coal to nuclear, among other issues. Deeds's plan? I guess saying "Bob McDonnell hates women" is what he thinks will fix the roads, grow jobs, and expand energy.
Pretty close, he's announced that he will join Republicans in a filibuster of the health care scam bill that includes the public "option."
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this
government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just
asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for
the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."
I'm still very cautious about all this, all I can think about is all those years of losing, all those years in the wilderness, it could all be over in one week. I'm pretty much convinced this race is over, but by the looks of polling now is how much will it be over by? The DCPost poll has McDonnell up by 11%, and ahead even among women. They still managed to mentioned the thesis in the second paragraph, but oh well.
The Survey USA poll just out has McDonnell +17, Bolling +14, and Cuccinelli +16. Insane, these numbers and the fact that it was just 12 months ago Virginia was swept by the Democrats. The question now is how deep will this go.
The Public Policy Poll, a group out of North Carolina that is DEM heavy outfit, they have a new poll that doesn't even have Wagner or Shannon breaking 40%. Their numbers are McDonnell +15, Bolling +12, and Cuccinelli +16.
Seriously, how bad of a campaign has all three of these Democrats run. I mean, the landslide looks to be so big that you can no longer even call it a bellweather on Obama, though its part of it. Whatever the Democrats did in the 2000s, these three aren't doing it. Deeds has been awful, but I want more scrutiny on Shannon and Wagner. Wagner seems to have been aimless, focusing on attacking Bolling rather than doing anything of note positive and everything in her professional political background is failure upon failure. Of all the candidates, she is the most closely aligned with Tim Kaine and a refecltion on him. Whatever the polls say about Tim Kaine, Wagner's failure to get anywhere in this race against Bolling shows that the Tim Kaine Record is not something anyone can run on and get elected.
As for Shannon, I think he has fallen into the trap that so many other Democrats have when dealing with Ken Cuccinelli. They assume that his political ideology will do him in and fail to realize his true strength is his ability to relate those very conservative principles to kitchen table issues. Shannon has never had to work particularly hard in his career in the House of Delegates and I think he figured Ken was the right-wing maniac that nobody would or could relate too. Like so many Democrats, he never saw coming how can is so great and eveloping together his ideology, his work ethic, and his popularity. People like Ken, and Democrats and Shannon were arrogant enough to think that because they don't like his politics that that would translate into the rest of the state and they wouldn't have to work hard at it.
Ken's race is also a show of how strong, potentially, tea party and conservative grassroots activists can be. You don't get as conservative as Cuccinelli and to win in the manner of which he is winning so far (knock on wood) its impressive.
A sign of the times, perhaps? But The Washington Post, for whatever reasons, has endorsed the insurgent Republican delegate candidates of Aaron Ringel and Eric Bescia (who's four years younger than me). Its nice to see there are no longer any forces in the Republican Party telling us not to run candidates in certain districts. Whether messers Ringel and Bescia win or not, it shows Virginia that we now have strength, that we are doing so well we are fighting them on their territory now. And at this point, who knows? They might just win!