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.
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.
The charmed life of Steve Shannon is over.
Babied, cared for, allowed to take credit for issues he had nothing to do on the back bench, Steve Shannon has never been really challenged in his political career. In 2009, he was suppose to be shining new star, the young new hot-shot Fairfax Democrat ready to carry on the legacy of Mark Warner. But instead, he's been exposed as unintellegent backbencher who's understand of the law goes as far as his political career. In this race for Attorney General, the delegate used to his party taking care of him wasn't ready for the energy, intellegence, issues, and hustle that Ken Cuccinelli brought to this race. Shannon has lived off the goodwill of others, elected and reelected in Democrat waves, never having to work this hard in his political life. Running around calling yourself a pro-business centrist might work in a delegate race, but in a statewide race against a candidate who's smarter and harder working than you, it won't work.
So now, Shannon's last desperate act is realized: race-baiting. In the final debate of the AG race, Shannon the lawyer is claiming that Ken Cuccinelli's advocacy for fedearalism adn 10th amendement equally is equal to that of Virginia's segregationist past. It once again shows Shannon's ignorance of the law. On the one hand, Shannon has said that he's against the federal government taking over health care, but when Cuccinelli applies the 10th amendment to his legal argument that he will use to fight the overpowering stretch of the federal government, Shannon cries race.
Its truly pathetic. In an election for an office that is based on the law, Shannon cries race when Cuccinelli actually applies the law. Shannon is trying to scare people with the term "states rights," clearly trying to hint that Cuccinelli will bring back segregation. Its a ridiculous assertion and one that, despite what you think of Ken, everyone can agree is not what he's talking about. What Ken and many conservatives talk about in terms of an overreaching federal governmnet has nothing to do with what was happening during the Civil Rights era. For Shannon, who knows nothing about the law clearly besides calling himself a prosecutor over and over until you really believes it, this is the last act of a desperate man. He knows he's been outworked, out-thought, and out-lawyered by a better candidate and a man who clearly has a better grasp of Virginia jurisprudence. Hell, Shannon doesn't even know what divisions are housed in the office. To stoop to race-baiting tells me that of all the races out there, this one is the one that is now OVER.
I blogged earlier about not falling for the hype surrounding this election, because I'm a Virginia Republican I'm used to the cruel hand of fate yanking victory from us. But man, as we get closer and closer to this election each poll coming out continues to hold proof that this might not just be a GOP statewide sweep, but the House of Delegates could become more solidly Republican than ever before. Three straight polls suggest this is going to be the case. The Washington Post endorsement has rung hollow for Deeds, President Obama's support has been tepid at best, local delegate candidates are running away from Deeds, as is his own ticket-mates. This is the kind of stuff we've been dealing with. I've never seen this level of continuity from our statewides, delegates campaigns, RPV, and local unit committees and groups. Whats really amazing is this is just a year away from the disasterous efforts by the McCain campaign, RPV, the Gilmore campaign, and the disasterous congressional camapigns led tot he most sweeping defeat of Virginia Republicans in more than a generation. I guess when you hit rock bottom, you have knowhere to go but up.
So I'm still cautious, but cautious with a smile on my face. I'm trying to figure out just how much this will help our delegate candidates and just how big our win might become. Every attack on Bob McDonnell has either boomeranged or completely missed its target. He's teflon. The kind of things that were killing us in the last six or seven years aren't happening this year.
Because of Virginia's political history, the way it went about its political realignment, and the strange prescence of Byrd Democrats that had no lasting alliegence with either major modern party created a political climate where ticket-splitting has become an artform in Virginia. This has me wondering just how everything will shake out. I haven't seen unity like this among Republicans in years and the goal now is to connect McDonnell's now proven strength down ticket. Republicans need to keep ticket-splitting to a minimum and thats done by party enthuisiasm and that seems to be happening. Looks like this might be a blowout.
Knock on wood.
In a suprisingly positive profile, the DCPost makes the case that should Sen. Ken Cuccinelli be elected Attorney General in three weeks, Virginia might be looking at its first attorney general since the Byrd Era who's not looking to run immediatly for something else Cuccinelli has a vision of transforming the attorney general's office from simply fighting for public saftey issues to include constitutional rights, private property, and state vs. federal government, and 10 amendment issues to the portfolio.
Is this profile that shows why Cuccinelli is doing so well, and why the atomic mushroom cloud of a campaign that many predicted has not come about. As conservative as Cuccinelli is, he is also incredibly articulate and not quite the person that those on the left (and some Republicans) think he is. There is a genuiness about him that many are attracted too, that he talks about things like the constitution, the second amendment, private property righst in terms of your every day life. For whatever reason, the left just couldn't get a hold of him the way they assumed they could very easily. The assumption was that Cuccinelli would be attacked for being the out of touch right-winger, instead McDonnell has taken that heat and Cuccinelli has skated by the hapless Smilin' Steve Shannon almost unscathed.
But I wonder about this idea of being a full time, maybe even two-term attorney general. We haven't had that since Mary Sue Terry. Its not that I think Ken lusts for political power the way others do, he's drive is his principles and applying them and advocating them in politcs. But the nature of his principles, and the issues he chooses to fight for and against are those that so many in the base are looking for someone to take action on; and the pressue to move up will be great . . . especially with Jim Webb's Senate seat coming up in 2012. The kinds of issues Ken fights for are those most needed in the US Senate, where true constitutional conservatives are in a steep minority. All I know is that the sweeping vision Ken sees for the AG job is something that gets me and other conservatives excited to see, our principles being put into legal action.
A lot of undegroud speculation has swirled about who will run for the state senate seat belonging to Ken Cuccinelli, assuming he wins the state attorney general job as he's widely seems to be doing. There has been a lot of shuffling in GOP circles around this seat, mostly centered on local activists Shak Hill and Mike Thompson, and former at-large school board member Steve Hunt. Over the last three weeks bith Hill and Thompson have dropped out of the race, leaving Steve Hunt to be the favorite, and he is who I'm supporting. Any word if anyone else is looking at this?
On the Dem side, GOP joy errupts at the constat rumors that Janet Oleszek will run again, attempting "rebrand" herself. Ther of course is the chance that Del. David Bulova, unchallenged this year, will run. His distirct, however, shares only three precints with Ken's, so it would be a risk. I tend to think Bulova won't run because if Ken is elected along with McDonnell and Bolling, there will be clear Republican momentum and excitment to drive voters to the booth in a special election for the Republicns.
What also might make Bulova wait is redistricting. Northern Virignia might get another state senate seat, I can see one being carved out around Braddock distirct for David, while the 37th gets moved west into Prince William County and make it a place for George Barker and Chap Petersen to deposit some of their less-friendly precints. Anyone know if any other Fairfax Dem would make a run? Kathy Smith, who's name I've heard and she would be the strongest?
Special elections always follow these campaigns, and I think that many of the top Dem candidates will avoid running in a low-turnout special election if Republicans sweep and build momentum.
The Washington Post is endorsing Creigh Deeds, what a shock. I don't think it will mean as much as it did for him in the primary where the Post's attitude carries more weight than in the general. But still, this election has really laid bare what a disgrace the paper is and why the print media is losing money, losing jobs, and losing credibility every day. Allow me to explain.
I've been active in Virginia politics for four years now, starting right after the Kilgore-Kaine race. I've watched the McDonnell-Bolling dance from its very beginning, I took sides in it, and watched others as the two circled each other for three years. What became clear was that Bob McDonnell was never considered the right-winger, and he had formed an unspoken alliance with Tom Davis. McDonnell would back Davis for the Senate, and Davis would deliver NOVA to McDonnell in the convention. These were the rumors flying around. This was especially evident during the Transportation Compromise of 2007, where McDonnell backed the compromise that Davis had helped engineer with Tim Kaine and the legislature. I was a Bill Bolling man myself, having gotten over the idea that Tom Davis was a political genius watching him single-handedly crashing the local party around his wife's campaign in 2007. But the point of the story was that within the party, Bob McDonnell was never known to be the right-winger, especially compared to Bill Bolling. At least that was the perception among some of the cirlces I traveled, that between the two it was Bolling who was the more conservative.
Fast-forward one year, and the Washington Post has spent nearly all of its coverage attacking Bob McDonnell for his social views, supposedly defined by a thesis written 20 years ago. They have ignored his entire career as a professional, delegate, and attorney general. They have used this 20 year old thesis to create a Bob McDonnell that has never existed as a public servant, and defined him as a right winger in a way that many in his own party has never seen him as. Recognizing the mistake that Creigh Deeds has been as a candidate, someone born out of a the hatred fostered between Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran rather than any sort of personal qualifications. Looking at it with even a short glance, its clear to everyone but the diest of diehard partisan that Bob McDonnell is far more qualified to be governor than Creigh Deeds. So like they have done so many times before, the Washington Post has taken it upon themselves to try and create a Republican boogeyman so Deeds, with his thin resume, can stammer and aw-shucks his way into the governorship.
In Jerry Kilgore and George Allen, the Post and its allies had an easy target for their smears. Both were Old Virginia, good old boys who did not connect with the New Virginia of suburban voters who weren't from Virginia and had very little connection to the gentile political past. Both also made catastrophic mistakes in their campaigns that fed the whispered narrative that they were too conservative and possibly even racist. It made it easy for the Post to give the coverage they did, to focus and define a Republican candidate by one remark, one paper, or one sentance and completely ignoring their entire career. In their 2006 bio of Allen, they spent all but a scant few paragraphs describing Allen's problems with race, ignoring his entire careeer. For McDonnell, they have done the same thing.
But this year is different, because Bob McDonnell is a product of New Virignia and its clear from poll after poll that the voters of the commonwealth feel McDonnell understands their concerns more than rural, hillbilly senator from Old Virignia. So The DCPost has been exposed this year for what it has been doing for years . . . bias journalism when it comes to Virginia. It was always known, but could never be proven because of how terrible our candidates have been and how incredible their gaffes have been. But McDonnell has committed no gaffes, and he represents nothing but the new suburban majority in Virginia.
So when the Post endorses Creigh Deeds because they claim McDonnell has taken the far right social terrian, its both laughable and a lie. McDonnell has barely breathed a note about social issues, instead he has spent the last 14 months putting together a message based on jobs. The Post claims McDonnell has never created jobs in his career, but what jobs has Deeds created? Its not so much that I feel like, "damn, the Post should endorse McDonnell." But its the reason why they are endorsing Deeds that is what makes them so exposed here. The very reason is one they created, and one that doesn't exist. What is interesting is that for nearly the entirety of McDonnell's tenur as Attorney General, there was near bipartisan acclaim for the job he did from newspapers, pundits, and legislators. He wasn't partisan, he wasn't ideological, and he wasn't obssesed with social issues. It just never happened.
McDonnell's victory that will come in November will be due to his tireless and excellent campaign that has articulated issues and policy exactly what Virginia is looking for. No matter what issue the Post tries to create on behalf of the candidate they now understand was a mistake to endorse.
One of the reasons I love Glen Beck so much is the tenacity in which he works to pull the curtain back on the Obama White House. This is not your typical administration that finds balance between the official cabinet and the usual kitchen cabinet every president has. There are nearly two czars for every cabinet official, all unelected and with no congressional oversight. This is where the the radicals are hiding, the types like Kevin Jennings, Van Jones, and clearly now Anita Dunn. It was Dunn who made it her business to try and shut down dissent by attacking Fox News (remember the days when dissent was the highest form of patriotism?). Well, Glen Beck is never one to back down from a fight. Turns out just like Jones and Jennings, Dunn has a radical view of politics - claiming that Mao Tse Tung is one of her favorite political philosophers. Mao, similar to other left wing guerillas like Che, has found some kind of positive historical revisionism because their ends where that of so many of those on the left now . . . conformity, redistribution of wealth, government run society . . . the hallmarks of what the Obama Shadow Government is working on. The last administration we had in this country that worked this far in the dark was Nixon.
Anyways, here is what Beck unearthed and its really frightening:
I get scared as a Republican who's been active since 2005 when Republicans start strutting about how amazing we are going to do. Perhaps I've been burned too many times by things like "President" George Allen, how Jeannemarie Davis was suppose to win independents and get reelected easily, by how McCain would carry Virginia, etc etc etc. So when I start seeing blogs and reports of a 5-10 seat pick-up in the House of Delegates, I don't get excited I get worried. Republicans in Virginia for the last decade have been way too overconfident election after election.
Here is my worry about the House of Delegates. There are a high number of strong incumbents, politicians who have been in office for a long time that despite strong challenges I think will still win. Don't get me wrong, there are races to be won by Chris Stolle, Ron Villenueva, Barbara Comstock, Jim LeMunyon among others. But I caution all Republicans not to put the cart before the horse, lets stay focused on the top three candidates and the HoD candidate in your district.
Many of you know that I'm a huge MMA fan, but in the past six months that has moved to the entire fight game, and I've become passionate about boxing as well. Its not always fashionable now, as the sport still hasn't recovered from the demise of the heavyweight division in the 1990s. But great fights and great fighters are still out there all over the place in the lower weights.
One of the most stacked divisions currently is the 168 lbs super middleweight division, and Showtime has developed what is really a revolutionary round robin tournament between the best fighters in the division. Its a nice mix of fighters with a gold medalist Andre Ward, two world champions in Dannish fighter Mikkel Kessler (WBA) and rugged Brit Carl Froch (WBO), two rising stars in American Andre Dirrell and German Arthur Abraham, and veteran Jermain Taylor (who beat Bernard Hopkins twice). The tournament will span nearly two years ending in 2011 and will feature fights in America, England, Denmark, and Germany. It is truly international, and should serve as a platform for guys like Kessler and Abraham to make a name for themselves in America as truly great fighters. My only quibble is Taylor being included since he was just knocked out by Froch, I would have perferred IBF champ Lucien Bute over Taylor but such is boxing. In addition to the conclusion of the tournament, each fight that Kessler and Froch fight will be for their titles.
These are the opening round match-ups:
My prediction is Mikkel Kessler over Carl Froch to win the whole things.
The best moment was probably when Cuccinelli asked Shannon to name all the divisions in the attorney general's office. Shannon said he'd get to that in a second but first wanted to address Cuccinelli's previous remarks about a state tax increase in 2004.
Cuccinelli leaped to his feet, turned to moderator Scott Thuman of WJLA-TV, and said:
"Mr. Moderator, in court I'd object to a witness not answering the question."
Oh well, it wasn't court. Shannon didn't answer the question.
Shannon never answered the question.
So I just got back from the Cuccinelli-Shannon debate set up by the Prince William Committee of 100 and its amazing to watch. First off, let me say that if we lose to these guys - Deeds and Wagner and Shannon - we don't ever deserve to win another election again. Seriously, its that bad.
Shannon is interesting to watch. He's clearly passionate about the issue of child pornography, internet predators, and child saftey - but it starts to ring hollow when he continues to bring it up three or four times in a debate in a talking point for, sometimes out of nowhere and often times not having to do with anything that is being talked about. I believe after watching this that Shannon is out of his depth running statewide essentially from the back benches of the House of Delegates. He's had the road paved golden for him since he got to the House and has never been challenged like this. He seemed to think that the Attorney General actually stands in the court room arguing cases, he could not name a single division of the office or what they do, yet all he talks about is being a prosecutor.
And lets talking about Steve Shannon as a prosecutor. He made it sound like he ran Fairfax right next to Bob Horan, when in reality he was a junior prosecutor. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli's experience in the Fairfax courts ranges from courtroom defense work, mental health work, child advocacy, pro bono court-appointed work, and even military courts marshal. I understand and honor Shannon for his service, but lets not mistake his work with anything that Jim Gilmore did in Hanover. And, while we are at it, Shannon keeps perpetuating the myth that only prosecutors get elected Attorney General, like Brownlee did. Not true. Bob McDonnell may have briefly been a prosecutor in the old days, but he cut his teeth in the House of Delegates on the Courts committee. Jerry Kilgore was an assistant US attorney for a year, but made his name in George Allen's cabinet. Mark Earley was a long time state senator, Mary Sue Terry and Gerry Blailes were members of the General Assembly and on and on. So lets not go crazy here that because Shannon was a junior prosecutor in one county that that suddenly makes his worthy of running an office he doesn't even know or understand.
We are also starting to see where Shannon is going to be taking his campaign. He is completely divorcing himself from Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner, and he's going to run WITH Bob McDonnell, even though apparently Bob is a women-hating, fear-mongering, knuckle-dragging right winger. The problem is that Shannon is a Fairfax Democrat and he's trying to run against Ken like a Fairfax Democrat but its not working. Ken running statewide completely opens up his constituency, while Shannon is going to need Northern Virginia huge and running against his ticket won't do it. Shannon talked about getting the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce endorsement, and said very loudly that he and Bob McDonnell were endorsed. Well, the reason that went down was because Deeds proved to be an utter hillbilly who knows nothing about Virginia and Transportation. But the reason why Shannon got it was because Ken has fought against eminent domain and so many of the Fairfax COC are the business and developers who want that power to continue to turn Fairfax into a city. Shannon continued to portray himself as a pro-business candidate, and not once advocated for Creigh Deeds. Not once. Ken even said Shannon was throwing his own ticket under the bus, and in response Shannon never came to his ticket mates defense. Its clearly going to be Deeds-Wagner and Shannon way over there pretending they aren't running. The perfect example of this was the twenty-or-so orange shirted union folks who planted themselves in the front row and sat silently until the break where they just rolled out. Its a desperate strategy by a clearly desperate candidate. The war that the Democrats have waged will ring hollow if their AG candidate throws his own team under the bus and alienate his own base in Northern Virginia. He's using the Tom Davis strategy - run away from your base so nobody votes for you. Unlike in past years, you will not see a lot of Republican ticket-splitting. Our unit committees, delegate campaigns, and statewide campaigns have been as fully integrated as I have ever seen in the last four years. There is genuine enthusiasim for the entire party in the state, and with that comes real unity that has not been around in a long long time, and Shannon won't crack that.
As usual Cuccinelli was clear, concise, quick on his feet, charming, and more important he was clear in his answers and what he wants to do with the office. Shannon goes back to his talking points, talking in good intentions but with little understand of what he actually will be doing.
A lot of people have been griping about some of the choices made by the Nationa Republican Senetorial Committe (NRSC), specifically endorsing Charlie Crist when they said they would endorse no candidates, pushing for Carly Fiorino over Chuck DeVore in California, and elbowing Jim Bunning out of office in Kentucky. Chairman John Cornyn has done a decent job coming off of two really bad years and has a couple of nice moves in New Hampshire, Arkansas, Kentucky, hopefully North Dakota, and Ohio. I remember when Bill Frist and Georget Allen headed up the NRSC and people said its a stepping stone, its how you win friends, etc. And to an extent it is. Over on the Democrat side, Chuck Schumer sure made that happen.
But should John Cornyn be worried for his career? For some reason, in the last ten years or so Republica senators in this position have become cursed. Witness, sicne the 1994 revolution:
"Big John" Cornyn has been as conservative a US senator as you can find, and he's put some of that on the line with some of his what I think are pretty shrewd recruits in blue states and hopefully a couple more heavy hitters like John Hoeven in North Dakota. But clearly, this position has been inexplicibly snakebitten.
This is just great news for the 5th distirct, for Republicans in Virginia, and for the House Republicans in DC. State Senator Robert Hurt, clearly the most qualified and most dangerous opponent for Rep. Tom "Cap n' Trade" Perriello, has announced that he WILL run for the 5th distirct House seat next. year. Clearly I'm no expert on Southside politics, but Hurt is a great conservative who comes in a well respected member of both houses of the General Assembly, a someone who is just like Virgil Goode but without all the baggage and nonesense that Virgil brings to the table. This now becomes one of the most signifigant pick-up oppurtunities in all of the country. Now if we can get Terry Kilgore to run against Boucher, settle on a strong nominee in the 2nd, and really rally behind Keith Fimian in the 11th things will be looking very good for returning these House seats to the GOP. Here is Sen. Hurt's statement:
“As a conservative who has represented a significant portion of the Fifth District for the past eight years, I believe that now, more than ever, our district requires a proven conservative leader to serve as its voice in Washington,” Hurt said in a statement.
“As I have during my time in Richmond, I will fight to promote small businesses and new jobs, I will fight against the runaway taxing and spending in Washington, and I will always be a strong voice for our common sense conservative Virginia values.”
Its looking now like Deleware's lone congressman, Rep. Mike Castle, a moderate Republican will enter the open contest for Joe Biden's old Senate seat and will probably run against "Plugs" Biden's son, AG Beau Biden. Now if anyone is ready to be a US Senator, its Mike Castle. The man hasn't lost an eleciton in Deleware since 1966 and has served at every level of government from state rep, state sen, LG, Gov, US Rep, and hopefully US senator.
Now us conservatives might have to bite the bullet here with Castle, he is one the leaders of the Republican moderates in the House so we aren't getting James Buckley or anything like that. But Castle's entry intot he race sets up an interesting scenerio where both Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Senate seats are suddenly in play thanks to Republicans (wisely) choosing to run electable moderates in these blue states. Look, I would love for a caucus of 55 Jim DeMints, but its not going to happen and in states like this wouldn't it be nice to see Senator Kirk and Senator Castle?
Sure, it might become a pain later but we have to push back from this 60 vote armageddon that is threatening America right now. So consider this limited praise for Rep. Mark Kirk and Mike Castle, and lets hope they get elected. Now we just need to make sure that in states we can elected conservatives, we do . . . i.e. Marco Rubio in Florida.
And for the record, President Obama's celebrity in Virginia seems to have come crashing back down to earth:
I can't put it any better: In a letter that was a striking reprimand to Kaine, Rep. James Oberstar (D – MN), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wrote in no uncertain terms that Virginia had been negligent in ignoring available funds for transportation. “Based on the State progress reports submitted to the Committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen far behind other States in putting to work its Recovery Act Highway formula funds. According to submissions received from all States and the District of Columbia, your State ranks last among all States (51 out of 51) based on an analysis of percentage of Recovery Act Highway formula funds put out to bid, under contract and underway. “As of August 31, Virginia had begun construction of projects totaling only 17 percent of the State’s funding. “I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs. These jobs are critical to Virginia’s and the nation’s long-term economic growth.” Oberstar pointed out that Kaine had been warned in August that Virginia was falling behind other states. “In August 2009, almost six months after enactment of the Recovery Act, I sent letters to the best and worst performers in putting to work Recovery Act highway funds,” wrote . “Since then, we have watched many states move aggressively to create and sustain family-wage jobs, contribute to our nation’s long-term economic growth, and help the United States recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. “Regrettably, Virginia is not among these States.” Asked if he had concerns over criticisms about his negligence on transportation, Kaine told the Washington Post, “I don’t worry about it.” I don't worry about it? Really. I'll remember Tim Kaine's words when it takes me 45 minutes to drive from Tyson's to Reston. And lets watch Creigh Deeds put the icing on the cake the only way he bumbling can, the man can't find the stones to take his own governor to task for this incredible f-up that has cost the state millions of dollars that could really help us. Deeds complains about shovel-ready projects, but there have been countless plans up and down Northern Virginia that have gone nowhere because there is no money. Deeds is a moron to think we can only use this federal money for projects ready to go because in NoVA, money is needed to get them started. Pat Herrity makes this point, “The and Fair Lakes Parkway Interchange is a project that’s been on the books since forever. It just seems that even though they have the funding, they keep getting pushed back. We’ve got that money. We just can’t seem to get Richmond and the transportation bureaucracy to move these projects forward.” By Deeds's logic, this will never get started because its not "shovel-ready" (btw, I hate that term, its so Obamian in its idiocy). Anyways, here's deeds bumbling his way through questions about this until his handler tells the reporter to pipe down:
I can't put it any better:
In a letter that was a striking reprimand to Kaine, Rep. James Oberstar (D – MN), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, wrote in no uncertain terms that Virginia had been negligent in ignoring available funds for transportation.
“Based on the State progress reports submitted to the Committee in September 2009, Virginia has fallen far behind other States in putting to work its Recovery Act Highway formula funds. According to submissions received from all States and the District of Columbia, your State ranks last among all States (51 out of 51) based on an analysis of percentage of Recovery Act Highway formula funds put out to bid, under contract and underway.
“As of August 31, Virginia had begun construction of projects totaling only 17 percent of the State’s funding.
“I strongly urge you to refocus your efforts to implement the Recovery Act and use the available funds to create and sustain family-wage jobs. These jobs are critical to Virginia’s and the nation’s long-term economic growth.”
Oberstar pointed out that Kaine had been warned in August that Virginia was falling behind other states.
“In August 2009, almost six months after enactment of the Recovery Act, I sent letters to the best and worst performers in putting to work Recovery Act highway funds,” wrote . “Since then, we have watched many states move aggressively to create and sustain family-wage jobs, contribute to our nation’s long-term economic growth, and help the United States recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
“Regrettably, Virginia is not among these States.”
Asked if he had concerns over criticisms about his negligence on transportation, Kaine told the Washington Post, “I don’t worry about it.”
I don't worry about it? Really. I'll remember Tim Kaine's words when it takes me 45 minutes to drive from Tyson's to Reston.
And lets watch Creigh Deeds put the icing on the cake the only way he bumbling can, the man can't find the stones to take his own governor to task for this incredible f-up that has cost the state millions of dollars that could really help us. Deeds complains about shovel-ready projects, but there have been countless plans up and down Northern Virginia that have gone nowhere because there is no money. Deeds is a moron to think we can only use this federal money for projects ready to go because in NoVA, money is needed to get them started. Pat Herrity makes this point,
“The and Fair Lakes Parkway Interchange is a project that’s been on the books since forever. It just seems that even though they have the funding, they keep getting pushed back. We’ve got that money. We just can’t seem to get Richmond and the transportation bureaucracy to move these projects forward.”
By Deeds's logic, this will never get started because its not "shovel-ready" (btw, I hate that term, its so Obamian in its idiocy). Anyways, here's deeds bumbling his way through questions about this until his handler tells the reporter to pipe down:
Sheila Johnson wasn't mocking a stutter, she's mocking a guy who can't give it straight and doesn't understand how Virginia has moved forward and what is important. He keeps going on and on about how its a shame Virginia has all these problems that need money, but its been two Democrat governors who have done nothing but but talk about how they will fix it, but when it came to nutt-cutting time Kaine and Warner and Webb led Virginia to 50 out of 50 states in claiming money owed to us. And its not even that Deeds is playing lapdog, I genuinely believe that he has no idea what he's talking about. Really. You think issues of the complexity as state and federal funding for complicated road systems that spider web through Northern Virginia are dealt with by a delegate and senator from the smallest and more rural county in the commonwealth? He's woefully in over his head, and Virginia will be a laughingstock with him as governor.
I was taken aback by the Dopiest "profile" of Creigh Deeds in the Sunday paper. It was devastating and continued to show the szchitzophrenic nature of the Post, where all stories not written by Amy Gardner seem fair and even harder on Deeds, while the Gardner pieces look like they were written by Joe Abbey. What it effectively shows is that Deeds is "a work in progress," which apparently in Deeds country means you bring people together. What it tells me, along with most people who can think and wants an active and articulate governor, is that he has no idea what he's doing.
Creigh Deeds was stammering, as is often his way when trying to explain a change in one of his political positions. He indicated that he felt conflicted over a stance, not the first time during his campaign for Virginia governor. "I'm not certain I would do that again," he said.
He was referring to a vote he cast three years earlier to place a state constitutional amendment on the ballot prohibiting gay people from marrying or entering into civil unions. Within weeks, seemingly in an about-face, Deeds said he would not support the amendment. Now, a tentative Deeds sat in a Washington conference room, still not quite sure where he stood. "My thoughts have evolved in a lot of respects," he said, noting that his evolution had carried him to the point where he had doubts that "government ought to be involved" in same-sex marriage.
There is a central problem with Deeds' candidacy for governor that no matter of slime they throw at Bob McDonnell can cover up. Its been said over and over on this blog, but this profile shows it over and over. Creigh Deeds is a product and a representation of Old Virginia and he has very little understand of New Virginia, of the middle-to-upper class suburban voters who know nothing of Harry Byrd, Blackie Moore, Willis Robertson and the various ghosts of Old Virginia's past. As this profile shows, Deeds is a product of this, of the old Courthouse rings, of the Old Virginia that was famously - and accurately - described by V.O. Key as a "Museum of Democracy."
Deeds's quest for his current state senate seat is a reflection of this problem, as he had to grovel before New Virginia to gain acceptance, and acceptance he has never fully gotten. If he had, perhaps he wouldn't be continually making out his poll numbers at 45%. Remember, Old and New Virginia are as much about attitude, background, and how you present yourself as a modern candidate versus any political ideology. Old and New Virginia politicians exist in both parties. Democrats, most notably Mark Warner, understood this trend more than anyone else. New Virginia is not about riding a horse, wearing boots, spitting tobacco, or twanging football references in your speech. Its about the new suburban axis that runs from Tyson's Corner, through Hanover, down to Virginia Beach. Its the suburbs, where voters of both parties don't come from Virginia, know nothing and care even less about the Old Dominion's old genial traditions. For three straight statewide elections, Republicans nominated staunch Old Virginia politicians who understood little of the changes reflecting the commonwealth - Mark Earley was a son of evangelicals, Jerry Kilgore was a southwest Virginia product who understood nothing of the new changes, and George Allen arrogantly assumed his previous victories would ensure a second term and a presidential nomination while failing to realize that the state shifted under his feet in his six years in the US Seante.
But back to Deeds. The recent kerfuffle over Sheila Johnson making fun of the way Deeds spoke warranted an apology, but it also explains why so many residents of New Virginia - represented by Ms. Johnson - have turned their back on Deeds in favor of Bob McDonnell. Whatever has been thrown at him, McDonnell is clearly a son of New Virginia - raised in suburban Fairfax County, taking on a professional and political life in Virginia Beach, and relocating to suburban Richmond as he assumed the full time duties as Attorney General. Despite the slime thrown at him, McDonnell's political resume is that of New Virginia, continually working on budget, transportation, public safety, and education issues. Deeds is a throwback, and not in a good way. As much as Democrats want to corner McDonnell of the stuttering crack, it reminds voters that Deeds sounds funny, he sounds like he's not one of us, and he sounds like he has no idea what he's talking about. Its like Jerry Kilgore, but with a D next to his name. And it has little to nothing to do with an accent, its all about what he's saying and New Virginia can tell that Creigh Deeds isn't one of them. He's not. Listen to how he can't figure out what to say here:
McDonnell can answer that question in one sentence and there is no question where he stands. Deeds might say this is a "work in progress" but with unemployment in parts of this state, especially in Deeds Country, reaching upwards to 20% Virginians have to have the confidence that the governor won't stammer his way through decided what to do to fix this. Nothing about Deeds's campaign thus far has proven to anybody that he has any plan of what he's going to do about anything. All he says is that "everything is on the table." I've got news for you, Sen. Deeds, you can't leave these decisions up to the General Assembly, it will never get done. The governor's job is to run on an agenda, get elected, and the use your mandate to put forward that agenda. Deeds, the work in progress, is agenda-less because he doesn't understand the issues of New Virginia, and he's even more confused about what to do about it.
There is a reason why a lot of interests and individuals who backed Warner, Kaine, Webb, and Obama are backing Bob McDonnell. Because for Virginia, Creigh Deeds represents the old ways. McDonnell does not.