The silliness of the Ken-hates-Jews meme is now apparently behind us. It was a predictable trap that Ben Tribbett is a master at setting and one in which Republican bloggers ALWAYS fall for. Take a ridiculous statement by a Republican official, any official, and make Ken own it. Instead of ignoring it or ridiculing it, we seem to always fall in the game of "well, you did this" to try and one-up them. Its asinine. It just continues to give the story oxygen. Usually, and this is the worst part of it, it was something stupid that needs to be accounted for immediately.
It goes me thinking today about not only about this but the race in general. It has almost been a campaign in reverse. Usually candidates start out positive and then go negative after the fall beings. This election has been different because Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe absolutely represent everything the other side hates about each other. To the left, Ken is a hyper-religious zealot looking to turn the clock back on women's rights and to the right, McAuliffe is a classic do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do limousine liberal. The two sides almost couldn't help themselves to tear into each other.
The person that wins this election will be the person that most effectively goes positive. I was talking to a friend of mine about the Australian elections that just occurred, and he pointed out that the left in that election just savaged the conservative challenger Abbott. They decided to go almost exclusively positive. This race has been such a race to the gutter, something I believe has actually been driven by the salivating consultants more than the actual candidates. The people are just tired of it and all the polling data proves it.
Ken needs go positive because there is a lot in his career to go positive about. Whether it is helping to fight domestic violence at UVA, his pro-bono work with juvenile services in Fairfax, his work on mental health, or his compassion for the plight of the wrongly convicted like Thomas Hayesworth. They need to just run positive personal spots over and over and then back it up with his innovative policy proposals like ending the corporate spigot of state money and his advocacy for charter schools and more parental control.
I hope with the shake-up in his campaign, this is what they do. Don't let the RNC or RGA dictate how you run your campaign. GO POSITIVE!