For weeks he played coy on his real intentions to raise taxes. He sent smoke signals to his left-wing base that he would but at the same time tried to maintain plausible denyability that he would not in order to perserve his self-styled "moderate" image to everyone else (see video below). That's pretty hard to do for the best of politicians and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds failed to pull it off, exciting neither target audience. Yesterday, he came clean and admitted he would, in fact, raise taxes on Virginians. The remark came in a live Webcast interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see article here and video below).
Anything, I suppose, to rally and excite the base over his true liberal credentials because his crass, hackneyed abortion move has flown as well as the Hindenburg. But if his base needs any confirmation, we'll gladly provide it: Deeds received a measley 23 on the TFF Action General Assembly Report Card and a whopping 93 from the AFL-CIO! Sounds pretty much like a confirmed liberal to me. The tax card, however, should surprise no one. It is exactly what his primary backers at the Washington Post have urged him to do — say it loud and proud — and promise to raise taxes on hard working families during a deep recession.
So, now Deeds is on his third strategy in less than two weeks: Play moderate, pull out the abortion card, say he'll sign a tax increase — doing anything he can to find traction. But most try to find traction with the general electorate. He's still trying to find it with his base.
He says he wants to be a governor in the mold of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, liberals who campaigned as "moderates." But he's lost the key page from their playbook. Those two promised repeatedly not to raise taxes, and only eagerly did so or attempted to after safely in office. Apparently, Deeds didn't think he could wait, and his smoke signals have become all out broadcast SOS messages.
Before and after: Creigh Deeds (above) only a few weeks ago trying to have it both ways. Now, (below) he's headed only one way on raising our taxes.