Doug Wilder

Fox Business Network Foils McDonnell Appearance With West Virginia Video!

You can't turn on the television these days without seeing a Virginia politician. Perhaps, just perhaps, the political world revolves around the Old Dominion again, as it did 230 years ago? Whether it's Governor Bob McDonnell talking about turning budget deficits into accounting surpluses (and then larger surpluses), Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli updating viewers on the law suit he filed against the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the health care law, Delegate Bob Marshall warning about illegal aliens, Representative (and House Republican Whip) Eric Cantor denouncing the massive unemployment and trillions in debt rung up by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime, former Governor Tim Kaine calling Republicans "extreme" or another former governor, Doug Wilder, preaching to Dems that Joe Biden should be dropped as vice president (RealClearPolitics.com), Virginia pols are everywhere. Mostly, they are able to get in their talking points. But as good a job as they do, they can't overcome matters out of their control. Such was the case a few days ago when Governor McDonnell appeared on The Willis Report on the Fox Business Network. He was able to stick in the now familiar story of turning around the inherited budget deficit and Mr. Kaine's disastrous prescription — an unprecedented and massive income tax increase — into an accounting surplus without a general tax increase by cutting spending to 2006 levels. He even fended off a few pointed questions by Ms. Willis.

But when the director cut to the b-roll, not even the most skilled, 58-percent-landslide-winning pol could salvage a positive: Instead of the beautiful Mr. Jefferson's capitol, instead of the lush Capitol Square, instead of the burgeoning Richmond skyline and nation-defining-historic landmarks, instead of the James River's world class urban rapids, we got . . .

Charleston, West Virginia? Instead of the stately Commonwealth, the regal Old Dominion, the tradition of Virginia, we got mountainy West Virginny, with luxurious shots of overpasses and highways leading into Charleston. Sigh. A shock to the Virginia Tourism Corporation's system, for sure. Oh, well. At least the road they show leads to the airport named for one of my heroes: the original man with The Right Stuff — General Chuck Yeager . . . made famous in pop culture, of course, by a Virginian, Richmonder Tom Wolfe!

The Fox Business Network video won't post to the blog for some reason, but click here to be to be taken to it on its Web page.

Virginia News Stand: May 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Double Stack Edition

The News Stand was off yesterday so the news got stacked up. So much of it is interesting, we piled it all on today. In the commonwealth, Governor Bob McDonnell appointed another Democrat to his administration. Huh? At least this latter is explainable (we think): He appointed Larry Wilder, the son of former governor and Richmond Mayor Doug, as an advisor on convicts' re-entry into society. On the merits, Mr. Wilder has a certain perspective, given his past problems with the law. But more likely, the cynic would suggest, is that this might just have something to do with the former Democrat governor's weighty non-endorsement of Creigh Deeds last fall.

The governor also is busy trying to line up tolls I-95 on the North Carolina border. Anything but a "tax increase." Meanwhile, he appointed a commission to reform state government and suggest how it can operate more efficiently. Commissions come and go in Virginia. The jury will remain out on this until we see recommendations actually put into place and the ensuing positive results. Speaking of juries, Chief Justice Leroy Hassell, Sr., will resign from the top judicial spot, but remain on the court. The justices elect the chief justice themselves.  

Also in state, a sensattional trial finally is set to begin. Sensational, because Joseph Price, a co-defendant, is the former president of Equality Virginia, something the Washington Post conveniently fails to mention in its reporting.

Nationally, it's all going on: The Mojave Desert Cross, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled legal two weeks ago, was stolen; senior citizens in a group home in Georgia were told they could not pray out loud before meals because the home accepted federal funds (Yes! Federal funds means no free speech, now sit down and shut-up granny!); a senior House Democrat lost renomination in West Virginia to a challenger from the right; and a poll shows Utah Republicans may throwout U.S. Senator Orin Hatch next, after refusing to renominate his colleague Robert Bennett last weekend.

But we're not close to done, with a big Surprise! coming from Washington — health care reform will cost $115 billion more than estimated just a couple of months ago! Also, a bill in Congress would allow states to veto offshore drilling, something with implications for the Old Dominion; and, in the rare good news from D.C., President Obama seeks a line item veto and the Senate votes to audit at least some of the Fed (see Richard Olivastro's commentary on this issue as well).

News

Va. Chief Justice Hassell to yield leadership post (The Daily Press)

McDonnell has high expectations for reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Delegate criticizes McDonnell choice for chairman of government-reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Public input sought on government reform (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Va. seeks tolls on I-95 near N.C. border (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell proposes tolls on Interstate 95 in Virginia near N.C. border (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli on Kagan: Not a fan, but lack of judicial experience not the issue (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Conspiracy trial in Robert Wone killing set to start (Washington Post)

Abortion opponents present petition to Va. Beach (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell appoints Wilder's son as special assistant for re-entry education (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Optometrist wins GOP nod in Chesterfield (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

LU officials to investigate Caner’s background claims (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist (FoxNews.com)

Senior citizens told they can't pray before meals (Rome, Ga. News-Tribune)

Voters' anti-establishment mood bites both parties (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Poll: Roughly half wouldn't vote for U.S. Sen. Hatch (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health overhaul law potentially costs $115B more (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bill would allow states to veto offshore drilling (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate votes to examine Federal Reserve lending (AP/GOPUSA.com)

New force for broad immigration reform: conservative evangelicals (CNN.com)

Abortion could be sleeper issue in Supreme Court confirmation process (Washington Post)

Obama to Seek Line-Item Veto Power to Trim Spending From Bills (New York Times)

Michael Steele defends spending to RNC state party leaders during meeting (Washington Post)

Despite Content Purge, Pornographic Images Remain on Wikimedia (FoxNews.com)

Analysis

Reagan-Hating Kagan(Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Change Watch: Elena Kagan–Supreme Court Nominee (FRCBlog.com)

Commentary

A 'Duty to Die'? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Michelle Obama: Food Profiteer Turned Food Cop (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Cut Spending Today To Save Tomorrow (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Should the Fed Be Audited? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Dr. Bob Holsworth Interview, Part 1

Below is the first part of a two part interview with nationally known political scientist Dr. Bob Holsworth, a regular commentator on Virginia and national politics. His articles and commentary can be read in publications and on the Internet, and heard on television and radio. He is a frequent speaker to numerous organizations, heads a consultancy, and is the editor of the widely read blog, Virginia Tomorrow. Today, we talk about the current session of the General Assembly and touch on national politics. FamilyFoundationBlog.com: Dr. Holsworth, it's a great honor to have you answer some questions on our blog about the General Assembly and Virginia politics in general. So, thank you very much for participating in this interview. We greatly appreciate your valuable time and look forward to your insights and are big fans of your blog, Virginia Tomorrow. Are you ready for some questions?

Dr. Bob Holsworth: Thanks very much for the opportunity to be on your site.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Has anything surprised you about this session of the General Assembly? Has the Republican sweep and increased House of Delegates majority created a visible difference or is it too early to tell (i.e., waiting for the budget)?

Dr. Holsworth: Certainly, the Republican sweep in the House has made it even easier for the GOP to control the legislative outcomes in that chamber. But the Democratic control of the Senate can still pose substantial hurdles for the Governor and the House GOP. I was surprised that five Democrats in the Senate supported the Health Care Freedom legislation, symbolically repudiating former Governor Kaine and President Obama. All of these Democrats are in districts where the GOP could field competitive challengers and this tells you just how concerned Democrats have become about the impact of the national mood here in Virginia. At the same time, Senate Dems have summarily dismissed part of the McDonnell agenda such as dedicating royalties for off-shore drilling to transportation and changing the budget cycle. What will happen with the overall budget is still up in the air as Senate Dems actually disagree if they should present a budget that includes some of the tax increases in (former) Governor Kaine's recommended document or acknowledge the political reality that there will be no major tax increases and present a budget accordingly, even if it inconsistent with what they would really want to propose.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Governor Bob McDonnell ran on a jobs-creation platform and de-emphasized social issues. But social issues do play a role in the budget. Do you think he will go so far as to de-fund Planned Parenthood?

Dr. Holsworth: I think that you have phrased the question well. Some folks have said that McDonnell ran as a "moderate." My sense is that he ran as an economic conservative and gave less priority in the campaign to his social conservatism. I fully expect that McDonnell will sign almost all bills with a "social conservative" orientation that emerge from the legislative process. What's not entirely clear is how far his own proposals will move in this direction. He obviously made a symbolic change when he removed sexual orientation from the non-discrimination executive order with respect to state government workers. The question of whether he'll propose a budget amendment to de-fund panned parenthood will be seen by many of his supporters as a test of whether he will implement the values of social conservatism in the budget. If he does, there will be a substantial fight in the Senate and the media will surely portray it as a switch from the "moderation" of the campaign. If he doesn't, he'll disappoint a segment of his core supporters.

FamilyFoundationBlog: If Governor McDonnell proposes a host of "fees" instead of taxes to close the budget gap, how will that affect his support on the right? creation

Dr. Holsworth: If McDonnell is perceived as simply playing semantics with taxes, it will harm him not only with the right, but with many independents as well. He was very clear during the election about his belief that revenue increases should primarily come from economic growth and I would be very surprised if he has a post-election conversion to a different point of view, especially in this political environment.

FamilyFoundationBlog: Governor McDonnell is getting a lot of positive attention right now — giving the GOP response to the State of the Union, doing several national interviews, even one for Newt Gingrich's newsletter. Does he runs the risk of raising his own expectations?

Dr. Holsworth: I think of the smartest moves the new Governor made was to cancel his national interviews the day after his SOTU response. Virginians have made it clear that his first priority as Governor should be the Commonwealth and, in the long run, McDonnell's national stature will be most enhanced by having a strong approval rating in-state.

FamilyFoundationBlog: What chances do you give of real reforms this or next year in areas of budgeting and in recalculating SOQ spending?

Dr. Holsworth: The Senate has already rejected a key McDonnell proposal on changing the two year budget cycle. Recalculating SOQ spending has been an issue that many House Republicans have pointed to over the last few years as a reform necessary to rein in future budget increases. We've seen some willingness from both parties to look at items such as staffing ratios regarding non-instructional personnel. If there ever would be a time where the entire SOQ calculation would be readjusted, it would be in the kind of fiscal environment we have now. But polls show that schools remain extremely high on the public's priority list. In aggregate, school groups (teachers, superintendents, school boards, and principals) are extraordinarily well organized and very politically effective. Moreover, Virginia schools overall seem to perform extremely well — just this week, we ranked third in the nation in AP testing. I believe that the effort for major permanent structural changes in school funding will have substantial hurdles to overcome.

FamilyFoundationBlog: What are your thoughts on former Governor Doug Wilder calling for Tim Kaine's removal as Democrat National Committee chairman?

Dr. Holsworth: Former Governor Wilder noted that he had supported Tim Kaine for Vice-President, but did not feel that the DNC Chair was the best fit for his talents and skills. My guess is that there are a number of Democratic activists who are more comfortable with the sharp edges of a Howard Dean than the more cerebral approach to the position of Tim Kaine. The proof, of course, will be in the November pudding. Kaine will succeed if Democrats do far better than expected. But if November is a Democratic debacle, Kaine will be fingered for part of the blame.

Be sure to check back with us tomorrow afternoon for part two of our interview with Dr. Bob Holsworth as we look at next year's Congressional elections in Virginia, Senator Jim Webb's prospects in 2012, and the Tea Party movement.

Virginia News Stand: December 7, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Ooops. We're Taking You To Court, Instead.

Of all things: The mysterious Know Campaign, which planned on a mass mailing, prior to the election, telling recipients that their neighbors vote, so why don't you? last week told the State Board of Elections it would cooperate with its investigation and disclose who made available to it a Voter Vault list, of which only certain people — including elected officials — have access, but now says it is going to court to block having to supply said information. Hmmm. As Jerry Seinfeld would ask, "Who arrrrrrrre those people?"

Meanwhile, the GOP celebrates, the Dems deliberate and Jeff McWaters will be the new senator from the 8th district. Also, some are floating the idea of ending the car tax reduction to balance the budget. That takes a lot of nerve, but, unfortunately, it's not surprising. Some never can read election results, even when it hits them in the face.

In Analysis and Commentary past and future elections are evaluated, as the Washington Post picks Virginia's own, U.S. Representative Tom Perriello (D-5) as the fifth most likely incumbent/defender of a party's seat, to lose in next year's Congressional elections, and former Governor Doug Wilder explains why Creigh Deeds lost. (Why isn't ever why Bob McDonnell won?) Also, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Jeff Schapiro takes a look at one of the most powerful men in the General Assembly — Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66, Colonial Heights) — and the many cards he has to play.

News:

McDonnell and GOP celebrate victories (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Victory bash: GOP rallies in Williamsburg (The Daily Press)

Kaine tells Democrats not to dwell on the past (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds thanks Dems, exhorts party to keep fighting (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

End to car tax relief on table to plug budget hole (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell watches cash during transition (Richmond Times-Dispatch

GOP picks McWaters to run for Va. Senate (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Nonprofit sues to avoid disclosing donors (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Analysis:

Spotlight centers on Cox (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Change you can count on: Five key districts (Chris Cillizza/Washington Post)

Commentary:

Wilder: Why Creigh Deeds Lost (Doug Wilder/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia News Stand: October 1, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  It's Almost Too Sad — Too Much News, Not Enough Time

There is so much news out there . . . of course, it's campaign season, so one would expect that. But this year seems different. Different types of news, different angles. Wish I could cover it all. Looking for something you come across something even more interesting. Can I get to it all? No, and that's the one frustrating aspect of blogging. Oh well. I've bookmarked some articles I hope to get to tomorrow, particularly about how the Dems now are trashing former Governor Doug Wilder (see Washington Post) over his non-endorsement of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds. But why trash him when, rumor has it, the DNC is already dumping Deeds? That was one thing I picked up on when searching something else (see here).

The one national story that's getting traction is a Democrat Congressman who said the GOP health care plan is to tell people to not to get sick and if they do, die quickly. Oh, yeah, the liberals are so pure, innocent and nice to play with. Please see the AP article and Bobby Eberle's commentary. Maybe we need to pray for liberals, which is what Newsweek looks at (remember, it's Newseek!). On a more uplifting note, there was a rally for school choice at the U.S. Capitol yesterday as the Washington Times documents.

News:

Race for governor: McDonnell takes swipe at Kaine (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election McDonnell 51% Deeds 42% (RassmussenReports.com)

Poll: Bob McDonnell pads lead over Creigh Deeds in Virginia (Politico.com)

News7 SurveyUSA poll shows frontrunners in November elections (WDBJ-TV/WDBJ7.com)

Kaine sees tougher fight, more negative tone in governor's race (Lynchburg News & Advance)

On the Wilder Side of Politics, Picking None of the Above (Washington Post)

National News:

Democrat says GOP wants sick to just 'die quickly (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Vote on health care expected mid-month (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Rallying for school vouchers (Washington Times)

Obama admin. defends official for gay advice (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Essay in military journal urges end to policy on gays (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar Admits He Poorly Handled Underage Sex Case (FoxNews.com)

Commentary:

You Lie vs. You Die . . . Where's the Real Apology? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com

Praying for Liberals (David Waters/Newsweek)

Analysis:

Democrats Win Lobbyists But Lose Basic Reforms (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

SurveyUSA's Results in Virginia Will Please Republicans, But . . . (Jim Geraghty/National Review Online's the campaign spot blog)

New Public Policy Polling Poll Shows McDonnell Still Leading

Public Policy Polling, a Democrat polling organization, released a new poll this morning (see its news release here) that shows Republican Bob McDonnell maintaining a lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in Virginia's governor's race by a 48-43 margin. This is smaller than previous polls. However, given the leftward slant of the organization, and the relentless attacks by Deeds on McDonnell for the last three weeks, it appears to be good news for the Republican. See Bruce Drake at his PoliticsDaily.com Poll Watch Blog here for insight on the internal numbers, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch mentions methodology here. Republican consultant Peter Foster looked at the poll's internals and offered us this analysis of how the numbers must play out for each candidate:

The good news is that McDonnell continues to lead by five points heading into the final month. While this is closer than they (PPP) had the race two months ago, that appears to be entirely the result of Democrats waking up and realizing there's an election going on. McDonnell still leads among independents by a margin of 53-37 percent, and he's getting 96 percent of the Republican vote. Deeds is getting 82 percent of the Democrat vote. One potential issue with these poll numbers is that they probably oversampled Democrats overall, as their respondents are 37 percent Democrat, only 29 percent Republican, and 34 percent self-identified independent. I seriously doubt that that will be an accurate reflection of the Election Day turnout, but, for argument's sake, let's play with those numbers.

The reason to expect the race to continue to get closer is that of the nine percent who are undecided, 53 percent are Democrats, while only seven percent are Republicans. The other 40 percent are independents. Currently, McDonnell is getting 98 percent of the Republicans who have made up their minds and 59 percent of independents who have made up their minds, and Creigh Deeds is getting 94 percent of Democrats who have made up their minds. If you follow that formula and give McDonnell 98 percent of the Republican undecideds and 59 percent of the independent undecideds, and give Deeds 94 percent of the Democratic undecideds, then this adds up to a very close race on Election Day, with McDonnell winning with 51.03 percent of the vote.

The bottom line is that McDonnell is in the stronger position headed into the final month, but it's going to be a very close race, and, regardless of what the turnout percentages end up being in terms of Republican, Democrat and independent, if McDonnell maintains his levels of support among Republicans and among independents, he'll win in a close race.

Once last thing to consider are two factors are not fully measured by the polls. One is the lower turnout among specific, traditional Democrat voting blocs, such as black voters, which surely will be affected by former governor, and fellow Democrat, Doug Wilder's refusal to endorse Deeds, as well as some liberal base groups who are turned off by his flip-flops over the years on social issues. The second is under reported story — the registration of thousands of new conservative voters by several organizations, such as pro-life, Second Amendment and Tea Party groups.

Two For Traffic Congestion Two: Hampton Roads Chamber Of Commerce Endorses McDonnell

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce officially endorsed Bob McDonnell today giving the Republican candidate for governor the endorsements of the business communities of the two most traffic congested regions of Virginia. Jim Nolan of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has it here. Along with former Governor Doug Wilder's tax increases are "not leadership," non-endorsement of fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds, it looks as if it's advantage McDonnell in the transportation debate. Despite the stereo-type that chambers of commerce are some type of conservative monolith, as Bill Pascoe points out on CQPolitics' In The Right Blog, the Fairfax Chamber, for example, has been very friendly to Mark Warner over the years. In fact, the whole myth of "business being conservative" needs to be exploded. Business is for business, whether it gets its way via free markets or government assistance. (Who was among the most fervent property rights reform opponents? Who typically is for taxes increases for roads for their commercial developments?)

In this case, in this economic condition, they understand — confiscating wealth is no way to create it. Without people keeping their hard-earned money, there's no transportation. So, the people who know their region's problems best seem to favor McDonnell's no-tax approach to transportation problem solving.

Virginia News Stand: September 25, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Non-Endorsement Edition

The news is just as Doug Wilder likes it — about him. It's practically sucked out the news cycle any mention of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce endorsement of Bob McDonnell and the Virginia Fraternal of Police endorsement of the entire GOP ticket. The latter merited a picture and a sentence in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch, buried in an article all about Our Doug's announcement. Even the New York Times wrote about it! Elsewhere, Jody Wagner continues to miscalculate and delegate races are heating up. Oh, and surprise! The VEA is attacking Bob McDonnell.

News:

Wilder on Deeds: That's not 'leadership' (Washington Times)

Wilder declines to endorse Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Former governor refrains from endorsing Deeds (Roanoke Times)

Wilder Declines to Endorse Anyone for Governor (Washington Post)

Governor candidates spar over economic plans (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Virginia Teachers Union Blasts McDonnell in TV Ads (Washington Post)

Bolling, Wagner clash over rules of debate, Va. Budget (Northern Virginia Daily)

Landes, Marrow Get Personal (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Lesinski criticizes Gilbert for failing to create more jobs (Northern Virginia Daily

GOP Takes Page From Democrats in N.Va. House Races (Washington Post)

National News:

Wilder Balks at Endorsing Deeds in Va. Race (New York Times The Caucus Blogs)

Analysis:

Two Groups of Women Help Put the Race Into Focus (Jennifer Agiesta and Sandhya Somashekhar/Washington Post)

High Ranking Democrat Senator Edd Houck Says No Tax Increase Needed!

In what must be one of the most devastating one-two combinations this side of Mike Tyson in his prime, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds was on the receiving end of former Governor (and Democrat) Doug Wilder's non-endorsement yesterday (in large part because because of Deeds' insistence on new taxes). Now, Democrat Senator Edd Houck — one of the most senior members of the Senate, the second ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and one of only five Senate budget conferees — has released a statement in which he writes that a tax increase is not needed. It's pretty bad when two prominent members of your own party sabotage the rationale for your entire campaign — to raise taxes for transportation and who knows what else. 

Senator Houck (D-17, Spottsylvania) wrote:

Fortunately, Governor Kaine’s proposals contain no tax increases. With salaries remaining stagnant, or worse, individuals losing their jobs, a tax increase is unneeded

Not that this is insurmountable for Senator Deeds. Anything is possible. But with friends like this, and two miserable days of news, we're sure he's glad it's the weekend.

Why You Need To Read This Blog: Wilder Impact, We Had It First

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we're not bad. Pretty good, in fact. Yesterday, in our almost daily Virginia News Stand we commented that the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and Fraternal Order of Police endorsements, as well as former Governor Doug Wilder's non-endorsement of fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds, had put momentum back on the side of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell Guess who confirms it today? The august editorial page writers at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, whose lead editorial, "Election 2009: Wilder Rules," sees it as we do. 

As the T-D put it:

The only thing better for Republican Bob McDonnell would have been a formal endorsement. There is no way Democrat Creigh Deeds can put a happy face on this. ... his statement implicitly underscored the Republican's electoral strengths and the Democrat's electoral weaknesses. Wilder's criticism of Deeds' willingness — eagerness? — to hike taxes for transportation echoed one of McDonnell's themes. Wilder cited the regressive nature of most of the proposed revenue enhancements — such as higher gasoline taxes or higher sales taxes generally.

In 2006, it was perceived that Mr. Wilder was flirting with endorsing George Allen in his re-election bid to the U.S. Senate. When he endorsed Jim Webb, many thought it wasn't that he preferred Webb over Allen, but interpreted the political tea leaves correctly and wanted to be relevent to the election and his endorsement important. That's our Doug. So could this non-endorsement mean that this historic figure, who has some of the best political radar in the country, thinks Deeds is going down to defeat?

Let's put it another way. The former governor and first strong mayor of Richmond in 60 years is saying this: Creigh, you have no plan. What you do have is a raise-taxes-for-every-problem-approach. Attacking your opponent is not telling us what you would do. He even went so far as to say Deeds is offering no leadership! As anyone who knows Doug Wilder knows, he wants to know what you will do and knows those who don't say are normally doomed to defeat.

Virginia News Stand: September 24, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  As The Day Turned: Chamber, FOP, Wilder

This morning started out with major news for Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, with the very non-partisan Fairfax Chamber of Commerce endorsing him. (Where's the Washington Post article?) This same chamber endorsed Mark Warner in 2001. So, no GOP echo chamber here. As its number one issue is transportation, it clearly is sending a message as to whose plan is better for Northern Virginia.

As the day went on, it only got better for him. First, the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police endorsed McDonnell and his running mates, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for re-election and Senator Ken Cuccinelli for attorney general. McDonnell's opponent, Democrat Senator Creigh Deeds, who shrugged of the NRA's endorsement of McDonnell a few weeks ago, even though the NRA endorsed Deeds in his AG run in 2005, said what really mattered this year was the FOP's endorsement. Okay, we now have it, senator. What say you, now?

But perhaps the dirt on Deeds day was that former Governor Doug Wilder later in the afternoon issued a statement in which he refused to endorse him. He also did not endorse him in 2005. Although it was never likely he would endorse McDonnell, even this non-endorsement must be seen as a major surprise. As I wrote yesterday, Mr. Wilder said that this election is a referendum on Barack Obama, for whom he enthusiastically campaigned last year. Why would he contribute something, by his own admission, would make his party's president look bad? Especially after the administration talked to him extensively about it? As we say in Richmond about our former mayor, "That's Doug." That's how he turns, and as the morning turned to the afternoon today, the momentum may have turned firmly back to McDonnell.

News:

Fairfax chamber endorses McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Fairfax chamber backs McDonnell for governor (Roanoke Times)

McDonnell aims to tap support of veterans (Washington Times)

Warner urges action on health care (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

William Smith hopes past won't haunt in House of Delegates race (Roanoke Times)

Some Va. rest areas getting electric-car chargers (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

National News:

Critics Assail Obama's 'Safe Schools' Czar, Say He's Wrong Man for the Job (FoxNews.com)

Analysis:

Fairfax Chamber Chooses McDonnell over Deeds, on Transportation (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Young Women, Meet Young Bob McDonnell (Rosalind S. Helderman and Jennifer Agiesta/Washington Post)

Commentary:

Virginia, Meet Your Mondale (Bill Pascoe/CQPolitics In The Right Blog)

Deeds Not Hoping For Hope And Change

In the 1980s, when Virginia was an electoral lock for Republican presidential candidates, and when the GOP won the presidency three successive terms, Virginia Republicans weren't nearly as successful. In fact, they lost three gubernatorial elections on the trot. One rhetorical tactic the GOP tried during those campaigns was to tie the Democrat to the rampant liberalism personified by big spenders, culture relativists, moral equivalency types and foreign policy weaklings such as Tip O'Neil, Patsy Schroder, Teddy Kennedy, Jim Wright, Tom Harkin and the whole motley crew.

The Dems here inevitably replied that "Virginia Democrats are different" and Chuck Robb, Gerry Baliles and Doug Wilder certainly lent that persona, if not actual substance, and the public seemed happy enough with them. All of which has come full reverse cycle in this year's campaign. That is to say, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds won't say where he stands on what the "D.C. Democrats" are doing. Those are national issues he says, although a governor must be prepared to defend against federal the encroachment that inhibits his state's right of self government and to be a laboratory of innovation.

But Senator Deeds won't even say whether he supports or opposes "cap and trade" which would close the largest employer in his senate district! He won't comment, either, on socialized medicine, card check,  government control of the Internet and radio, or mandated abortion on demand, all of which are, or have been, put forth by the Obama administration and its uber-liberal allies in Congress.

But waaaaaaaaaaaaaaait just one minute!

 

He will comment on former President George W. Bush. That's right, Senator Deeds has new radio and television ads attacking the former president. So, who's he running against? Oh, and by the way, where's the mention of Governor Tim Kaine in those ads? Until a few months ago — when the governor's popularity began to plunge — Senator Deeds was fond of saying that he would continue the Kaine model. (Being Democrat National Committee chairman kinda debunks the whole "bi-partisan" thing.)

So, apparently, not even state issues are on the Deeds itinerary. Let's see: Senator Deeds won't talk about the last four years in Virginia and he won't talk about the last eight months in Washington. Guess that "Hope and Change" ain't working to well for him, either.

Fun Facts For Today

Whether Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's experience is a real factor or not remains to be seen as she enters into the vice presidential debate Thursday night. Right now, the voters don't seem to mind. In fact, the last budget she administered is about $7.6 billion; the last budget administered by then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton when he ran for president was about $3.6 billion. So, does she have twice the practical experience he had in 1992? Certainly, the issues of energy independence are more complicated than Arkansas pre-K education. Former Virginia governor and current Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder has disparaged Governor Palin's experience. But then-Governor Wilder, in 1992, with only one year as governor under his belt, ran for the Democrat presidential nomination. Double standard, your honor?

But perhaps the most fun (and hypocrisy exposing) fact of all is, that while her critics ridicule the size of her state, her opponent, Senator Joe Biden, comes from lil' ol' Delaware, population 853,476 or less than the total population of metropolitan Richmond (Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover Counties, and Doug's domain) which has a combined population of about 888,399. So . . . Doug Wilder for president after all?

Breaking: Richmond's Mayor Race To Be Less Entertaining

A couple of weeks back we got excited over the candidacy of eccentric former City Councilwoman Shirley Harvey for mayor of Richmond. Alas, it is not to be. The Times-Dispatch Web site reported within the hour that she did not get enough petitions to qualify for the ballot (500 signatures, at least 50 from each of the city's nine wards). Great. First Doug Wilder. Now Shirley Harvey. Who's going to make election time this fall any fun?