budget deficits

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.

If Only Wagner's Revenue Projections Were As "Clear," Or, A Campaign Without Communication . . . Yet!

If you haven't heard it by now, and you want a good laugh, listen to Democrat lieutenant governor candidate Jody Wagner's interview this morning with WRVA's Richmond's Morning News host Jimmy Barrett (click here). Barrett gets right to the point and asks the former Kaine administration finance secretary about her missed revenue projections, which have resulted in consecutive budget deficits and multiple budget cuts. I'll give her some credit for her answer — she's at least learned something from the Obama administration, and that's the one thing it's good at: blame, blame and pass the buck, with a litany of boilerplate liberal excuses:

» It was the Bush administration's fault (at least twice);

» At least Virginia isn't as bad off as some other states (that'll make people feel secure);

» Passed the buck to economic forecasting agencies, business leaders and groups, and General Assembly leaders (how about that, Dick Saslaw?);

» But the 6.6 percent revenue growth projection in a slowing economy never gave her pause, even as many in the General Assembly warned the Kaine administration it was too high (she emphatically was "not overly optimistic"); and 

» Repeatedly said, "Let's be clear," (to the point where Barrett mockingly repeated it himself).

Not to mention her defensiveness when Barrett tried to loft her a softball about her campaign — she thought he was trying to blame her for the recession, for which she blamed George W. Bush (again).

All these excuses inevitably led to contradictions. Follow this bit of illogic: If it's the federal government's fault when things are bad, she must then credit it when things are good; if so, we have no reason for state government. So why is she running? She also got defensive when Barrett mentioned the recession came into focus a year ago, and rudely interrupted him to say she wasn't in office then, as well as when he simply asked how forecasts might be improved in the future.

But we still haven't heard the classics from her! Here goes:

On the grossly inaccurate revenue forecasts: 

"If I'm powerful enough to be personally responsible for that, then you want me to be your lieutenant governor."

Then, the absolute best for last: On the Public Policy Poll (a liberal pollster) that shows all three Democrats behind by double digits:

"The Democratic candidates have not yet begun communicating with the public yet and we will be doing that as the campaign moves along." 

So, that entire primary thing back in June was a what? Those television ads she ran . . . ? Those campaign appearances and interviews . . . ?

There you have it. It has nothing to do with her previous job performance, but that she and her ticket mates haven't yet communicated with the public. Don't worry, though. They plan on it. But with interviews like this, Ms. Wagner may want to delay that communication as long as possible.