Washington Post's Ponnuru: "Desperate Deeds"Aug 12, 2009
We don't have a News Stand for you today, but if you take a look yesterday's, you will see a link to a post entitled "Desperate Deeds" from Right Matters, a blog at the Washington Post, by conservative writer Ramesh Ponnuru (here). He concisely explains in six points why Democrat Creigh Deeds' sudden, politically eccentric attack on Republican Bob McDonnell's pro-life positions won't work. Here it is:
Democrat Creigh Deeds, down in the polls in the race for governor of Virginia, has decided to campaign against Republican Robert McDonnell for having spent too much time during his career trying to restrict abortion. Here are five reasons why this tactic is unlikely to work:
1) Most people don't enjoy discussions of abortion, and react negatively when people bring it up. The people who vote on the issue already know where the candidates stand and aren't going to be swayed by ads.
2) Virginia isn't a strongly pro-choice state. Its current governor, after all, is a nominally pro-life Democrat.
3) A lot of voters know that governors can't ban abortion — and that Democrats have the White House, the House, and the Senate, and have just made an appointment to the Supreme Court.
4) Voters have other things on their minds, such as the economy, and will find it odd for a gubernatorial candidate to be talking about something else.
5) This campaign tactic puts Deeds in an impossible position. He has to persuade the voters that the candidate who isn't talking a lot about abortion is the one who is dangerously obsessed with the issue. Good luck with that.
So what do you think? Is Deeds making a big mistake?
Update: I should have added another one. 6) McDonnell is on the right side of public opinion on the specific legislative issues Deeds is pointing at, such as a ban on late-term abortion and a requirement for parental consent.
One can imagine the Deeds team on a conference call last week, depressed by the poll numbers, frantically searching for in issue with traction. Finding none, someone yells, "I've got it! Abortion!" "Right," the others would say, "the abortion card! Let's play it!" But it's no winning hand, as documented here.
It's funny: Liberals always talk about conservatives "taking us back to bad times." But this demagoguery is the real time warp.