- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 15:15
- Published on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 15:15
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Tim Kaine is a popular and well-liked governor. He is considered honest, straight forward, and generally willing to tell it like it is. That’s a refreshing trait in any politician, and it has served Kaine well in his nearly four years as governor. However, if Kaine isn’t careful, this reputation, and with it his legacy, could be in trouble.
Most political observers would readily agree that Tim Kaine has always been a political governor. This is in contrast to his predecessor, Mark Warner, who tended to downplay his role as leader of the party. Warner helped the party, raised money and recruited candidates, but he did so quietly. He wasn’t eager to agitate the Republicans any more than he had too. He figured, rightly, that he would need their help down the road, so making a lot of political noise just wasn’t advisable.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:31
- Published on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:31
- Hits: 469
They are just three words, imprecise, to say the least, that close the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. This section of the declaration, perhaps the most memorable of the entire document, states «We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It was remarkable enough for the Founding Fathers to declare the equality of mankind and the sanctity of natural rights, but its closing phrase did something that no government document had ever done, and that’s to state that the pursuit of individual happiness is a right of humankind.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 19:29
- Published on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 19:29
- Hits: 513
Candidates for governor almost never have any choice in the makeup of the ticket. The candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general all run separate campaigns. This means a candidate for governor could find himself paired with running mates who may or may not share his philosophy -- 2005 was a good example.
Tim Kaine was carefully cultivating his moderate positions in his run against Jerry Kilgore. However, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Leslie Byrne, had beaten moderate Chap Peterson in the primary and was campaigning to the left of Kaine. It’s possible, though he never said so, that Kaine would have preferred Peterson. Byrne’s liberal views sometimes made it hard for Kaine to look as moderate as he wanted. However, as it turned out, Kaine won the election and Byrne came surprisingly close to winning. But they were definitely two different kinds of candidates, and the match wasn’t an easy one.
This year it’s possible that the down-ticket candidates, while running in the shadows, may have more of an impact on the general election than usual. This is particularly true for GOP candidate for governor, Bob McDonnell.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 16:26
- Published on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 16:26
- Hits: 473
By David S. Kerr
At several points during the recent campaign for the femocratic nomination for governor, State Senator Creigh Deeds was all but written off. Some suggested it might be best if he dropped out. Others thought maybe it would be better if he ran for attorney general again instead. But Deeds, who had been running for governor for most of the past four years, would have none of that. He was in this race to the end. And what’s more, while others ignored him and assumed he would come in a distant third, he saw a different ending to this campaign. He thought he was going to win and based on last week's results it looks like he was right.
There were three candidates in this primary: Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton intimate; Brian Moran, a popular former delegate from Alexandria; and Deeds. McAuliffe had money and Moran had connections and a good organization. They were both vigorous campaigners. Until the very end, it looked one of those two was on his way to the nomination. But something happened on the way to the polling booth. McAuliffe, figuring Moran was his principal adversary, and reasonably assured he was fighting for the party’s liberal base, kept pushing Moran on liberal issues. The exchange got heated and Moran, by necessity, had to do his best to “out liberal” McAuliffe.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 17:59
- Published on Wednesday, 03 June 2009 17:59
- Hits: 401
Nationally the Republican Party is suffering from what a marketing professional would call a crisis in brand management.
In other words, they have let their GOP identity, its label if you will, get hijacked by people who don’t necessarily represent the interest or concerns of the majority of Republican voters. At the very least, they aren’t personalities that are likely to help the party get back into power, either in 2010 or 2012.
Right now, in a bizarre twist, the primary GOP spokesmen are radio personality, Rush Limbaugh, and the ex-vice President, Dick Cheney. Each of them seems to basking in the attention, but in terms of helping their party regain its momentum, they’re both causing more harm than they are helping.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:48
- Published on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:48
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It was the closest statewide election in the history of the Commonwealth and if Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General in 2005, had managed to garner just a few hundred more votes everything about this year’s election would be different.
More than likely, in the tradition of these contests, winning that election would have made Deeds the heir apparent for the Democratic nod to run for Governor. However, that’s not the way it worked out. Bob McDonnell won that election and now he is the GOP standard bearer in the race for Governor. As for the Democrats, they’re fighting it out in a primary. Oh what a difference a few hundred votes can make.
This year Creigh Deeds, the loser in that cliff hanger election in 2005, is one of the Democrats trying to get their party’s nomination for Governor. His only opponent, that is up until late last year, was Delegate Brian Moran from Alexandria. For the most part, it looked like Moran had the edge. Moran had more money, deep ties in vote rich Northern Virginia and a better organization. However, that simple dynamic got tossed on its ear when Terry McAuliffe entered the race. All at once it was a three person contest. Moran and Deeds were known quantities, but now, with McAuliffe in the race, and he is anything but a known quantity, it’s become a far more complicated picture.