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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Journalism great passes, ‘and that’s the way it is’

When Walter Cronkite retired in 1981, in his typical, fatherly, and always gentle manner, he said that his departure wasn’t all that important. He had been preceded by a fine journalist and would be followed by a fine journalist. It was, in his words, “just a passing of the baton.”
At the time he was probably right. Broadcast news was still at its height. CNN had only been on the air for a year and the Internet was still a long way off. The evening news, anchored by names such as Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Howard K. Smith, was still one of the principal sources for news and information. And the people who guided us through that half hour wrap-up of world events each evening were trusted visitors to our homes. Walter Cronkite, one of those handful of welcomed TV visitors, died last week at age 92. According to several polls in the 1960s and ’70s, when Cronkite was at the height of his fame, he was considered the most trusted man in America.

Read more: Journalism great passes, ‘and that’s the way it is’

Local governments and the recession: some twists, some turns, some IOUs

During a recession, the Federal Government has one big advantage over everyone else. It can run a deficit and continue to borrow. In a sense, as some like to say, it can just keep printing money. However, other governments, such as states, counties, towns and cities, don’t have this option. Though some can run a deficit for a little while, in the end, they all have to come up with some way to balance the books.
Though revenue for local governments often fluctuates, sometimes dramatically, they rarely find themselves looking at the possibility of default. Usually, through belt tightening, higher taxes and borrowing, they can get through a tough spot. However, this year is putting the soundness of many state and local governments to the test. Some are getting by and others aren’t doing well at all.

Read more: Local governments and the recession: some twists, some turns, some IOUs

Kaine needs to disclose his travel schedule

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.

Read more: Kaine needs to disclose his travel schedule

Founding Fathers highlighted the odd, interesting and important “pursuit of happiness”

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. 

Read more: Founding Fathers highlighted the odd, interesting and important “pursuit of happiness”

McDonnell’s running mates may be a liability

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.

Read more: McDonnell’s running mates may be a liability

It’s Deeds versus McDonnell

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.

Read more: It’s Deeds versus McDonnell

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