Running Local

This Train of Thought Makes All Stops

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Posted by Bob Kohm on January 9, 2009

ist2_4669264-blue-state-series-virginiaVirginia had been the heart of Republican politics since the Dixiecrats went Republican, but that all started to change in 2001 with Mark Warner’s defeat of Mark Earley in the Gubernatorial Race. We got a little more blue with Tim Kaine’s win to succeed Warner, and more so when Jim Webb beat George “Macacca” Allen in the 2006 Senate race. It all culminated this year with Barack Obama’s resounding win here in the Old Dominion– we were unquestionably Blue at last.

Now, with the 2009 Gubernatorial looming, I’m starting to fear that we merely borrowed that blue cloak we hung over our state. As the GOP prepares to run unabashedly conservative Bob McDonnell, the Democratic Party is countering with two uniquely lousy candidates– Brian Moran, the brother of an ethically challenged Congressman, and Terry McAuliffe, the snake oil slick former head of the DNC and noted Clinton lackey. Also out there is Creigh Deeds, but he’s pretty much a punchline, and deservedly so.

Virginia’s gubernatorial laws are bizarre– you can’t run for re-election at all, but can run for election again after you’ve been out of office for a term. It’s term limits taken to an (even more) illogical extreme, and this year, with a thin bench, it may well cost the Democrats a state we’ve killed ourselves to bring to the progressive side. It’s not hopeless– either McAuliffe’s money or Moran’s Northern Virginia powerbase could carry the day– but this should have been close to a sure-thing election for the Dems and it most certainly will not be that. We’re in for a high dollar, bruising primary between two guys with obvious liabilities followed by what is sure to be a general that the RNC will be going all out to win to show that they aren’t, in fact, the Keystone Kops… especially if McAuliffe wins the primary.

Hard work for a transitory victory because of poor gubernatorial candidates– not the way to build a state party.

One Response to “Something Borrowed, Something Blue”

  1. Chancellor said

    You’re gonna hurt yourself if you keep holding back…so, what do you REALLY think of Terry McAuliffe?

    McDonnell’s already picked up the attention of at least one of the big talk radio bloviators – the term “Gingrich conservative” is getting thrown around.

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