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Democrats give up on Deeds for Governor in Virginia

Rush is all over this today and it's heartening news for us Virginians:

Sensing that victory in the race for Virginia governor is slipping away, Democrats at the national level are laying the groundwork to blame a loss in a key swing state on a weak candidate who ran a poor campaign that failed to fully embrace President Obama until days before the election.

Senior administration officials have expressed frustration with how Democrat R. Creigh Deeds has handled his campaign for governor, refusing early offers of strategic advice and failing to reach out to several key constituencies that helped Obama win Virginia in 2008, they say.

Democratic strategists said that over the summer, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) offered Deeds advice on winning a statewide election. Among other things, Kaine, who is also chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told Deeds that he should lay out more of his own vision and stop attacking Republican Robert F. McDonnell so ferociously. But Deeds did not embrace the advice, according to a national Democratic strategist.

A senior administration official said Deeds badly erred on several fronts, including not doing a better job of coordinating with the White House. "I understood in the beginning why there was some reluctance to run all around the state with Barack Obama," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the race. "You don't do that in Virginia. But when you consider the African American turnout that they need, and then when you consider as well they've got a huge problem with surge voters, younger voters, we were just a natural for them."

A second administration official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "Obama, Kaine and others had drawn a road map to victory in Virginia. Deeds chose another path."

Fascinating, especially since Obama is now actively campaigning for Deeds.  I personally suspect that if Obama had indeed campaigned more vigorously on Deeds behalf, he'd be doing even worse than he's doing now given Obama's fumbling and bumbling on the national level.

Regardless, it's great news for those of us who care about leadership in Virginia and, on a larger scale, who care about what a defeat for Democrats today says about Democrat chances tomorrow and beyond.

Hope. And. Change.



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Comments (5)

Forget hope and change. Wh... (Below threshold)
James H:

Forget hope and change. Where do they stand on HOT lanes?

"A second administration of... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"A second administration official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said: 'Obama, Kaine and others had drawn a road map to victory in Virginia. Deeds chose another path."

Hey, Monday morning quarterbacking is supposed to happen AFTER the event, when everybody's hind sight is 20/20. If they're saying this now they're protecting Barack. Deeds may be in even worse shape than current polls show.

Speaking of protecting, odd that none of our friends from the other side of the aisle haven't been here to do the deed for Deeds. Makes me think Deeds may have actually achieved the political equivalence of "room temperature" already.

I am from across the aisle.... (Below threshold)
James H:

I am from across the aisle. Sort of. I tend to vote for Democratic candidates these days because I agree more with their platforms than I do with Republican candidates. Of late, the Republican Party has trended more conservative, and I have not. So, logically, I tend to vote for Democrats these days.

On gubernatorial races, I'm fairly parochial. I don't give a shit about giving the national Republican or Democratic parties a talking point to flog on morning TV. I'm more interested in bread and butter issues that affect me as a Virginian.

Of those issues, I am most interested in transportation. I give McDonnell points for giving the transportation issue far more thought than Deeds has, particularly when it comes to funding transportation projects. But I can't give him full points.

According to the Washington Business Journal, McDonell would fund transportation improvements through new bond issues, while Deeds would try to increase the gas tax. Of the two approaches, I prefer the gas tax.

While I do not necessarily like higher taxes (few people do), I do not believe that floating more debt is a responsible course in the current economic environment. They add to the Commonwealth's debt load (obviously) and represent a liability, rather than an increased long-term revenue stream.

Moreover, I also oppose McDonnell's decision to embrace HOT lanes to finance road construction. The current system of HOV lanes is a boon to Northern Virginia commuters, who have can use the faster commute simply by carpooling. Those who are not members of carpools can take advantage of the slug line. Implementing HOT lanes risks exacerbating this region's traffic problems, not to mention driving a stake through the heart of the quite useful slug line.

Notice that I am not putting forward an impassioned defense of Creigh Deeds. The Democratic roster this year featured uninspiring options, including a carpetbagging Democratic gladhander (McAuliffe) and a largely regional politician (Moran) who had little name recognition outside of parts of Northern Virginia.

James H,You wasted... (Below threshold)

James H,

You wasted a lot of words there.

Only one thing needs to be said about the race. Obama sucks goose eggs in VA, and therefore Creigh loses (4 years ago Creigh would have won).

This big dump has nowehere else it can be placed except laid in the lap of our asshole in chief.

.......... Damn nehemiah, t... (Below threshold)

.......... Damn nehemiah, that's the best description of events I've heard so far.






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