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A Major Shakeup in Virginia Governor's Race

In a surprise announcement, Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said he will not run for governor in 2009, a move that likely clears the Republican field for state Attorney General Bob McDonnell and offers an early preview of a race that will almost certainly be the most-watched contest in the country in 2009.

Bolling and McDonnell had been positioning themselves for a primary fight ever since they were elected to their current posts in 2005. That jockeying had been further complicated by the stunning defeat of Sen. George Allen (R) in 2006 and the belief that he would like to return to the governor's mansion he occupied from 1993 to 1997.

But, Allen took himself out of contention in January -- citing his desire to spend more time with his family and to continue working in the private sector. Bolling's announcement this week ensures that McDonnell will not face a serious primary challenge, according to one well-informed party strategist.

McDonnell won his current job by just 360 votes over state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) in 2005, a race so close hat Deeds did not concede until a recount was concluded in December of that year. Prior to his victory, McDonnell spent more than a decade in the Virginia Assembly representing the Virginia Beach area.

Deeds is angling for a rematch with McDonnell in the governor's race, having formally announced his candidacy late last year.

Deeds has proved a formidable candidate -- spending much of the interim between his loss in 2005 and today raising money for the party and its candidates. Deeds has also kept in place much of his campaign team from the 2005 race including David Dixon as his media consultant, David Petts as his pollster and Kevin Mack handling direct mail. The continuity of consultants means that Deeds' messaging, which nearly won him the attorney general's post in 2005, will be consistent and steady.

While Deeds is the only announced candidate in the race, state Del. Brian Moran, the brother of current 8th District U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D), is all-but-certain to run.

Brian Moran formed a political action committee to raise money for a governor's race earlier this year and is expected to formalize his candidacy sometime this spring.

Moran's candidacy is being led by Mame Reiley -- a longtime Virginia operative with close ties to former governor Mark Warner (D). Steve Jarding, who helped engineer former governor Warner's win in 2001 is also involved, as is web guru Jerome Armstrong.

Moran has served as chairman of the Democratic Assembly Caucus for the last two cycles, raised an estimated $2.5 million and led his party to double-digit gains in the Assembly, according to Moran allies.

The battle between Deeds and Moran -- if it comes to pass -- will be the first seriously contested Democratic gubernatorial primary in recent memory.

The last time two heavyweights in the party faced off was 1985 when then Attorney General Gerry Baliles and then Lt. Gov. Richard Davis both ran for the party nod. Davis dropped out days before the state party convention and Baliles went on to be elected governor.

Should Deeds and Moran both run, the simplest way to see the race is geographically. Moran hails from northern Virginia, the fastest growing Democratic enclave in the state while Deeds represents an east-central Virginia district that includes Charlottesville -- a progressive base from which to launch a candidacy, his allies argue.

Deeds may be the better known candidate today due to his near-miss in 2005 but Moran has a known last name in Democratic politics and has northern Virginia on his side.

For those of you looking for relief from a post-2008 letdown, keep an eye on this race. It should be a doozy.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 25, 2008; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

met brian and his wife recently---i was very impressed---hope he wins

Posted by: peggy | May 9, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"...While Deeds represents an east-central Virginia district that includes Charlottesville -- a progressive base from which to launch a candidacy..."

That overlooks the rest of his district, which is NOT east-central and NOT progressive, and conveniently leaves out the fact that he lives in Bath County.

Posted by: vmijpp | March 26, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

An early poster said McDonnell might win if McCain wins. I think the truth is exactly the opposite - if McCain wins the presidential election, he will be sufficiently unpopular that it helps the Dem nominee for governor, and likewise a Democratic president will also get off to a rough start. Given our economy's problems, this presidential election may (like 1928) be one of those elections where the winner winds up wishing he had lost.

Posted by: lewyn | March 26, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

JacksonLanders,
From my political point of view, I hope you are right wrt VA statewide politics. That said, I don't see Bob McDonnall as that strong of a candidate either. He is definitely a conservative and is religious. Neither of those traits will go over well in NoVa and the trend has been that the voting population is increasing in this area and thus, it has a bigger input into the decision. The gun issue will not hurt Moran because it is not an important issue in NoVa. McDonnell will win where it is a big issue anyway regardless.

Posted by: dave | March 26, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

ah-hah!

I got it! jreno19 is Don King!

That's some pretty fancy speechifying, jreno19.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 26, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope you didn't actually have to think that, jreno19, while you typed it. A little turbulent in there, is it? Kinda like a cyclone between your ears! lol

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 26, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Craziest, wild-ass, rant of the day goes to:

...and the envelope please...

And the winner is: jreno19

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 26, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin,
Sorry with this late response - it is tax time in my house. I'd agree mostly with jac13's and novamatts's descriptions but put in my two cents that VA is no longer a half step to the right. So I would say that D's are less moderate than implied and the R's less conservative than implied. For instance, Deeds has a 100% rating from NARAL/Planned Parenthood/VA AFL-CIO/Virginia Education Association and 88% from Virginia League of Conservation Voters. Getting a good grade from the NRA, which he has, does not make one a moderate Democrat, even in VA. I will say that Brian Moran is the much much better half of the Moran political family in VA. He has a brother Jim Moran who is a US Congressman near where I live and is a nut, not in the sense that he is ultra liberal (he is) but in the sense that I think he really does have a screw loose. It appears, however, that the nut has fallen far enough from the tree and Brian, while liberal, possesses common sense and so far has avoided any sort of controversy (unlike Jim).

Posted by: dave | March 26, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Umbria,

I personally find Rev Wright's comments extremely offensive, but I have to admit that millions of Americans agree with him.

May I ask you a couple of questions?

1st, why is it that the Islamic Extremists want to kill Americans but do not want to kill Chinese?

2nd, do you think that there are consequences for our government's actions overseas?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 26, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people."

Just Words?

"God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people ... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Just words?

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye."

Just words?

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Just words?

"We started the AIDS virus ... as a means of genocide against people of color."

Just words?

In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial."

Yes, just words.

What a fake. Folks, show your indignation regarding these comments by helping Hillary's campaign - even if it is just $5.
https://contribute.hillaryclinton.com/form.html?sc=2390

Posted by: Umbria | March 26, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

This is so right on, wpost4112 :

"Iraq is nothing compared to what China is becoming. China is viewing Tibet like Germany viewed Poland. And our forces are stretched beyond their limit in a fruitless quagmire of an invasion.
And who will Russia support in a USA vs China war?

Bush may have set us up for a very bleak future indeed. Who are our allies? With what moral authority can we speak? Who will listen?"

Excellent post.

I don't necessarily see us in a traditional "war" with China. More likely, I think, the question is: who will have more global influence? Who will be dominant? Who will lead? Whose values will prevail? Was America's day in the sun so brief? Are we to be eclipsed so soon by China? If yes, what standard of living will we have? What will life be like in America if current trends continue?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | March 26, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I live in Bath County, home to Creigh Deeds. Can anyone tell me a single thing he has accomplished, other than getting elected? His support for--although later recanting of--amending the VA constitution to prohibit same-sex unions was unconscionable. For me personally, his support of the Marshall amendment was both unforgetable and unforgivable. And for that reason alone, I will support Moran over Deeds.

Posted by: hgheiss1 | March 26, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

THE SPEECH --

The Apologia has arrived and once again the self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, promises to heal the wounds of the world. The speech is the rude awakening of mass messianism of his campaign. Apologetically, Obama the MUSLIM double-cross X-boX-BorraX has an astonishingly empty two-prawn echelon explanation of his misjudgment.
In the first prawn: with regard to his connection to separatist-racist Rev. Wright; Obama summons voodoo and juju to express slavery as beginning and ending with the Rev. Wright.
In the second prawn: Obama's speech takes credit for Ashley's dream. A dream of unity Martin Luther King, Jr. borrowed from Ashley for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech. In Obama's speech, the connective bond Ashley, the elderly black man and Obama's grandmother share; represents Obama's self-indicting rise to the Harvard Yard. For Obama, the grand flag of language is the semi-fore of words, bestowed upon our nation by the messiah-alumni from Harvard. Obama's Swoon-Song Apologia to the nation represents a failed hymn -- a hymn that fails to heal the nation, repair the world, or make this time different than all the rest. Obama's speech is a brilliant failure.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Posted by: jreno19 | March 26, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

There's talk within the party of coaxing either Brian or Creigh into running for Attorney General instead. Whats-his-name Shannon is the only Democrat openly angling for that nomination at the moment and either Creigh or Brian could elbow him out of the way and take that nomination easily.

It's tough to see either of these guys backing down, however. Creigh has that 300-odd vote margin that proves he is extremely competitive as a state-wide candidate. He's also got a very, very loyal base. His weakness is fundraising. Creigh is a competent fund raiser but not an extraordinary one.

Brian Moran has access to a lot of campaign money and has made a point of using it to buy himself a lot of friends these last few years. Yet Brian has a lot of weaknesses as a candidate that could mean he'd go down like a lead balloon in the general election. The Massachusetts accent alone is enough to make him a pariah in much of the state. Combine that with his anti-gun stances that contradict the hunter and gun-owner-friendly positions of Warner, Kaine and Webb and you have a perfect formula for a losing campaign.

It's NoVa versus the rest of Virginia. This is gonna be a rough primary that could bring about the end of the Democrats' dominance of state-wide elections.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | March 26, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama's efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Chaney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Chaney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten's of billions.

Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

Two years ago, Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
Involved along with Antoin "Tony" Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON --
Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges -- Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

OBAM YOU'RE NO JFK --

"GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

"GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It's time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

THE SPEECH --

The Apologia has arrived and once again the self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, promises to heal the wounds of the world. The speech is the rude awakening of mass messianism of his campaign. Apologetically, Obama the MUSLIM double-cross X-boX-BorraX has an astonishingly empty two-prawn echelon explanation of his misjudgment.
In the first prawn: with regard to his connection to separatist-racist Rev. Wright; Obama summons voodoo and juju to express slavery as beginning and ending with the Rev. Wright.
In the second prawn: Obama's speech takes credit for Ashley's dream. A dream of unity Martin Luther King, Jr. borrowed from Ashley for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech. In Obama's speech, the connective bond Ashley, the elderly black man and Obama's grandmother share; represents Obama's self-indicting rise to the Harvard Yard. For Obama, the grand flag of language is the semi-fore of words, bestowed upon our nation by the messiah-alumni from Harvard. Obama's Swoon-Song Apologia to the nation represents a failed hymn -- a hymn that fails to heal the nation, repair the world, or make this time different than all the rest. Obama's speech is a brilliant failure.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

Posted by: jreno19 | March 26, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Here's my take on sniper fire ...

McCain's seen too much of it - from way up high while bombing people for a War of Lies.

Clinton's seen too little of it - and she knows it.

Obama realizes it's just sniper fire and is focussed on the job of leading America forwards, instead of backwards.

I'll choose Obama, thanks. Hope he has Richardson or Dodd for VP, those would be great choices.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 26, 2008 5:35 AM | Report abuse

What does Allen's loss in '06 have anything to do with the Governors race?
Cf. "That jockeying had been further complicated by the stunning defeat of Sen. George Allen (R) in 2006 and the belief that he would like to return to the governor's mansion he occupied from 1993 to 1997."

Posted by: bava84 | March 26, 2008 4:22 AM | Report abuse

What does Allen's "narrow" loss have anything to do with VA's Governor's Race?
Cf. "That jockeying had been further complicated by the stunning defeat of Sen. George Allen (R) in 2006 and the belief that he would like to return to the governor's mansion he occupied from 1993 to 1997."

Posted by: bava84 | March 26, 2008 4:20 AM | Report abuse

What does Allen's "narrow" loss have anything to do with VA's Governor's Race? That jockeying had been further complicated by the stunning defeat of Sen. George Allen (R) in 2006 and the belief that he would like to return to the governor's mansion he occupied from 1993 to 1997.

Posted by: bava84 | March 26, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the 'Hawks win it all, but I have to admit I'm so used to losing late in March that I'm pretty much figuring 'Nova clobbers us, and if not them, then certainly mighty Davidson. Bring back Larry Brown!

Posted by: novamatt | March 25, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

novamatt, thanks. KU is my guess to win the NCAA.

Our TX median is a "full step" to the right of the national median, I am sure.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 25, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

To follow-up on jac13's excellent post: the easy answer is that Virginia politics is driven more by personalities and regional interests than by ideology. For instance, the Democratic gains in the commonwealth have been almost entirely in NoVa and Hampton Roads, while the GOP remains strong in the Valley, in southside VA, in the Richmond burbs.

The state GOP has become a lot more ideologically coherent in recent years though, it seems to me. Mark Warner was able to move bills through the R-led state legislature thanks to a group of moderate Republicans who are now almost all gone, replaced either by moderate Ds or by conservative Rs. So now, if we were to conjure up a median VA politician, the D's would be clustered very neatly to the left and the R's to the right, even if, as jac13 correctly points out, the VA median is a half-step to the right of the national median.

Posted by: novamatt | March 25, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Everyone,

Now that we're brought up to date on arcane VA politics, what do you all think about HRC's "Bosnia-gate" and her suddenly vocalizing about Wright? (Just heard Chuck Todd on Olbermann say that some of the sd's are getting restless and disenchanted with HRC's tone; that some of them may declare for or switch to Obama BEFORE Pennsylvania.)

Posted by: jac13 | March 25, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Wish Moran would get out of Guv race as well. His speech at J-J dinner in Richmond was a snooze fest....and grating on the ear...an odd duality.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 25, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the heads up on the players in Va, jac and jd

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 25, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jac. I have relied on many people here for local stuff - Alan in Missoula and bsimon in MN come to mind, but you guys in VA have been very good about explaining the players.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 25, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

mark,

First of all, in Virginia, labels can be misleading. A "liberal" here would be a center-moderate someplace else. Anyway, here are the "dramatis personae"

Kaine (D) was Lieutenant Governor during the term of the wildly popular Mark Warner (D) (whom polls say will clobber another former gov, Jim Gilmore (R), for retiring John Warner's US Senate seat in November). Kaine, who's thought of as a moderate-liberal, ran a very good campaign and fought off a conservative opponent, Jerry Kilgore (R) from the far Southwestern part of the state. He's had a rough year, as Dave said, because the divided legislature (House-R, Senate-D) wouldn't enact a lot of his program this year, and a plan to raise money for roads (a real hot-button issue in congested NoVa) by local taxing authorities was declared unconstitutional. On top of that, the Bush administration moved the goalposts (again) and jeopardized funding of the long planned extension of the rail line from through Tysons Corner (where my office is) to Dulles airport. This latter problem is not of kaine's making, but happened on his watch.

Bob McDonnell (R) is the very conservative AG who comes from Virginia Beach and is going to run for gov. in '09 (our gov's can only serve 1 term). Big news yesterday when the Lt Gov, Bill Bolling (R), announced he would not run for gov, thus giving McDonnell a clear field.

Creigh Deeds (D) is a moderate senator from the Shenandoah Valley who lost the AG election to McDonnell by 360 votes on '05. He has already announced for gov for '09 and a re-match with McDonnell is expected, except:

Brian Moran (D) a modertae-liberal member of the House from Alexandria, across the Potomac from DC, who is now the House minority leader. He's gearing up to run against Deeds for the D gov nomination. (I wish he would run for AG instead. Deeds almost beat McDonnell for AG in '05 and with VA turning blue I think he can beat him for gov. Not so sure about Moran.)

Posted by: jac13 | March 25, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

dave, novamatt, jac, and JD -

All of the people named in the story are, of course, completely unknown to me.

Are there character and personality issues, positive or negative, or interesting life stories, or ideologies far to the right or far to the left? Are they all moderate?

Any context beside "D" and "R" would be appreciated - I would actually like to put a story to a name, with your help.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | March 25, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Local issues and the performance of local elected pols. If Kaine continues his putrid performance of the last year or so, it may not be much of a contest. The finger-pointing has already begun from Kaine's screw-ups which include but are not limited Kaine making an unconstitutional change to the transportation bill to allow regional authorities, not localities, to collect taxes (thus stalling virtually all transportation projects in NoVa indefintely) and The Federal Transit Administration's recommendation to not fund the Dulles Rail project (due to FTA's concerns of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Aurthority's inexperience in large design-build contracts, an exaggeration of funding numbers from the Dulles Toll Road, and an inability for Metro to maintain the 23 mile line once it had been built) and the completely idiotic decision by Kaine to run the rails above ground through Tysons Corners (thereby making the worst commuting center in Va destin to hold that record for my lifetime). When people in NoVa are in gridlock 15 hours a day, they will in large part have Kaine to thank for it. In some way, Kaine and his fellow party members will be held accountable.

Posted by: dave | March 25, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

'Macaca' killed Allen dead, but it only worked because it stood for everything people hated about Felix.

It's still really early in the '09 race, but don't be shocked if there's some love for Creigh Deeds in NoVa. I sort of wish Brian Moran would spend '09 working on getting a D majority in the HoD.

Posted by: novamatt | March 25, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is so worried about appeasing the Arabs and how Iran is the next Germany.

If there were a rising fascist state, it is China. If there is appeasement, it is for China. Iraq is nothing compared to what China is becoming. China is viewing Tibet like Germany viewed Poland. And our forces are stretched beyond their limit in a fruitless quagmire of an invasion.
And who will Russia support in a USA vs China war?

Bush may have set us up for a very bleak future indeed. Who are our allies? With what moral authority can we speak? Who will listen? With no economic motivation, no one will listen.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 25, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

That had nothing to do with popularity of the president and everything to do with 'macaca'.

--------------------

And thank God for that one word!

Words, it seems, ARE important!!

Just macacalicious!

But yes, VA guv will have little to do with POTUS and more to do with local issues. Northern VA demographics changing dramatically.

Posted by: wpost4112 | March 25, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

jac13 - "...Jim Webb beating Allen in '06 "
That had nothing to do with popularity of the president and everything to do with 'macaca'.

Posted by: dave | March 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

JD,

I've lived here for 35 years, and I can't recall a Virginia election turning on the popularity of a president, with the exception of Spong losing to Scott in the '72 McGovern disaster, and Jim Webb beating Allen in '06 (which wouldn't have been possible with a popular GOP president).

I think politics in VA really are local.

Posted by: jac13 | March 25, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

think about this for a sec,say if obama wins the white house, virgina dems would have a pretty good shot at retaining the gov mansion or taking lt gov. im not really sure how far is it from d.c. to richmond but the coat tail effect could be long enough to reach into next year.

or if McCain(or god forbid Hillary) pulls off a win in november the gop may have a good shot at winning the governorship. JD do you want to chime in on this, since i dont know much about VA politics?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 25, 2008 05:29 PM

Honestly, speaking as an independent voter, my guess is that if the WH and Congress both go for Dems in 08, which is probably 60-40 chance, I think that would be more of a *hindrance* to Dem chances to retain Richmond.

The reason is, I think either HRC or Obama would have tremendous expectations, with a friendly Congress, to get a ton of things done. I don't see any meaningful reduction in Iraq troops, lowering of gas prices, or miraculous defeat of Al Quaida between now and then. Of course I could be wrong, and hope I am.

But I could see some disenchanted Virginians willing to take it out on Deeds.

Posted by: JD | March 25, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

jaymills,

I live in Virginia and was active in the campaign of our current governor, Tim Kaine.

While Virginia has been trending blue the last few statewide elections, a lot depends on who the individual candidates are. A McDonnell-Deeds re-match would be damned interesting -- but I just can't get into it with this potboiler of a Democratic nomination race going on!

At the presidential level, with Kaine supporting Obama, I think if he's the nominee he has a good shot at carrying Virginia. Not so sure about Hillary -- as you know, Obama clobbered her here.

Back to HRC's campaign: with the revelation of the NAFTA pep rallies on her schedule and now this incredible blunder of lying about sniper fire in Bosnia (is there any other way to describe it?), things are starting to pile up. No wonder she decided to finally start talking about Rev. Wright today in Pittsburgh!

Obama's within 10 points in PA in today's Rasmussen poll, and a new PPP poll puts him up 21 points in NC. A little too early to tell, but he may have weathered the Wright storm, after all.

Posted by: jac13 | March 25, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

The Liberal agenda in a nutshell. Make that a drindl-shell.

Posted by: kingofzouk | March 25, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

jac13-well the only reason why CC is talking about this because of what may happen in 2008.

think about this for a sec,say if obama wins the white house, virgina dems would have a pretty good shot at retaining the gov mansion or taking lt gov. im not really sure how far is it from d.c. to richmond but the coat tail effect could be long enough to reach into next year.

or if McCain(or god forbid Hillary) pulls off a win in november the gop may have a good shot at winning the governorship. JD do you want to chime in on this, since i dont know much about VA politics?

but for hillary's "mistatement" im more concerned about her positions about nafta since she was the no 1 cheerleader instead of being opposed to it.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | March 25, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's imploding over her so-called "misstatement" about sniper fire in Bosnia, and has suddenly started talking about Reverend Wright -- and you're writing about the 2009 Virginia governor's race?

Posted by: jac13 | March 25, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

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