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Bob McDonnell: Campaign of the Year



Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell is the Fix's pick for the best campaign of 2009. AP Photo by Steve Helber

After nearly 1,500 votes cast by Fixistas and countless hours spent mulling the pros and cons of the races that were run this year, we have come to a decision about the single best campaign of 2009. (We also named a runner-up that you can find after the jump.)

The envelope please.....(drumroll)....and the Fixie -- love it! -- goes to:

Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell

McDonnell was the overwhelming choice of our readers (52 percent) and for good reason.

Even prior to the official start of the campaign, McDonnell showed his political chops by avoiding a contentious primary -- convincing Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling to wait another four years to make a run at the top job.

That gambit allowed McDonnell the luxury of focusing his message on swing voters from day one even as Democrats were mired in a nasty (and long) three-way primary fight.

And, from the start of the race, McDonnell had the message exactly right: jobs, jobs and more jobs. Everywhere he went, McDonnell talked about not only his commitment to create more jobs in the state but his plan on how to make it happen. His slogan -- "Bob's for jobs" -- was a little cheesy but it undoubtedly stuck in the minds of voters whose number one priority was the health of the economy and the need to bring more jobs to the Commonwealth. (Major credit goes to McDonnell's consulting team -- particularly media man Doug McAuliffe and pollster Glen Bolger -- for the crafting of that message.)

McDonnell, learning from the mistakes of past GOP nominees Mark Earley (2001) and Jerry Kilgore (2005), almost never talked about his social conservative beliefs -- understanding, rightly, that it would alienate a critical segment of votes in northern Virginia and that even among his base of support there was as much interest in solving the economic crisis.

All good campaigns are tested by fire and the "thesis" was McDonnell's final exam as a candidate. The revelation that as a 30-something master's degree student he had penned what amounted to a detailed blueprint for bringing a series of controversial social views into public life -- including that working women were "detrimental" to the family -- badly sidetracked a campaign that had been on an easy road to victory.

As the story played out over several weeks in the early fall, McDonnell's lead over state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) eroded but the campaign -- largely -- stayed focused. McDonnell made clear from the start that his views had evolved on the issue and he ran ads featuring women he had worked with throughout his political career dismissing the attacks by Deeds and touting the support McDonell had offered them.

And, just as McDonnell was doing everything he could to downplay the "thesis" issue, Deeds handed him an unexpected gift -- losing his temper with a female reporter at a press conference, an episode that was (of course) caught on tape. Deeds' now-infamous "I think I made myself clear, young lady" line was the gift that kept on giving for McDonnell -- it showed an angry and petulant Deeds talking down to a woman and amounted to an equalizer to the damage done to McConnell by the "thesis".

Finally, at the heart of any good campaign is a good candidate and McDonnell most certainly was that. First and foremost he looked and sounded the part of governor -- an underrated but critically important element particularly in the TV ad wars. Second, he was an affable presence on the campaign trail, rarely losing his cool or looking as though he'd rather be someplace else. And, third, McDonnell's childhood spent in northern Virginia allowed him to defuse some of the skepticism directed at any Republican in the vote-rich and Democratic leaning suburbs of Washington. (We remember well the "Fairfax's own Bob McDonnell" signs that popped up like mushrooms near the Fix homestead ad the election drew close.)

In winning so overwhelmingly -- 59 percent to 41 percent -- McDonnell helped revive the Republican party nationally but also provided aspiring GOP candidates with a campaign plan for how to win (and win big) in a swing state. His is the obvious -- and right -- choice for campaign of the year.

Runner Up: New York 23rd District Rep. Bill Owens

The campaign run by Owens, a Democratic businessman, in the 23rd district special election to replace Secretary of the Army John McHugh, was largely overshadowed by the madness surrounding state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava and conservative party nominee Doug Hoffman but, in retrospect, it was the best campaign of the three and the second best campaign of the entire year.

Why?

Owens got into a race that was a two-person fight between he and Scozzafava. Halfway through it turned into a three-way battle between he, Scozzafava and Hoffman. By the end of the campaign, it was a two-man fight between Owens and Hoffman.

Through those various iterations, Owens and his campaign team -- media consultants Steve Murphy and Mark Putnam, pollster Jef Pollock and direct mail adviser Ed Peavy -- stayed flexible but consistent, talking about his record of job-creation in the economically depressed district and painting him as the reasonable centrist.

The campaign -- with a major assist from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the White House -- also pulled off a huge coup when they convinced Scozzafava to endorse Owens after she left the race in its final days.

That endorsement helped put Watertown -- Scozzafava's geographic base -- into play and the DCCC's field program (61,000 phone calls, 55,000 door knocks in the final weekend) roared into action. On election day, Owens won Jefferson County, which contains the city of Watertown, 48 percent to 46 percent -- a mirror image of his district-wide win.

Owens' victory made him the first Democrat since the 1850s to represent the western New York district in Congress. A historic win for a very, very good campaign.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 16, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Fix Poll , Governors  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Polling shows Democrats losing health care PR fight
Next: Why health care will pass (and what it means)

Comments

It is now a thread about recipes,

==

Never seen a recipe here but since the thread is already dead I'd just note that the "Super Hot Chili" in the middle of this page

http://www.weipao-tw.com/english/product_01.html

is the real deal, and they're not funnin' with the "Super Hot" claim.

We go through a bottle in about three weeks.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

No more posting about the topic, I see. Hopefully, Mr. Cillizza see this and starts banning asap.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

OK, now THAT'S funny. Come on! This is the Fix and it's a thread specifically about the campaigns. So, I suppose the answer would be CC and almost everyone else bothering to read the posting.

==

You know what I mean. The campaign might be the interesting topic if it hadn't failed the state and the country so utterly by allowing a nutjob throwback to deceive his way into office.

Strikes me as admiring the surgeon's deft entrechats and pirouettes while neglecting to note that the patient died.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

No longer. It is now a thread about recipes, name calling, nasty back and forths, egos of demented souls, denial of intellect, refusal of religion, etc.

It happens everyday about this time.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what kind of campaign he ran?

===

OK, now THAT'S funny. Come on! This is the Fix and it's a thread specifically about the campaigns. So, I suppose the answer would be CC and almost everyone else bothering to read the posting.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

the target is as obvious as the nose on your face, But the creatures name will not be said.

Same goes for the local ped.

==

Who would that be, zouk?

And what is "ped" short for?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

As an aside, I do hope that we won't be treated to months of posters whining about "is that an attack?".

==

It's just another sanctioned troll.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Zouk was calling someone a moonbat
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

the target is as obvious as the nose on your face, But the creatures name will not be said.

Same goes for the local ped.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what kind of campaign he ran? McDonnell is still an extreme social conservative who wants to roll back the clock, to undo all the social milestones we've made since the 18th century. He wants women back in the kitchen and subservient to their husbands, he wants gays back in the closet if not persecuted, and of course the usual yadda-yadda- shopping list of abortion and divorce etc. etc. etc.

How is this in any way a good thing? That someone so retrograde can win a campaign through deception isn't anything to crow about. So he has organizational skills, his views are still abhorrent.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Is Mr. Cillizza to assume that your post at 1:44 PM was intended to convey the opinion that I am "BOTH" despicable and a liar? If so, we'll have to wait and see if his "bark" on Friday has any "teeth" in it today.

==

That you are a liar is not a matter of insult, it is a matter of fact. You lie in nearly every post.

That you are despicable is as established as any judgment can be, and not by people "calling names" or indulging in "personal attacks," a whine that is already getting really old and is, clearly, nothing more than another trolling venue for you.

Man up, weak sister.

"Despicable" is someone who makes fun of a blind man.

"Despicable" is someone who hopes for a presidential assassination.

"Despicable" is someone who "prays" that another poster "doesn't survive the anesthesia."

"Despicable" is a guy who claims he's spending money right and left for insignificant political gestures yet takes charity from a church.

Your own words.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | December 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Bad boy, ZOUK!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Then I would note that Zouk was calling someone a moonbat. That evidently slipped your net.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

No, FairlingtonBlade, I will continue to point out prohibited "personal attacks" on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Deeds was "stuttering" 4 years ago and lost to McDonnell by only a few hundred votes. He ran an, at best, mediocre campaign, and McDonnell's was textbook perfect.

As an aside, I do hope that we won't be treated to months of posters whining about "is that an attack?". Just make your points and get on with it. Fostering civility as CC has tried to do is not synomous to diving to get the referee to throw out red cards.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone know whether Rubio and or Crist have acknowleged the proposed RNC Resolution and if so, shouldn't they organize their battle over conservative authenticity around it?

I am saying it would have damaged McDonnell had he had to do so (do battle over his conservative authenticity)"

Oh, definitely it would have. I mean he had such a lousy campaigner as a competitor, it's hard to say how much, but I imagine that teabaggers will demand Stalin-like purity of all their candidates and this will be brutal in blue-leaning states. Also many of them will demand that the candidate also sign Glen Beck's 9 Principles, as well.

http://www.the912project.com/the-912-2/

1. America Is Good.
2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
etc.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

Is Mr. Cillizza to assume that your post at 1:44 PM was intended to convey the opinion that I am "BOTH" despicable and a liar? If so, we'll have to wait and see if his "bark" on Friday has any "teeth" in it today.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know whether Rubio and or Crist have acknowleged the proposed RNC Resolution and if so, shouldn't they organize their battle over conservative authenticity around it?

I am saying it would have damaged McDonnell had he had to do so (do battle over his conservative authenticity). If that turns out not to be true, it would be a pretty important development for the Republicans.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

BOTH.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"That's what I provided. Stalin was a COMMUNIST, much closer Obama and the current Politburo known as Democrats in Congress today."

Stanford Law, cum laude.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 16, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

koolkat_1960:

"You're either despicable or a liar. Or both."

Careful with the personal attacks : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

No Communist worth his weight in vodka would support support smaller government, market-based health care / energy reform, workers’ right to secret ballot, containment of Iran and North Korea, retention of the Defense of Marriage Act, protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion, or the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.

(Re-)read your history books.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"drindl:

We "loons" (careful with the personal attacks against anyone posting here) have donated BILLIONS to everyone from local school board members to Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) to Gov. Sarah Palin."

Any loon who has spare money to donate to political campaigns should not be grabbing church food baskets that could be feeding someone truly needy.

You're either despicable or a liar. Or both.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Not at all, drindl. I believe that shrink2 was asking in good faith for a cut-off he/she could use to distinguish between "conservatives" and RINOs. That's what I provided. Stalin was a COMMUNIST, much closer Obama and the current Politburo known as Democrats in Congress today.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh look, the Stalinist Purity Oath.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

No, Gov. McDonnell did NOT act like a moderate. How about this instead? Acknowledging that no candidate is going to agree with me on every issue, even a Regency U. grad, let's use an 80% cut-off to distinguish "conservatives" from RINOs?

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan also believed the Republican Party should welcome those with diverse views; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed, as a result, that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies and Republican solidarity in opposition to Obama’s socialist agenda is necessary to preserve the security of our country, our economic and political freedoms, and our way of life; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies is necessary to restore the trust of the American people in the Republican Party and to lead to Republican electoral victories; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee shares President Ronald Reagan’s belief that the Republican Party should espouse conservative principles and public policies and welcome persons of diverse views; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee desires to implement President Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates; and

WHEREAS, in addition to supporting candidates, the Republican National Committee provides financial support for Republican state and local parties for party building and federal election activities, which benefit all candidates and is not affected by this resolution; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

'But then it is true to say: McDonnell's deal with Bolling was a coup, an essential component of his win. Republicans who fail to learn that lesson are going to get hurt.'

Yes. Don't know what he promised Bolling but it must have been good.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I think you have overlooked an even more audacious longshot campaign: the one to get ABBA into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Posted by: howlless | December 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy position of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Ok, McDonnell is not a moderate, but he acted like one to get elected. So for this reason, he is not a RINO. Maybe I am catching on to how this works."

Exactly. He is not a moderate, he pretended to be one to fool the voters, which he did. Once he begins to implement the far right wing policies he has always adhered to, they will realize the mistake they made. But the damage to VA will have been done.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

But then it is true to say: McDonnell's deal with Bolling was a coup, an essential component of his win. Republicans who fail to learn that lesson are going to get hurt.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

These terms no longer have any meaning, shrink.

Crist is called a 'moderate' or 'RINO' [interchangeable now, you will note] because he is occassionally pragmatic, like accepting stimulus funds because the state needed them. Pragmatism is poison to the base. What they want is complete Stalin-like adherence to ideology, no matter the cost in human lives.

So the news that Rubio has not always slavishly adhered to cult ideals will make him less attractive to the base.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok, McDonnell is not a moderate, but he acted like one to get elected. So for this reason, he is not a RINO. Maybe I am catching on to how this works.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Both "drindl" and I are urging you to realize that Gov. McDonnell is not a "moderate". Can we all at least start by agreeing on that much?

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Well then is Rubin a moderate because he did not run with the 2nd Amendment's obvious interpretation, you have a God Given Right to take your gun to work?

I don't get the Republican civil war, obviously. Who is the moderate and who is a RINO and what is the difference?

Gesu Cristo, the Republicans are an enigma, ineffably subtle.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

drindl:

We "loons" (careful with the personal attacks against anyone posting here) have donated BILLIONS to everyone from local school board members to Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) to Gov. Sarah Palin.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"If McDonnell would have won 53-47 or in that ballpark, then I would have said Christie for all of the reasons already mentioned, but to win by 18% in a swing state in an open seat is impressive, regardless of how incompetent his/her opposition. Christie, though, did run a remarkable campaign to win against a free spending Democratic incumbent in a solid blue state. Owens does deserve props for winning a seat in a tossup district (Obama did carry it) but in a political climate that was unfavorable to his party (ask the county candidates in the neighboring NY counties).

Posted by: TexasProud1"

I would think the swing state nature and the open seat would make it LESS impressive, not more. (although the 18% margin is always good)

I wonder how swing VA can be considered to be now. Obama won there by a good margin. North Carolina might be considered the true swing state in the region now.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

None of them are actually 'moderates' shrink... they are all wiggy rightwingers, just differing in degree. Crist at least has some modicum of a brain/competence, but that's a negative to the base.

The question in whether the total loons or the corporate wh*res win is going to be interesting though, considering that the money is on the corporate side, whereas the message machine belongs to the loons.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Are you referring to a "Reuben" (different spelling) sandwich?

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell's solid, safe campaign, combined with Deeds's horrifically bad campaign, led to the the final 59-41 margin.

Deeds's campaign was historically bad. McDonnell's was not historically good.

I'm not so sure Owens's campaign was so spectacular either, since he probably would have lost to Scozzafava in a boring party-line vote.

And Christie was running against an incumbent widely reviled by the voters.

Ehhh. None of these will be written about in the "Great campaigns in American history" book. The results were interesting but the campaigns were not.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Well if the Republican civil war fizzles out and it turns out they are all moderates after all, I will be very disappointed.

As an aside, a slip (as in Freudian) is when an error in word usage or pronunciation may have a second, generally embarrassing meaning or connotation. Crist is Christ in Spanish, sometimes a typo is just a typo; another alternate spelling, the name Christie there in the previous post probably helped.

But naming Rubio Rubin? Hmmmm.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

TexasProud1:

Owens deserve props for being in the right place at the right time (simply benefitting from the death-match, cage fight between conservatives and RINOs that was avoidable had Scozzafava never gotten the GOP nomination in the first place; that's the real lesson that needs to be learned before 2012 ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

If McDonnell would have won 53-47 or in that ballpark, then I would have said Christie for all of the reasons already mentioned, but to win by 18% in a swing state in an open seat is impressive, regardless of how incompetant his/her opposition. Christie, though, did run a remarkable campaign to win against a free spending Democratic incumbent in a solid blue state. Owens does deserve props for winning a seat in a tossup district (Obama did carry it) but in a political climate that was unfavorable to his party (ask the county candidates in the neighboring NY counties).

Posted by: TexasProud1 | December 16, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Owens (D-NY) is definitely NOT the second best campaign though. After the RINO was shot down like that, by a political nobody, any Dem should have easily won, but it was a very close result instead. I was not one of those who put the cart ahead of the horse, declaring Hoffman the winner before any ballots were ven cast, but if anyone deserves to get a "Best Campaign" Fixie in the 23rd District, it was Hoffman for knocking off sure-bet Scozzafava.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

check this out, shrink:

http://truthaboutrubio.com/

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio is emerging as the champion of activists fed up with Republicans who don’t stay true to conservative principles.

But if those turning against Gov. Charlie Crist are looking for a pure, uncompromising conservative, Rubio’s legislative record might give them pause.

“He was a big disappointment to us when he was the speaker,” said NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer, who saw Rubio do little to help pass a bill allowing employees to bring guns to work. “He talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk.”

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/rubio-record-diverges-from-campaign-rhetoric/1050022

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

ZOUK:

LOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Not to pick on your slip, shrink. Crist wasn't trying too hard at first, I think. Keeping his powder dry because he didn't see li'l Mario as much of a threat. But now tht he sees Rubin has the backing of the rightwing media establishment, he's taking it seriously and pressing Rubio, and Rubio is starting to make some really amateur moves and mistakes.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Deeds lost for one reason.

the commonwealth of VA had a massive guilt trip about electing the O'Bimbo to office.

This was an attempt to say We're sorry. NJ had similar pangs of guilt.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Good point, ZOUK. Mr. Cillizza has a vested interest in playing up the McDonnell campaign as the best-run ever, otherwise how does he account for the failed WaPo endorsement of Deeds?

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Jaked:

you need to look in the liberal book of chants.

during the campaign, any Republican is a crazy right winger who will sacrifice children and sell off your women.

After they win, they only did so because they cloaked themselves in a veil of moderation to get elected.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans who fail to learn that lesson are going to get hurt. This is why Rubio/Christ versus Meeks is going to be such fun, an epic."

'Rubio/Christ' -- yes, indeedy that will be some battle.

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Gov. McDonnell is not a "disguised moderate" just because he pointed out that, since he wrote that college thesis, his views on a number of things have changed. For instance, he said during the campaign: "I am fully supportive of women working in the workplace. My wife works, my daughters work." He also said that he "fully" supports "equal pay for men and women," and he said that he would "do nothing" to change the State's laws on contraception. I'm a conservative, and I agree with all of that.

Posted by: JakeD | December 16, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can overlook the culpability of the Washington Post in Deeds's loss. the angry left believed that all they had to do was simply write article after article about the decades old thesis and the voters would be so turned off they would ignore all the attachments of the Deeds candidate with failed liberal ideas.

It may have worked the first time on Allen, but the readers are on to your game now ComPost.

We are watching you commit suicide with your bias. Meanwhile everything Fox soars.

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

McDonnell's deal with Bolling was neither a gambit nor a luxury, but rather a coup, an essential component of his win.

Republicans who fail to learn that lesson are going to get hurt. This is why Rubio/Christ versus Meeks is going to be such fun, an epic. The R will not be able to walk away from that primary as a disguised moderate.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I think Christie would have been a better choice as well. He ran against a much more formidable opponent then Deeds and he did so in relatively hostile (blue) NJ. Christie did a pretty good job of hiding his conservative bona fides as well, especially his extensive ties to the Bush administration.

McDonnell and Owens at least had the benefit of incompetent opposition. Corzine is a far tougher politician than Deeds of Hoffman.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 16, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse


Deeds' stuttering was just a gift to McDonnell. You couldn't buy that. Some of McDonnell's aides amused their audiences by mocking him. Does anyone know if there were ever any specific ways in which McDonnell is to create jobs, or just wave a magic tax cut wand?

Posted by: drindl | December 16, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

How about the failed campaign to make the Obama administration look competent?

Posted by: ZOUK | December 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure McDonnell was surprised at what a bad candidate Deeds was, especially after Deeds upset two better-known candidates in the primary (a McAuliffe-McDonnell general election would have at least been interesting). And Owens was undoubtedly thankful to be facing Hoffman, ideologically extreme and not even from the district, rather than a GOP candidate who would likely have beaten him.

Posted by: Sutter | December 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry that I disagree with you. The 'award' should have gone to Gov. Elect Christie. His win in a traditionally democratic state (with an incumbent dem. Gov. spending his own millions of $$ with assists from Who is Who in Democratic Pols) is a remarkable one.

Posted by: philly3 | December 16, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I still disagree that McDonnell ran a great campaign, its just the Deeds ran a really bad campaign. McDonnell's thesis should have sunk his campaign if it had been played right.
I still think the Owens campaign was the best run, albeit very much behind the scenes.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 16, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

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