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Morning Fix: VA-Gov Winners and Losers



State Sen. Creigh Deeds crushed his opponents in the Democratic primary for Va. governor. AP Photo by Steve Helber

State Sen. Creigh Deeds's overwhelming victory in last night's Virginia gubernatorial primary ensures that he will become a national figure over the next five months with both national parties focused intently on the general election and what it tells us (if anything) about the 2010 midterm elections and the 2012 presidential.

Aside from Deeds, however, who were the other winners -- and losers -- from last night's vote? Our nominees are below. Have suggestions of your own? Offer them in the comments section.

WINNERS

Deeds Ads: For a candidate little-known statewide and suffering a significant charisma deficit to at least one of his opponents, Deeds's ads were of critical importance in introducing himself to Virginia voters and making the case why he was the natural heir to the political legacies of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Thanks to David Dixon and Rich Davis, who have been with Deeds since he lost the attorney general's race by 323 votes in 2005, the nominee's ads stood out from the pack. Crisp and clean they cast Deeds as something of an everyman -- the kind of guy who is easy to vote for. Need to see what we are talking about? Go watch the Deeds ad touting his endorsement by the Washington Post.

Mainstream Media: Just when you thought we were dead and buried. . . . Ask anyone involved in the race what the critical moment was when things started to move for Deeds and they will tell you -- to a person -- it was Friday May 22 when the Post endorsed the state senator. "The defining moment in this campaign occurred in a conference room at the Washington Post," said Chris Cooper, a Democratic consultant at Knickerbocker SKD who has worked extensively in Virginia. Proof of the power of the Post endorsement? Deeds carried the three northern Virginia congressional districts -- including the seat held by Rep. Jim Moran, the brother of former state Del. Brian Moran. No one would have thought that possible even a few weeks ago.

Momentum: In primaries, momentum tends to be a major factor. Since the candidates have few differences on the issues, most voters and elected officials like to wait until the end to make up their mind and then go with whichever candidate has the look of a winner. That's clearly what happened in this race as Deeds scooped up massive swaths of undecided voters across the state -- not to mention a handful of influential state senators -- in the final days of the contest. Once Deeds got rolling, it was impossible to stop him because the three candidates largely agreed on issues; voters were siding with the winner and that sentiment turned what was once a close race into an absolute landslide.

Joe Abbey: While both McAuliffe and Moran had bigger names at the heads of their campaigns, it was Abbey, Deeds's campaign manager, who wound up on top. As early as February, an influential Virginia politics blog -- ingeniously named "Not Larry Sabato" -- wrote a post pointing to the changes Abbey had made since coming on in December 2008 that managed to keep Deeds in the game. Given the importance of Virginia in the 2012 electoral landscape, Abbey is now in a position to write his own ticket when it comes to his next job.

DGA: The Democratic Governors Association got their ideal candidate in Deeds -- a moderate from the rural, western part of the state who will be tough to label as just another Democratic liberal. That doesn't mean Republicans won't try -- they were already hitting Deeds last night for his votes in the state Senate to raise taxes -- but Deeds is a much more difficult target than McAuliffe, certainly, and even Moran would have been.

Headline Writers: The semi-oddness of Deeds's name -- first and last -- makes for a field day for the ink-stained wretched who have to pour all of their creative juices into a few words. Jim Hobart, who works at the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, offered up a few gems based off of the Deeds's victory on Tuesday night. Among them: "Yes inDEED!", "Mr. Deeds goes to Richmond?" and, our personal favorite, "InCREIGHdible".

LOSERS

McAuliffe's Ads: The Macker's competitive advantage in this race was his fundraising capacity, which allowed him to get up on television months before Deeds or Moran. And yet, there isn't a single ad that proved particularly memorable even though McAuliffe insiders insist the commercials did move numbers (not enough, apparently). We also wonder whether it was a strategic mistake for McAulliffe to talk so much in his own ads; his accent made him sound like he was running for mayor of Syracuse -- we are on record as first to float the idea! -- rather than governor of Virginia. Don't dismiss the importance of how a candidate sounds in his (or her) ads; Republican strategists acknowledge that Jerry Kilgore's accent hurt him badly during his own 2005 gubernatorial bid in Virginia.

Brian Schweitzer: Why the heck did the chairman of the DGA fly from Montana to Virginia to not only endorse McAuliffe but travel the state with him? We didn't understand it when it happened and we understand it even less now. Schweitzer is ambitious and won a lot of hearts for his stemwinder at last year's Democratic National Convention. But, the McAuliffe endorsement is rightly seen as a blemish on what has been a sterling electoral record for the Montana governor. Kudos to the Republican Governors Association for their well-timed press release on the subject last night; "Congratulations on your victory tonight," said RGA Communications Director Mike Schrimpf. "FYI, the DGA will be calling you soon . . . they're real sorry about that endorsement of Terry McAuliffe last week," joked RGA spokesman Mike Schrimpf.

Brian Moran: Moran had been laying the groundwork for this race for years and, prior to McAuliffe getting into the contest, was widely seen as the likely Democratic nominee. Instead, he finished third and lost every congressional district in his supposed base. What happened? Moran seemed never to get over the idea that McAuliffe was running for governor; he focused so much of his time and energy on proving that the Macker was a carpetbagger who was ill-suited to be governor that he never made a positive case to Virginians for why they should choose him.

The Clinton Legacy: Not only did McAulliffe, the national chairman for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, lose in his first run for elected office but so too did Adam Parkhomenko, the wunderkind who came to prominence as HRC campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's assistant during the 2008 campaign. Parkhomenko, who was running for the 47th district House seat, wound up placing third behind winner Patrick Hope. While Clintonites may never set foot in the Ballston Westin hotel again -- the site of McAulliffe's "victory" party and countless events for the New York senator during the campaign -- it's almost certain that Parkhomenko will be heard from sometime soon in Commonwealth politics.

Wednesday's Fix Picks: T-minus two days until your next installment of "Mouthpiece Theater". . . the anticipation is palpable!

1. Sotomayor hearings set for July 13.
2. Dan Balz on Newt and Sarah.
3. Q poll shows Alex Sink beating Bill McCollum for Florida Gov.
4. The Roy Barnes Effect.
5. The Zack Attack!

Steele Slam Obama's Government Growth: In a memo distributed to Republican activists and reporters, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele urges his party to take on President Obama on spending issues -- believing that they represent the GOP's best chances of taking some of the shine of the Obama brand. "The 'change' this president is bringing to America is a vast expansion of interventionist government financed with irresponsible and reckless government spending and debt -- with no jobs to show for it," Steele writes. His recommendations? Cast the stimulus bill as as part of a Democratic "spending spree," push for an "exit plan" for government ownership of banks and auto companies and fight against the "government-run health care system" being put forward by Obama and congressional Democrats. As we have written before, the near-unanimous Republican opposition to Obama's economic stimulus plan represented a major political gamble. If the economy starts improving -- or is perceived as improving by voters, Republicans will be in a world of political hurt. But, if the economy doesn't improve before next September or so, Republicans -- led by Steele -- are positioning the party to take advantage of voter dissatisfaction.

Romney Team Forms New Company: Three top aides to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney -- Beth Myers, Eric Fehrnstrom and Peter Flaherty -- are starting a new consulting company known as the Shawmut Group. Myers managed Romney's 2008 presidential campaign while Fehrnstrom was the candidate's traveling press aide and Flaherty served as deputy campaign manager. That trio along with Rob Cole, a senior adviser to former New York George Pataki (R), comprise the partners in the new firm, which will be based in Boston. "As a group, we bring a versatile set of skills to the table," said Myers. "We each have different strengths, making the sum of what we have to offer that much more valuable." The new firm's close ties to Romney coupled with the former governor's obvious interest in a return national bid in 2012 ensure that it will be at the hub of his political activities in the coming years.

Click It!: Roll Call, the Fix's alma mater, is starting a new Web site to track the goings-on around the softball fields of Washington. The site will include a blog tracking the standings of the various softball leagues as well as the ability to nominate teams of the week and the de rigeur Twitter feeds for your favorite teams. The Fix will always remember softball in Washington fondly -- it's where we first wooed Mrs. Fix one long ago sweaty summer.

Young Hastert Moving Toward Illinois Run: Ethan Hastert, the youngest son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), is moving closer to a run to reclaim his father's 14th district seat in 2010. Hastert, 31, has formed an exploratory committee to raise money for the contest and is traveling the district on a listening tour. "There is a tremendous opportunity to reintroduce the Republican Party to voters," said Hastert. "But you have to listen before you can lead, and that is my focus right now." If, as expected, Hastert runs he will face Rep. Bill Foster (D) who won the seat in a 2008 special election when Dennis Hastert resigned. Although the 14th district went for George W. Bush by double digits in 2000 and 2004, President Obama won it 55 percent to 44 percent, according to tabulations made by Swing State Project.

Mackowiak Starts Firm: Matt Mackowiak, a former press aide to Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), has started his own consulting firm based in Washington and Austin. The Potomac Strategy Group will "help candidates and corporations earn media in Washington, D.C. to build buzz, drive a message and reach policymakers and opinion leaders," according to Mackowiak. PSG is currently working with state Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams as he prepares to run for the Senate seat to be vacated by Hutchison who is running against Gov. Rick Perry (R) in 2010 and with New York Assemblyman Greg Ball who is running against Rep. John Hall (D) in the 19th district.

Follow Me: Since we recommended movie tweeters yesterday, it only made sense to do the TV tweeps today: TV Barn, Jenn Pozner and Alan Sepinwall.

Say What?: "I've spent countless hours listening to these games on the radio in my tractor over the years." -- Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) in a press release announcing he would provide guest commentary for Tuesday night's Seattle Mariners-Baltimore Orioles game.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 10, 2009; 5:50 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: What To Watch For: Unity in VA, Obama Meets with Geithner/Clinton and Vint Cerf!

Comments

Another thing I find really insulting about this Ciliza post is the flippant way he guesses that the reason McAuliffe lost was because of his accent. I wonder what cocktail party he picked that line up from. Once again a member of the press decides voters must be every bit as shallow as the press is themselves. I can't find a single person who replied to this post who said they voted against McAuliffe because of his accent. The closest thing that comes to it is they say they voted against him because he was an outsider. And thats not the same thing, an accent is skin deep while outsider status covers a lot of deeper issues. The contempt the press feels for the public is apparent when Cilizza reduces voters to the status of local yokels.

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | June 10, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call Brian Schweitzer much of a loser for picking Terry McAuliffe in the primary. I would hardly call this a "blemish" as few people will remember/care about this in a few weeks. And by befriending McAuliffe, Schweitzer is making friends with a fantastic fundraiser who could aid Schweitzer's bid for national office.

Posted by: fable104 | June 10, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Although I'm living in sunny (ha ha) San Diego, Ca. I still like to watch and follow national politics. I am a little surprised at so many many liberals of Va giving reason for passing on MORAN (wow) and the Clinton crony in yesterdays election for nominee for govenor. Sarcasm from many about Republicans and how they will kick a-- of Attorney general McDonnell. Be careful what you ask for. Isn't the debt for USA big enough yet? President Obama only took about 4 months to pass 8 years of Bush and more is on the way. Health care for all. I thought only the rich were in the Republican party. We haven't heard to much about investigations of about 6 fabulous Democrats and their problems.

Posted by: x711bob | June 10, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest that Deeds won the no vote. I am a very committed liberal democrat but voted for Deeds because I would not have voted for the other two under any circumstances and would certainly not vote for a Republican so Deeds was my "no" candidate of choice. I hope it will send a message to the other two about their potential and I hope Mr. Deeds proves to be good at representing us all.

Posted by: egurian | June 10, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

""and the Republicans presumably field more competent candidates."

what leads you to beleive they have any?"

Well, McCain/Palin was about as incompetently run campaign as you can get. I'd have to imagine that nearly any frontrunner would do better at least in a political sense. Romney/Jindal? I'd never vote for that pair, but you don't think they could cut into Obama's 2008 margin of victory? Jindal brings Palin's evangelical sensibilities to the table, but without the airheadedness. People wouldn't be scared of having Jindal as Commander in Chief. Romney is an ass, of course, but Republicans like that. His business knowledge will serve him well, especially if people are thinking of domestic issues and not foreign.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Zouk and JakeD are in some rare company with their rants about Obama being secretly muslim.

The psycho 88 year old shooter today spread the same Obama lies that Zouk does.

Posted by: tallertapas311 | June 10, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

check this out -- 3rd murder in 2 months with the murderer being a reader/listener of rightwing blogs/radio shows... this one apparently one of the birth certificate nuts just like we've got here on this board. the FBI really ought to investigate everyone who left one of those birth certificate comments on blogs. There's a search program that could aggregate them all and identify them.

the chickens are coming home to roost.


"Holocaust museum shooter reportedly white supremacist who posted on Free Republic.

This afternoon, a gunman apparently shot at least one person at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. MSNBC is reporting that the suspected shooter, who also sustained gunshot wounds, is James Von Brunn, a white supremacist born in 1920. Brunn has been approvingly cited on Stormfront, a national white supremacist website.

He is apparently the author of a tract called, “Kill the Best Gentiles,” which his website describes as “a new, hard-hitting exposé of the JEW CONSPIRACY to destroy the White gene-pool.” Brunn, a WWII veteran, also posted to popular right-wing blog Free Republic, demanding to see proof of President Obama’s citizenship:"

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

scrivener: go see a shrink you paranoid freak

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

AS A HATE CRIME VICTIM, I AM NOT SURPRISED.

WHY WON'T THE FBI OPEN A CIVIL RIGHTS PROBE INTO GOVERNMENT-ENABLED VIGILANTISM AIMED AT JEWS AND OTHER MINORITIES?


This writer has been stalked and harassed by persons who have uttered to my face, the phrase, "Jesus is the way." That's just the tip of the iceberg, as inquisitive readers of this blog may know.

Yet the FBI refuses to open a civil rights investigation -- a probe that I have requested in repeated personal visits to FBI's Philadelphia office over the past two years.

Vigilante neo-Nazis are stalking, harassing and torturing unjustly "targeted" Americans -- in Bucks County, PA, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in D.C. and its suburbs -- and in communities across America.

They think they are above the law. Could that be because certain powerful, secretive federal agencies knowingly countenance vigilantism in America -- and refuse to investigate credible complaints of harassment and worse that appears to be in part ethnically-based?

What is the role of a secretive federal "multi-agency coordinated action program" in fueling this hate machine?


READ ABOUT "GESTAPO USA" HERE:

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 10, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Too bad because of never-ceasing lobbying by the gun industry, we've become a country where you are never safe, no matter where you. Not in national parks, not in churches, not in schools.

I hope that some day the people of this country come to their senses -- but I doubt they will.

Posted by: drindl

==

Ask anyone who's traveled in Japan and gained the candor of Japanese hosts. As soon as they feel comfortable enough to ask serious questions, one of the first will be "why are Americans so enamored with guns?"

The whole gun thing in the USA is really creepy, and there are no stronger emotions to be found anywhere, nor any crazier hyperbole. Compared to the Second Amendment junkies, even the anti-abortion-rights crowd is sane and centered.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I was once mugged when I lived in the U.K. No need to go into details, but the thug's attention wavered for a moment and I took off like a shot. (Absent my shoes). In a similar situation in the U.S., you;'d probabkly be reading my obit.

We've got similar rates of violent crime in the U.S., but a much higher homicide rate. Doesn't take much to figure out why.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox -- i have noted that. and i did predict, on this board, that a black man being elected president would cause the crazies to take to the street. One of those times when you wish you weren't right, but it seemed so inevitable.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Too bad because of never-ceasing lobbying by the gun industry, we've become a country where you are never safe, no matter where you. Not in national parks, not in churches, not in schools.

I hope that some day the people of this country come to their senses -- but I doubt they will.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - I've been in the area a few times. There's parking on the National Mall and near the Jefferson Memorial, so he wouldn't have had to use Metro. You see plenty of people with large bags around, so I wouldn't be surprised that he could get close. Brave work by the guards--I hope the wounded one will be OK.

The VA race will be interesting as McDonnell has been running hard to the center. I'd make a comment about putting lipstick on an elephant, but that might get me in trouble!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 10, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Worth noting that these shooting attacks come overwhelmingly during Democratic presidencies. When there's a GOP president the crazies seem to have the idea that their imperatives are being represented .. a crazy in the White House.

When a Bill Clinton or a Barack Obama is in the White House the crazies feel that it's up to them to represent craziness.

Google the other aborton doctor shootings and note the dates.

Hope the FBI is investigating all these right-wing hate groups.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I really don't, fairlington, because the R's seem to have genuinely lost it. Right now, in local races, while their D competitors are talking about LOCAL ISSUES, they are talking about -- Nancy Pelosi. Because that worked so well for them in 06. Deranagment.

What I wonder about with that shootin -- I hear the shooter had a RIFLE. You would think that in DC, in a place bound to draw dangerous nutbags, that there would be better security.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - Just read an update on the Post. He shot a security guard and was wounded by another, so it looks like he didn't get the gun in. Terribly shocking.

Regarding candidates, I can think of a few possibilities. Crist in Florida and Christie in New Jersey come to mind. While Rush and Dick are busy purifying the party, even Newt's pulled back from the brink. I expect a number of competitive races in 2010.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 10, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse


Seems like we are in one of those periods where all the racists, homophobes, anti-semites and crazy abortion opponents and other assorted terrorists are on a killing rampage, egged on by crackpot rightwing radio jockeys...

"Shooting at/in US Holocaust Museum in DC.

Late Update: We're getting scattered early reports. Eyewitnesses on the scene, reported by CNN, speak of five shots being fired inside the Museum. Another unconfirmed report says that one gunman is in custody and that either two or three people (including the gunman) were shot.

Latter Update: Further reports suggest three victims of the shooting, one critical, in addition to the suspect who was apparently shot leaving the Museum.

1:46 PM Update: The most recent news suggests that there are only two gunshot victims -- a guard at the museum and the shooter himself. Wapo says there was a third gunshot victim. But other reports suggest the third person may have been cut by flying glass. This AP story notes the contradictory reports.

1:53 PM Update: A big and obvious question about this incident is how someone got a gun inside the Holocaust Museum, which presumably has heavy security. A current police press briefing suggests that the gunman was either in or rushing the entryway where the security set up is located, and that that is where the exchange of gunfire took place ... the police spokesman answering questions was PIO David Schlosser."

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"It would be foolish to assume the entire party is bereft of competent candidates. "

perhaps, but I am not seeing any. and if they did have any, the base would hate them.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Schweitzer isn't a loser. It's clear why he endorsed McAuliffe -- for the connections and money McAuliffe has access to for Schweitzer's future political runs, possibly for President in 2016. No one will remember that Schweitzer went so overboard in support of Mac, except perhaps for Mac and Deeds. Sadly, it was a cynical but smart move.

Happy that that skeevy drunk McAuliffe lost.

Posted by: Pupster | June 10, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1: complete agreement. Unchecked one-party rule isn't good for America and Democrats need to feel some cold wind to keep them honest and keep them thinking. Where is the impetus to get Harry Reid out of his lead seat? His caving on closing Guantanemo was the last straw for me.

But the recovery of GOP sanity remains completely out of sight. If anything they're getting worse. If history is any guide it will be another generation before they stop ignoring reality.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox writes
"the fact remains that the crazies are in charge of the GOP and while they certainly do have a few remaining members who aren't completely incompetent ideologues, those few are so unwelcome, so out of favor, and have so little support from their party that for the time being it may as well be that they don't even exist"


I am impatiently awaiting the rebirth of the GOP, as I have been impatiently awaiting the slow-motion implosion we are now witnessing. We'll all be better off when sensible minds gain control of that party.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 10, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

It would be foolish to assume the entire party is bereft of competent candidates. Your comment reminds me of claims, in the not too distant past, of a 'permanent Republican majority'.

Posted by: bsimon1

==

While I agree wholeheartedly with you on the danger of complacency, the fact remains that the crazies are in charge of the GOP and while they certainly do have a few remaining members who aren't completely incompetent ideologues, those few are so unwelcome, so out of favor, and have so little support from their party that for the time being it may as well be that they don't even exist

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

""and the Republicans presumably field more competent candidates."

what leads you to beleive they have any?"


It would be foolish to assume the entire party is bereft of competent candidates. Your comment reminds me of claims, in the not too distant past, of a 'permanent Republican majority'.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 10, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

We don't all have alzheimers or amnesia.

==

It's positively bizarre how Americans suddenly got their memories back. And almost as bizarre to see the gooper trolls fail to grasp this, repeating the same lies over and over and hoping the magic will work again.

It was Tina FEY who said she could see Russia from her "house." Waaaah!!!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse


"There is a tremendous opportunity to reintroduce the Republican Party to voters,"

ROFLOL. pathetic shillery. We know them all too well. that's why they lost.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"There is a tremendous opportunity to reintroduce the Republican Party to voters,"

==

Hi, remember us? Remember Katrina, Terry Shiavo, invading Iraq, trillions in deficits to pay for tax cuts? Remember torture memos, color-alert stunts, Palin for elective office? Vote for us!!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"and the Republicans presumably field more competent candidates."

what leads you to beleive they have any?

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

Thank you too. Perhaps we agree that the corruption at worst, crony capitalism (government in bed with robber barons) at best is the clear and present danger for Democrats, many now drunk on power.

My point was that McAuliffe suffered from what we call "identification with the aggressor", out Roving Rove.

And yes, svreader, with whom I tangled regularly during the run up to and through the primaries, is as bigoted as any Michael Savage acolyte.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

With the President coming out for Deeds and the demographic changes in Northern Virginia over the past 4 years, the general election will not be close.

Deeds, not words!

Posted by: michaelbindner | June 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Curious why this blog fawns over Romney's every move. The next presidential is years away, Romney is a boring and colorless figure as deep as a rain puddle whose appeal as a "business executive" went down the drain along with the financial sector. Let the twitching goopers send their money to Romney and SarahPAC, that's less for them to spend on crystal meth.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Deeds rocks. Way to go, Virginia! A calm and comfortable centrist while the GOP can be counted on to run some tax-cutting pro-life caveman who only knows how to appeal to the teabaggers.

Blue Virginia. Yay!!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 10, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

This is GREAT news. Deeds is a perfect match for the Virginia of 2009.

Huge loss for rightwingnuts. The Dems control the center of the field.

Mr. Deeds goes to Richmond -- Bravo!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 10, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"DDAWD, do you remember last summer when mnteng and I were speculating about the size of the racist vote? We thought 3%-6% of Americans would not vote for a non-white under any circumstances, but that BHO would have to be the better subjective choice on almost all grounds for perhaps as many as 15% of voters to overcome their factoring in race as "a negative." We also assumed that outside Appalachia and the old south the hardline whites for whom race was THE defining issue were already Rs."

Yeah, vaguely (I can't believe its been a year since the primaries ended). I guess the mistake people make is that racism is some on and off switch. It's a whole continuum between being completely colorblind and wearing sheets. This understanding belies the fact that Obama's election signals an end of racism. The got elected because he's one of the most gifted politicians ever. If he was a black George Bush, he doesn't stand a chance. People were fine with Bush's mangling of the English language, but I don't see us electing a President who speaks in Ebonics.

But yeah, for most racists, being black is a strong negative factor, but it's a factor and not the whole thing. It might play a bigger role in 2008 when the economy is better and the Republicans presumably field more competent candidates.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@Mark - I'm still waiting for infamous Michelle tape we kept hearing about!

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

More local winners: (1) State Sen. and Senate Dem.Caucus chair Mary Margaret Whipple, who worked very hard for Deeds, Jody Wagner, and in the 47th HD for Patrick Hope. (2)The sizeable number of NoVa voters who turned out despite bad weather. (3) Patrick Hope, who proved that in Arlington community experience and progressive commitments still count more than flashy campaigns.
Among the losers: several aggressive bloggers.

Posted by: cjohnson1 | June 10, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

DDAWD, do you remember last summer when mnteng and I were speculating about the size of the racist vote? We thought 3%-6% of Americans would not vote for a non-white under any circumstances, but that BHO would have to be the better subjective choice on almost all grounds for perhaps as many as 15% of voters to overcome their factoring in race as "a negative." We also assumed that outside Appalachia and the old south the hardline whites for whom race was THE defining issue were already Rs.

I think the election returns bore us out on our speculation, in which others like JimD and bsimon joined. But I do not remember if you were here then!
I apologize for that. The famous entrepreneur and Berkeley engineering PhD "svreader" caused some of us to lose our certainty about where we would see the racist heat with his secret Chicago slum memos, of course.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 10, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Better to have the Clintons' loudmouth defeated now than in the general election. Good riddance, McAuliffe! (And so much for the DGA's credibility!)

Posted by: uh_huhh | June 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Your credibility is shrinking while your credulity for republican claptrap is growing, CC.

"Steele Slam Obama's Government Growth: In a memo distributed to Republican activists and reporters, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele urges his party to take on President Obama on spending issues -- believing that they represent the GOP's best chances of taking some of the shine of the Obama brand. "

Who can look at the recent republican past of record, reckless spending while they controlled all 3 branches of government and not simply laugh when they talk about 'spending issues"? Where were their concern while bush blew through a huge surplus ad turned it into the largest deficit ever? Nary of peep of protest -- in fact we were told DEFICITS DON'T MATTER.

Remember? Enough of the historical revisionism. We don't all have alzheimers or amnesia. The republicans have zero credibility on fiscal matters.

Posted by: drindl | June 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Racists really had no place to go in '08 but to the Rs - the disappointment was that Palin, in particular, did not call them on it. McC, to his credit, did, at town hall meetings, on several occasions that I heard on XM's "POTUS '08"."

I read somewhere that racism was a luxury that people could not afford in 2008. I've had a few friends tell me of stories where people would tell them they would be voting for the niggger or be voting for Obama even though he was black. Things were so bad that even a lot of racists wouldn't go with McCain.

And it still feels surreal to me to see a black president on TV. I figured it would happen in my lifetime, but just not this soon.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm from Alexandria and was for Moran but I will definitely get on board for Deeds. I could not do that for McAuliffe. Moran took Alexandria with 55%, Deeds took 32% of the City, and McAuliffe to 13%. That is a 45% rebuke not so much to Moran, as you might think, but much more so to the Alexandria Democratic Committee leadership, which has angered and alienated a LOT of people. I've been on the ground here for months. Saturdays at Farmer's Markets, Moran and McAuliffe always had a presence; none for Deeds, who only peppered the area with median signs in the last week. I split yesterday between two polling places. Some people were still making up their minds for Moran or Deeds as they went inside.

Posted by: gsquared100 | June 10, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"Riiight. Because what Congress really needs is more unqualified nepotists. There are still several seats held by people whose daddies didn't hold them.

Let's do the right thing and fill them with the chubby sons of the political elite. It's the American way!"

Well, no one is forcing anyone to cast a nepotism vote...

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

shrink2, thank you for your very civil response.

I live in TX where Rs are relevant, and where the argument is between sensible Rs who work across the aisle with relatively conservative [by national standards] Ds to forge a working majority and antedeluvian Rs who want to, for example, gut our school biology programs. I am guessing you live on the east coast and extrapolating from your experiences, as we all do.

FWIW, when BHO came to Austin on a rainy Friday in 3-08 and drew 20k to an outdoor rally I posted here that I thought he was "the real thing". I was supporting both JB and McC at the time, as I thought they were the most knowledgeable candidates on FP, which is, for me, a benchmark for the presidency.

I wrote here in response to "JD" that I would not bet HRC against the field on the D side. Would I have early bet BHO against the field on the D side? I was not asked, but probably not.

Racists really had no place to go in '08 but to the Rs - the disappointment was that Palin, in particular, did not call them on it. McC, to his credit, did, at town hall meetings, on several occasions that I heard on XM's "POTUS '08".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 10, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

From so many people I talked to about this a lot of voters were following the 'ABmC' plan (anybody but McAuliffe) and were waiting to see who had the momentum and would likely knock him off. Obviously that turned out to be Deeds in the end, and that faction went his way.

Posted by: esydow | June 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

A blurb that began "Former Rhodes Scholar, successful entrepreneur, and respected County Commissioner Ethan Haestert is exploring a run for the 14th CD Il , once held by his father" would have been more, shall we say, reassuring, than what Chris wrote. It seems to me that
kevrobb's sarcasm is justified.

And, no, I do not know a thing about the son's actual background and qualifications, and I did not learn anything about them from CC.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Did you predict Barak Obama would win the Presidency a long time before the primaries? Were you aware this country could elect a black President well before it happened?

Did you see the Palin rallies attracting bigots of all stripes? There is no way to insult the Republicans enough, but even so, I can't figure out how I would be a better mental health professional if I did not get that.

Something happened in this country and it is changed now.

Nowadays, corrupt Democrats are the real enemy of the Democratic party; on the national scene, Republicans are simply irrelevant.


Posted by: shrink2 | June 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"The youngest son of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), is moving closer to a run to reclaim his father's 14th district seat..."

Riiight. Because what Congress really needs is more unqualified nepotists. There are still several seats held by people whose daddies didn't hold them.

Let's do the right thing and fill them with the chubby sons of the political elite. It's the American way!

Posted by: kevrobb | June 10, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"But, if the economy doesn't improve before next September or so, Republicans -- led by Steele -- are positioning the party to take advantage of voter dissatisfaction."

Not a bad column, Cillizza, but you need to stop writing silly stuff like the above. "Republicans -- led by Steele?" You mean all ten of them? This may make you sad, but despite his appointment Steele is not an actual leader in the Republican Party. Everyone knows this. Limbaugh b-slapped him early on and that was it.

Maybe you just shouldn't write about Republican politics. Your hopes and wishes cloud your judgment every time.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | June 10, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Any result that keeps McAuliffe away from power is a good result.

He could have spared himself the trouble if he'd just run some polls with the key question: "Do you think Terry is a creep?"

PS I know Cillizza hails from outside the "MSM", but he should still probably figure out how to spell McAuliffe's name.

Posted by: kevrobb | June 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I didn't know Dennis Hastert had a son. Some poor woman must have had some real self-esteem issues to sleep with that man. Perhaps his offspring just bud from him asexually, like yeast or something.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

axeldc writes
"The list is long and bipartisan, and includes ... Jesse Ventura"


Actually, Jesse Ventura was a mayor before being elected to Governor. Al Franken, on the other hand, skipped that step.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 10, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Molly Ivins complained about celebrity candidates who come in with no electoral experience, and they think they have the right to run for Governor or Senator or even President as an entry-level position. They think running for Mayor, City Council, the State Legislature or even the US Congress is beneath them. The list is long and bipartisan, and includes Hillary Clinton, Ross Perot, Liddy Dole, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mitt Romney, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Ventura, etc.

These candidates have a mixed record of winning and governing. However, they all have a steep learning curve and would have been well-served to take a position a peg lower before jumping on to the stage they deem worthy of their illustrious names.

What does McAuliffe know about governing Virginia? Where does he come in thinking that being head of the DNC (during one of their worst periods in recent history) makes him a suitable governor?

I would have had a hard time voting for McAuliffe in the fall, no matter how much I love Republicans these days. Deeds is a good choice for Virginia and has none of the arrogance and naivete of the McAulliffe campaign.

Posted by: AxelDC | June 10, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I think the people of Virginia are tired of the established candidates of both parties. The 'pubs deregulated us into a financial mess (with dem complicity) and while the party in power has shifted, the game remains the same. Bulls***, BullSh**,Bulls**.

A part of this victory was a vote against the party ideologues and a vote for moderate politics.

Good for you Virginia Democrats, now start calling your Senators and make sure they are safe-guarding your rights.

Posted by: Akcita_Tridens | June 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

He may be neither a winner nor a loser, but The Fix is remiss in failing to mention the impact on Bob McDonnell & the general election. Is there any relevance to their prior face-off for the AG race several years ago? McDonnell won that in a squeaker; is that an indicator for a similar outcome this time, or has the dynamic changed?

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 10, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"I also think a loser on this is the 'electability argument' that McAuliffe put forth at the end of the election."

Well, I think the voters went for the electability argument. They just didn't go for the part that McAuliffe was the most electable guy.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 10, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Not only did McAulliffe, the national chairman for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, lose in his first run for elected office but so too did Adam Parkhomenko, the wunderkind who came to prominence as HRC campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's assistant during the 2008 campaign."

Parkhomenko's campaign should be studied for what NOT to do in a local race. He thought paying a staff, renting a HQ, robocalls from Bill Clinton, Paul Begala and Ann Lewis would impress voters in the 47th. In fact, it had the exact opposite effect. He acted like he was running for U.S. Senate or even president. Hard to buy from a guy who is only 23. And promising to make delegate a full-time job is silly considering it's NOT DESIGNED to be a full-time job. That's why the legislature only meets for a few months at a time. And his biggest claim at experience was being some kind of top aide?/gopher? to the manager who got fired from HRC's inept '08 campaign. Spare me.

Adam--if you do make another run sometime, build some credibility in the community and forget all the irrelevant window-dressing. An endorsement from Gen. Wesley Clark doesn't mean much to people wondering why the DMV line is so slow.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | June 10, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I really didn't care which of the two Virginians won. I just didn't want an outsider who came to Virginia as an oppourtunist looking to cash in on a preceived change in color. Virginia is not a blue or red state. Democrat or Republican, Virginians are Virginians. We don't like outside interference in our affairs. We vote for the best person for the Virginia.

Posted by: akmzrazor | June 10, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I live in Alexandria and I voted for Deeds as an act of political pragmatism. Although I have more in common with Moran on some issues, Deeds can more easily win in the general election.

Posted by: kguy1 | June 10, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the other folks that say the voters won this one. They picked the more experienced and better tempered candidate.
I also think a loser on this is the 'electability argument' that McAuliffe put forth at the end of the election.

Posted by: AndyR3 | June 10, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

looks like the chickens are coming home to roost. The Obama lies and empty promises and utter naivite and arrogance are slowly emerging.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | June 10, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

shrink2 posted:

"This type of cynical and vicious politics (not just a "contact sport", more akin to a fight in the octagon) belongs in the Republican party, it is who they are. Democratic voters will keep looking for personal integrity."

shrink2 has previously claimed to be a mental health professional. A post as gratuitously insulting to and dehumanizing of one political party and as fawning upon the personal integrity of the voters of another could speak poorly of shrink2's professionalism.

Political parties may be cynical undertakings by design - they exist to perpetuate themselves in office by attempting to appeal to more than half of all voters in each election. Human beings, including Democrats, remain more easily swayed by the issue of the moment or the TV personality of a candidate then by "integrity".
Alcee Hastings continues to be reelected to the House, after all.

"A Representative since 1993 and a Democrat, Hastings was previously a lawyer and judge. He spent ten years as a federal judge (1979-1989), but was impeached and removed from office for corruption and perjury."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | June 10, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

This is the outcome I expected and am delighted with.

Bill Clinton's best buddy disgraced again.

It makes no sense to drive the personal, and racial attacks on Barak Obama, then claim to have worked tirelessly for his election.

This type of cynical and vicious politics (not just a "contact sport", more akin to a fight in the octagon) belongs in the Republican party, it is who they are. Democratic voters will keep looking for personal integrity.

Posted by: shrink2 | June 10, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

It's interesting...look at the McAwful gubernatorial campaign and the Hillary campaign. Both operated with the same level of conceit and entitlement. So happy they both lost.

Posted by: thinman1 | June 10, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I want to amplify something that jpsbr2002 was pointing out. The Washington media always had a crush on McAuliffe because he was one of them. It got kind of sickening reading "the Macker" this and "the Macker" that.

Last night I got a text from the Post that, to paraphrase, told me "OMG THE MACKER LOSES OH NOES WHUT HAVE WE DONE" and then maybe a half-hour later another, more sober text that informed me that Deeds had won.

McAuliffe never had a connection with Virginia voters, and his decision to parachute into state politics looks pretty ridiculous now. And all of those Washington insiders who assumed "the Macker" would win because they had schmoozed and been schmoozed by him, and they had never heard of that "Craig Deeds" guy look pretty stupid now too.

One more thing: another loser is Mike Henry. A good guy, but he needs to kick the Clintonite habit if he ever wants to win again in Virginia.

Posted by: novamatt | June 10, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

It is the end of the Clinton era (although I could never see McAuliffe getting the nomination.) Deeds seems like a good candidate; his win also shows the broadening of the Democratic party, which is in stark contrast to the 'Grumpy Old Geezer' GOP image.

I give Steele a few months before there's a coup. He's always a day late and a dollar short...

Posted by: RickJ | June 10, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Another loser: ugly campaigning. The Moran/McAuliffe slugfest reminded me of the ugly Dean/Gephardt battle that helped Kerry and Edwards surge in Iowa. Let's just hope Deeds has more fight in him than Kerry.

Also a loser: the idea that voters vote as a regional bloc. Deeds got 47% of the vote in Arlington, 49% in Fairfax County, 50% in Loudoun, and 43% in Prince William. Moran actually won a couple of rural counties (Charles City, Dinwiddie) and in Hampton and Petersburg, where local endorsements and GOTV machines mattered more than his place of residence.

Posted by: novamatt | June 10, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Nowhere in here was a word mentioned about the voters. Hello? Mr Cilizza?? Ummm, have you ever talked to an actual voter to find out what's on their minds. The voters got lost amidst the self-congratulatory nonsense intended for Ciliza's principal readers which seem to be... other reporters (or fundraisers). This post didn't mention, and I would suggest, the reason McAuliffe lost was because he was a big money name adored by Washington insiders.

Posted by: jpsbr2002 | June 10, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

"Deeds, Not Words!" Gotta love this guy from a rural district who clobbered both opponents in what should have been their strongest areas. Looks like Moran may be through, but one chapter closed with a thud last night.

The "Macker", sinking Hillary's Presidential campaign along with Penn, Wolfson, Mr. Bill and others, has proven once and for all that he's the ultimate "blowhard". He turns people off! Always has, always will. To paraphrase Bobby Flay, "Hey Macker, Were You Ready for a Smackdown". Ready or not, you got one!

Posted by: NotBubba | June 10, 2009 7:08 AM | Report abuse

McAuliffe loses. Virginia wins. Congrats, Mr. Deeds. Can't wait to see you crush McDonnell in November.

Posted by: truble2301 | June 10, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

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