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Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds

In a move we've been waiting on for several weeks, the Republican Governors Association is using footage of Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) fumbling his way through an answer on whether he would raise taxes in a new blitz of television advertising aimed at critical northern Virginia voters.

The ad excerpts comments Deeds made in the aftermath of a Sept. 17 debate in a impromptu press conference with reporters in which he appears to argue simultaneously that he will not raise taxes and that all options to fund transportation improvements are on the table. (Note to candidates: DO NOT hold press availabilities after debates. Risk of stepping on message: High.)

It's well worth watching:

Make no mistake: Republicans believe this is their silver bullet against Deeds, the sort of "caught on tape" moment that will (finally) drive discussion of former state Attorney General Bob McDonnell's (R) controversial master's thesis out of the news -- and off the airwaves.

If there was any doubt about the centrality of this ad to Republicans' winning strategy in Virginia, the $1.7 million the RGA is spending to air it non-stop in the costly D.C. media market should clear it up.

Taxes appear to be a secondary issue for most Virginia voters, according to a Washington Post poll conducted in the governor's race last month. Nine percent of the sample said taxes were the most important issue facing the state in an open-ended question and, not surprisingly, McDonnell held a 50 percent to 39 percent edge over Deeds among those voters who thought taxes were the dominant issue.

The idea of the Democratic nominee as a tax and spender, however, could well play into broader concerns Republicans and many independents have about the direction of the country -- and the Commonwealth -- under President Barack Obama.

There is much evidence in national polling data that voters are wary about the growth of government generally and, specifically, how the President plans to pay for his health care plan. In Virginia, 48 percent approved of how Obama was handling health care while 51 percent disapproved, according to the Post data.

By running ads that show Deeds as decidedly uncertain on whether he will raise taxes or not, Republicans are hoping to tap into the anxiety many Americans are feeling about the economy and their wallets.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Short Takes  
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Comments

Wake up Deeds campaign, the SWIFT BOATERS are out and putting up millions of dollars. The republican party is on its heels and if they lose this race they really will become the party of just past memories. They are putting ever rotten thing that money can buy out but I think the voters of Virginia are to smart to believe anything but the truth and if that is the case Deeds wins by a large margin.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | October 2, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

That badly handled question by Creigh was clearly a bad moment for him, but I'd like to see more attention paid to the fact that he quickly rectified the positions and corrected his misstatements and made it clear WHERE HE STANDS. That is the important thing--every candidate has bad days & that was Creighs....it's fair game, I suppose, for McDonnell to use the footage, but it is dishonest to suggest that Deeds' position is muddled or unclear.

And the fact is, if they simply came out and said that Deeds wants to raise money in the gas tax specifically to help raise money for transportation funding, Deeds would win 80% of the vote in NoVA and he'd be the next Governor, so instead they insinuate (rather slimily) that he is still confused.

He's not. He just didn't want to say he was for a tax increase in front of 500 cameras and microphones. Too bad, he'd have come across much, much stronger if he had.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 2, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The colloquy between CF8 and KOZ was brutally unappealing in this thread.

==

Are you talking about this thread?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 2, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Chicago was considered by all observers to be one of the two favorites until Obama showed up with his ego and teleprompter and made it all about him. He couldn't even win the Bronze medal. What a disaster!

Posted by: emmet1 | October 2, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

From here it looks like the VA race is dominated by the relative weakness of the candidates. If neither catch fire with voters in a two party state turnout will determine the election. Everything CC has posted would lead an observer from afar to believe that the R will win.
1] The R is a social conservative. Social conservatives tend to turn out for state and local elections in disproportionate numbers.
2] The D was not endorsed by the state's most famous black pol. This may reflect a lack of enthusiasm in the D's most reliable voters.
3] Various reports of general lack of enthusiasm by voters Ds more than Rs, typically.

Bad economic times usually favor Ds - but not when the unemployed do not see the D as their champion.
The Rs thesis could stir enough Ds to vote out of fear, but the polling CC cites never quite seems to support that result.
-----------------------------
The colloquy between CF8 and KOZ was brutally unappealing in this thread. Both these persons can do better, but time after time they do not, as they engage in serial flaming with each other to the detriment of what is a very worthwhile blog.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite, getting into flame wars with the trolls is not going to help matters. At best it is giving the trolls exactly what they want. At worst, it leads you to start trolling as well. Don't reply to trolls and stop with the name calling, it's the path to the dark side. You don't exactly smell like roses, ya know?

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 2, 2009 2:35 AM | Report abuse

In case you're wondering, pederasty Is pretty creepy.

Well not everyone is wondering.

Posted by: snowbama

==

See Chris the IP block didn't work long because the hospital probably has multiple proxy servers and they regularly get new IPs anyway from the ISP, and since DNS is updated at the same time nobody notices.

Next time you should tell your server room wraiths to use a domain block instead, and that way you leverage the DNS tracking of IP changes. But you will have to look at the format DNS name of the proxy server e.g.

proxy03.boobyhatch.net

and wildcard it when you code the block, e.g.

proxy??.boobyhatch.net

Hope this helps.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Nine percent say that taxes are the state's most important issue? And even among them only an 11-point lead for McDonnell.

I think that thesis thing will keep working just fine.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

In case you're wondering, pederasty Is pretty creepy.

Well not everyone is wondering.

Posted by: snowbama | October 1, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Yet others get banned for "name-calling?"

Why is this fool still here, Chris?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

you mean the fool who was banned ? Do tell fool.

Posted by: snowbama | October 1, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Did Creigh just say tax increase? No. He said yes to a question asked in a fairly loud room before the one asking said tax increase. Maybe the asker was repeating an earlier question, but the words did not come out of Deeds' mouth. Looks more like standard political trickery and framing to me

Posted by: thecorinthian | October 1, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

So zouk if this level of malice is how you behave when you're regularly medicated in a clinical setting I cannot imAGine what you must have been acting like to get you put away in there. You probably ran out in traffic and tried to attack cars.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Lonliness is very sad.

Posted by: snowbama | October 1, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine someone running across The Fix for the first time, and noticing that it has a comment section.

So he reads the article, some responses spring to mind, and he navigates down the comments, and reads a few to get the tone of the place.

Think he's going to go ahead and post?

Not bloody likely.

Winky little smilies, teenage stylistics, same six posts over and over ("I'll answer your questions as soon as you answer mine in a civil manner") .. no, he's going to find somewhere else to surf. The adolescent tone set by the valueless JakeD has already led a dozen of the valuable contributors here to bag it and leave.

Yet others get banned for "name-calling?"

Why is this fool still here, Chris?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris C, is this what you went to journalism school for? To play host for a sixteen year old kid with first degree emotional disorder?

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 1, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

theamazingjex:

Why isn't my post related to McDonnell's thesis revelant to the thread topic.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Wow another all liberal, all idiocy thread. Impressive in it's simplicity.

Posted by: snowbama | October 1, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Upon reflection, I don't understand why this article qualifies as anything but noise. Is anyone surprised when republicans accuse democrats of raising taxes? The polls don't indicate any that the tax issue appears to be particularly important.

Speaking of nothing important (nice segue, eh?), JakeD's comments don't belong here. Please Chris, take out the trash.

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 1, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your concern, broadwayjoe, but I do this pro bono (and I've got plenty of health insurance coverage ; )

See you all Monday!

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

"Jake's Place"

Has a nice ring to it (don't worry, though, I have an early tee time tomorrow ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 8:19 PM
_____

Then it's official. "The Fix" is now "Jake's Place." Jake, any chance you can negotiate with the Post for health insurance and retirement benefits? Vacation time? Congratulations again on your, uh, achievement.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 1, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"Jake's Place"

Has a nice ring to it (don't worry, though, I have an early tee time tomorrow ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Let's see -- 16 posts by JokeD of a total of 24, I believe. Chris, do you now believe he's driving people away and monopolizing your site as a personal forum?

Posted by: drindl | October 1, 2009 7:32 PM
_________

This blog is now officially "Jake's Place."
Jake: 1 Sanity: 0 :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 1, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

That Deeds might raise taxes doesn't seem like a "hole card." Wilder made that point weeks ago. Despite that and a non-campaign, Deeds is still about even with Mac. Anyway, whatever card Mac holds, it hardly trumps Mac's infamous "thesis," a kinda over-the-top "Gone With the Wind" of hate and intolerance. In fact Mac's scholarly "thesis" on why he evidently hates women and, er, "protection" trumps about ANY card he has against Deeds.
___________

To the endless "GOP comeback" posts appear in this space, we have now this rebuttal from Brendan Nyhan in pollster.com.

Excerpt:

"How weak is the Republican brand right now? This issue came up yesterday when a Media Matters criticized The Hill for failing to mention the GOP's poor polling numbers in a story on the 2010 elections. Similarly, I recently suggested that that the damaged Republican brand might limit the number of seats that the party picks up. But is the party really worse off than previous opposition parties at this point in the election cycle?

***

The overall finding is simple -- the GOP's standing relative to the Democrats on both measures is worse than any opposition party in the sample. For instance, the Pew data show that the Republicans are currently viewed more negatively than any minority party in the previous four midterms in terms of both net favorables and the difference in net favorables between parties:**"

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/assessing_the_gop_brand.php

Ouch. Case closed.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 1, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Let's see -- 16 posts by JokeD of a total of 24, I believe. Chris, do you now believe he's driving people away and monopolizing your site as a personal forum?

Posted by: drindl | October 1, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Abortion debate is directly on point over here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/10/01/a_shift_on_abortion.html

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

This is good news (related to McDonnell's thesis): only 47 percent of Americans now feel abortion should be legal in all or most cases -- a drop from 54 percent a year ago, according to a recent poll -- meanwhile, 45 percent say it should be illegal in all or most cases and that's up from 41 percent a year ago.

Given the survey's margin of error, the two camps are statistically tied. It would be interesting to see if the same holds in Virginia.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/10/01/abortion.poll/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

ARCTIC (darn Spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I just saw that you finally answered (even though that ignores how the LEFT -- not the right -- demonized Gov. Palin, including but not limited to our gracious host referring to her as a "Artic Devil"). To answer your question: yes.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers:

As soon as you answer my previously-asked questions to you, I would more than delighted to answer your current question to me.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic, this is the RGA's best shot, and they have to take it. It could work for them.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 1, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

You were citing Ann Coulter as your source?

Now we know why it was a laughable cut-n-paste. And we know why it was so simplistic, lacked sources and is insulting to everyone who isn't normal, like Ann is.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 1, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't drink coffee (and "infant mortality" rates have been a big issue re: the healthcare debate, even if not directly related to the Deeds / McDonnell race -- that's why I posted it -- I value the "amazing" jex's opinion on the matter ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

It is neither "incoherent" nor "unattributed" -- maybe I was thinking about more federal deficit under Obama than Bush, there's some such statistic out there -- at least the "amazing" jex answers my questions ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

theamazingjex, did Jake refute your calling him a liar about government spending by posting an incoherent, unattributed, laughable cut-n-paste about infant mortality?

Jake, time to switch to decaf.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 1, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Either way, the point by "shrink2" that McCain played the Rev. Wright card is off-base.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

McCain didn't have to play the Rev Wright Card. The GOP and a wide range of conservative groups were ready, willing and able to play it for him. That's page 1 stuff, Jake: "We do the dirty work while our guy appears pResidential."

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 1, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, make that http://www.anncoulter.com

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What, you didn't think Stephen Colbert making fun of Dennis Kucinich fitting in his pocket was funny either?!

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

anncounter.com

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"This is despite the fact that in many countries a baby born the size of Dennis Kucinich would not be considered a live birth."

Clearly this is a scholarly article from a reputable source.

Posted by: Blarg | October 1, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

OK, the "amazingjex" how about this?

One factor contributing to the U.S.'s infant mortality rate is that blacks have intractably high infant mortality rates -- irrespective of age, education, socioeconomic status and so on. No one knows why.

Neither medical care nor discrimination can explain it: Hispanics in the U.S. have lower infant mortality rates than either blacks or whites. Give Switzerland or Japan our ethnically diverse population and see how they stack up on infant mortality rates.

Even with a higher-risk population, the alleged differences in infant mortality are negligible. We're talking about 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the U.S. compared to 5 deaths per 1,000 for Britain and Canada. This is a rounding error -- perhaps literally when you consider that the U.S. tabulates every birth, even in poor, small and remote areas, while other countries are not always so meticulous.

But the international comparisons in "infant mortality" rates aren't comparing the same thing, anyway. We also count every baby who shows any sign of life, irrespective of size or weight at birth.

By contrast, in much of Europe, babies born before 26 weeks' gestation are not considered "live births." Switzerland only counts babies who are at least 30 centimeters long (11.8 inches) as being born alive. In Canada, Austria and Germany, only babies weighing at least a pound are considered live births.

And of course, in Milan it's not considered living if the baby isn't born within driving distance of the Côte d'Azur.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

By excluding the little guys, these countries have simply redefined about one-third of what we call "infant deaths" in America as "miscarriages."

Moreover, many industrialized nations, such as France, Hong Kong and Japan -- the infant mortality champion -- don't count infant deaths that occur in the 24 hours after birth. Almost half of infant deaths in the U.S. occur in the first day.

Also contributing to the higher mortality rate of U.S. newborns: Peter Singer lives here.

But members of Congress, such as Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Jim Moran and John Olver, have all cited the U.S.'s relatively poor ranking in infant mortality among developed nations as proof that our medical care sucks. This is despite the fact that in many countries a baby born the size of Dennis Kucinich would not be considered a live birth.

Apart from the fact that we count -- and try to save -- all our babies, infant mortality is among the worst measures of a nation's medical care because so much of it is tied to lifestyle choices, such as the choice to have children out of wedlock, as teenagers or while addicted to crack.

The main causes of infant mortality -- aside from major birth defects -- are prematurity and low birth-weight. And the main causes of low birth-weight are: smoking, illegitimacy and teenage births. Americans lead most of the developed world in all three categories. Oh, and thank you for that, Britney Spears.

Although we have a lot more low birth-weight and premature babies for both demographic and lifestyle reasons, at-risk newborns are more likely to survive in America than anywhere else in the world. Japan, Norway and the other countries with better infant mortality rates would see them go through the roof if they had to deal with the same pregnancies that American doctors do.

As Nicholas Eberstadt demonstrates in his book "The Tyranny of Numbers: Mismeasurement and Misrule," American hospitals do so well with low birth-weight babies that if Japan had our medical care with their low birth-weight babies, another third of their babies would survive, making it even harder for an American kid to get into MIT.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote:
"pResident Obama has SPENT MORE in 10 months than Bush did in two terms."

---

This is what we commonly refer to as a "lie."

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 1, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And, I'm hoping that enough people return GOVERNMENT Motors cars to put them out of business too.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

pResident Obama has SPENT MORE in 10 months than Bush did in two terms.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, i should think after bush bankrupted the country, people would wise up a little about the fiction of republican fiscal conservancy.

Posted by: drindl | October 1, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

McCain specifically REFUSED to play the Rev. Wright card (maybe he would have won had he agreed to turn Palin loose on that issue). McDonnell indeed has a record of fiscal conservativism.

Posted by: JakeD | October 1, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

(Note to candidates: DO NOT hold press availabilities after debates. Risk of stepping on message: High.)

Each politician in turn believes they are in control of the message, they act as if reporters were like the sycophants they surround themselves with, only dumber.
They start in, pedantic, charming, then fatuous, then...it turns

Seeing their faces as they realize what is happening, the change in tone, it is harsh.


Posted by: shrink2 | October 1, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah and the Rev Wright jeremiad ads were the McCain Palin hole card v Obama.

It is a terrible performance, no doubt about that. But the idea that a Republican is going to be a fiscal conservative, how could anyone still believe that? They all spend like drug addicts, it is just a question of who gets the money.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 1, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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