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What Do Huckabee and Schweitzer Have in Common?

Anita Kumar

A couple months ago, Terry McAuliffe blasted Bob McDonnell for keeping quiet while his surrogate Mike Huckabee encouraged Virginia Republicans to keep voters from the polls on Election Day.

Well, today, McAuliffe's surrogate, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer sounded like he was trying to suppress a few votes himself when he said -- jokingly? -- that supporters of McAuliffe rivals, Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran, should show up at the polls on Thursday, instead of Tuesday.

"The other two guys are good guys," Schweitzer said at an Arlington stop with McAuliffe this morning. "They're in the legislature. No one's campaigning against anyone. And if you decide you're going to vote for one of the other guys, show up on Thursday."

No, it wasn't a slip of the tongue.

So what is McAuliffe's response now?

"Terry obviously disagrees with that sentiment and encourages everyone to turn out on Tuesday no matter who they support,'' said Elisabeth Smith, McAuliffe's spokewoman. "A high turnout on June 9 will benefit all Democrats in November."

By Anita Kumar  |  June 5, 2009; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Anita, I was at the announcement with you. Stood next to you for part of it. Gov Schweitzer laughed before during and after that joke. 3 times he said all the candidates were good or great. "Slip of the tongue?" "Suppress votes?" Both sentiments are disingenuous. And you were close to sense the meaning. Even the dean of political reporting, David Broder of the WP, laughed. Gov Schweitzer is a breath of fresh air. He smiles a lot. He's happy. We need more politicians like Brian. A real human being. Save your enmity for the politicians who deserve it. We live in DC and they can be found everywhere.

Posted by: G-man2 | June 5, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Terry McAuliffe himself said this was nothing to joke about. He even started a petition about it.

This campaign is spinning out of control.

Posted by: NoLaughingMatter | June 5, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse


I think that was the point. If you happen to have heard Huckabee's talk, his was a joke as well. In fact, it's a joke that he's used so many times its not even funny anymore. Schweitzer's was obviously a joke as well. The real silliness here is that McAuliffe tried to make an issue out of Huckabee's joke and now one of his own surrogates said the same thing he blasted everyone else for.

Posted by: David1231 | June 6, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry at this. Are you seriously thinking that a remark that voters for the opposition should vote on Thursday is Voter Suppression?

Did someone steal all the calenders of those voters and switch Tuesday with Thursday? Were signs erected saying "Vote Thursday!"? Were people called and told that their special date to vote was Thursday and not Tuesday? That would be defined as "voter suppression", where an actual effort was made to keep a group of voters from the polls.

Even at that, it would be laughable. The joke here - and, YES, it is a JOKE, as voting on any day other than a Tuesday has been a joke since 1845, when American's began voting on Tuesday - is that anyone so uninformed as to not know that you vote on a Tuesday is someone that is too uninformed to vote at all.

BTW, is there any truth to the rumor that the polls won't open until 7:00PM for the primaries? (Oh, how I wish I could insert a rolling-eyeballs icon here.)

Posted by: JackESpratt | June 6, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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