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Deeds Goes on the Offensive in Speech, Ad

Rosalind Helderman

Democrat Creigh Deeds worked to recharge his gubernatorial bid Friday with what his campaign billed as a major address at George Mason University and his first television ad of the general election campaign. You can watch the ad below and read more about the remarks here.

The speech contained little that's new in the way of policy proposals -- Deeds said as much to reporters afterward. But he did attempt to sharpen the message he will present throughout the fall. And what's that message? It's all about backwards-forwards. Republican Bob McDonnell will take the state back, Deeds will take it forward.

Deeds said he would govern in the bipartisan vein of former governor Mark Warner, recalling what he said was the pivotal 2004 tax fight when Deeds backed Warner's budget and McDonnell was opposed. Deeds said he would create opportunity by giving tax credits to job-creating businesses and expanding access to higher education.

Republicans blasted the speech as a backwards-looking stunt, trying to hit the "reset" button on a floundering campaign. "If Creigh Deeds thinks blowing the dust off an old political playbook amounts to a major new announcement, he doesn't get what the voters of Virginia are looking for in their next governor," said McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin.

Here's the ad, going up in every state media market except Northern Virginia.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 21, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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It is all well and good that Mr. Deeds is trying to link himself to US Senator Mark Warner. Mr. Warner was a successful Governor.

It is easy to point to someone else and assert that you are just like him. However, you can only get so far in hitching yourself to another politicians coat tails.

At some point you need to be your own man and stand on your own policy positions. If you are applying for the top elected position in Virginia, it is helpful to display leadership traits, preferably your own...

Posted by: Fairfax2 | August 21, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Deeds is only like Warner in that they both refuse to take a position on tough issues like card check, cap and trade and nationalized health care. They both dodge every difficult policy proposal.

Also, funny that the ad isn't being aired in northern Virginia. Probably because they don't want the people up there to hear his hilbilly accent.

Posted by: OldVirginian | August 21, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I saw the headline, thinking this was going to be a hard-hitting attack ad. "I'm like Warner, not Bush" is about as lazy as you can get.

Posted by: Simon23p | August 21, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I am from Northen Virginia and feel that although Democratic Governors have been good for Virginia in general but they have not done squat for the issues facing Northern Virginia (specially transportation). Mr. Deeds has no plans for this issue either and though I cant stand Republicans, I might vote for Bob McDonnell and hope that he can work with the Republican Legislature to spend our tax dollars back in this area rather than on pork projects in the rest of the state.

Posted by: Saffah | August 21, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

If the issue is transportation, then Creigh Deeds is your man. Remember that the Post endorsed Deeds in the primary over two NoVa challengers precisely because Deeds was the one candidate with the greatest potential for getting something accomplished on transportation.

The Post wrote:
"In 18 years in the General Assembly, Mr. Deeds has time and again supported measures that might be unpopular with his rural constituency but that are the right thing to do, for Northern Virginia and the state as a whole. He has demonstrated an understanding of the problems that matter most, the commitment to solve them and the capacity to get things done. ... Mr. Deeds has made clear that he would make transportation his first priority, vowing to tackle this region's greatest challenge while his political capital is at its height. His record suggests that he could make headway. ... Mr. Deeds is in a unique position to persuade rural legislators to support a transportation funding proposal. As he once told The Post, "A gentleman from Lunenburg County called me up to say, 'I don't want my taxes to go up so they can build roads in Northern Virginia.' I said, 'Who do you think is paying for your schools?' Right now, the economic engine that has been driving Virginia has serious transportation woes. It's in the interest of every single Virginian, no matter where he or she lives, to fix that problem."

Posted by: calejaffe | August 21, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The Post's coverage of this campaign is so desperate. It's AUGUST folks. Most of Virginia won't realize there's even an election this year until October. So stop making August polls sound like it's victory for one guy and a loss for the other AND spectacular insight by the Post. Your reporters are so anxious to look relevant in the age of the Internet, it's really kinda sad.

Oh, and McDonnell is brought to you by the folks who sold you Gilmore and Bush.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | August 21, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely a fan of former Governor Warner and Governor Kaine (whom I actually voted for), but I think Mr. McDonnell is the right man for the job. Though I'm a Republican, I was very comfortable with our past two Democratic governors who brought fiscal balance. I did actually vote for Jim Webb as senator and have not liked how he's fallen in line with the liberal economic agenda and Governor Warner has definitely changed in his time in Washington.

Unfortunately for Mr. Deeds, all I see in him is an attempt to amplify the liberal agenda in Virginia and not govern with common sense and appropriately from the center.

If Mr. Deeds's vision for the Commonwealth is the same as Nutso Nancy and Barack's vision for America, I think I'll play it safe and vote for Mr. McDonnell this time. I think Mr. Deeds going about our state touting his pro choice record and Barack Obama's endorsement and his affinity for the New York and San Francisco liberal agenda will hurt his chances and definitely will turn me off to anything he says.

The Commonweatlh voted Democrat in the past election mainly because of Bush-Cheney fatigue and the desire to end the fiscal imbalance and policy excesses of the Republicans during the Bush years. Under Obama and Pelosi, we have quickly shifted to leftest ideological rule of this country and it is as bankrupt morally and fiscally as Dick Cheney and his excesses.

I think Bob McDonnell is the best choice for Virginia!!

Posted by: chrojo01 | August 21, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Super-duper, ultra-major policy speech? And everyone admits he said nothing? Even Deeds himself? Isn't this proof they guy might have mental issues? What a major issue to him? His lack of judgment is pathetic.

Major policy issue: Mr. Deeds has Needs.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | August 21, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

As a Northern Virginia resident I think Creigh Deeds is the only logical choice for voters right now. Whether you like it or not, he is not trying to pander to anyone and paint himself as something he is not (Moderate Bob McDonnell). He has remained consistent on his positions throughout the campaign such as gun control and everything else that he was attacked on during the primary. Again, unlike Bob McDonnell Creigh isn't falsely portraying himself as a moderate, he IS a centrist, problem solving politician who's record in the legislature speaks for itself.

I am as pro-union as one can be and I will even say that the right-to-work laws in Virginia will never been taken off the books so "card check" really has no effect on the states like Virginia. Trying to distract the voters is the game plans for McDonnell and the Virginia GOP. They don't want to talk about social issues because that will show voters the type of politician he is. Plain and simple. Economy and transportation are very important issues but they are not the only issues that the Governor will be dealing with and therefore it is only right that voters know where both candidates stand on all the issues.

Lastly, the use of the new television ads should not surprise anyone. It is only late August and there is plenty of time for the campaign to hit the airwaves in Northern Virginia hard. Their success in the primary is a perfect example of this as they managed their money and resources correctly. If anything, voters in Northern Virginia especially deserve to know that a candidate who is wanting to run their state is essentially lying to them in saying his is something he is not. And that candidate is Bob McDonnell!

Posted by: dankalbacher | August 21, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, calejaffe, but Deeds's website still doesn't even have a "transportation" section on the issues page. He doesn't mention transportation in the ad either. And it's been nearly four years since Mark Warner was governor, why doesn't Deeds have his own party's current governor Tim Kaine in the ad? Oh, that's right, Kaine probably wasn't in Virginia long enough to be filmed for the ad.

Posted by: Yankeesfan1 | August 21, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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