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First Click-Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

Monday, Aug. 31, 2009
Good morning, Virginia! Here's what's doing in politics across the Commonwealth today.

How much impact will this weekend's Post story about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell's 1989 graduate school thesis have on the race for governor? It's the big political question of the moment as the week begins. Articles about the thesis have appeared in pretty much every Virginia newspaper now, so the story's gotten plenty of statewide attention and it's now time to watch how the campaigns respond.

A lot of Republicans are dismissing the writings as an ancient academic exercise that will count for little on Nov. 3. The McDonnell campaign did not make their candidate available to answer questions about the thesis to the Associated Press on Sunday. So far they instead have stuck to a statement on the issue composed before The Post's story appeared. But expect McDonnell to face lots of questions about the thesis this week.

Democrats are hoping to capitalize on the thesis, arguing it represents the views of "the real Bob McDonnell." They will try to use it to disqualify McDonnell with independents and motivate their own base.

Will all of this put a damper on the enthusiasm of Republicans, who expressed great optimism when they gathered in Richmond for a fundraiser Friday night? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Politico has a story the McDonnell campaign would rather talk about, about the role big labor will play in Virginia and New Jersey.

Deeds spent the day yesterday meeting canvassers and small-business owners in Prince William and Fairfax counties. A schedule put out a few days ago showed no public events for today. McDonnell's RV toured Northern Virginia on Saturday; no schedule has been released yet for today.

Gov. Kaine is in Richmond today to announce Neighborhood Stabilization grants, money from a federal program designed to help communities hit hard by foreclosures.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  August 31, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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did the post dig up any of deeds work from college or did deeds not go to college...
is wapo backing deeds because he is a lib and a dem and will do anything possible to get him elected, just like wapo did for obama...
virginia doesn't need an obama light like deeds in office...
we don't need a candidate like deeds who only knows how to raise taxes...

Posted by: DwightCollins | August 31, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

The thesis is not a big deal, the average person could care less. What people want are the candidates plans for the future. Where is Deeds transportation plan? As politico said, "no silver bullet" the Dems are in real trouble not only in Gov race but for HOD races too. Look for a plus 2 for Bill Howell on Nov. 3.

Posted by: jebw958 | August 31, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell as a stealth arch-conservative (on women's equal rights and contraception) is a scary prospect. Also his fiscal ideas ring hollow: selling the ABC stores for 4500 million and forgoing the annual $300 million revenues. Has he gone mad?

Posted by: RonGey | August 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the typo: $500 million, not 4500.

Posted by: RonGey | August 31, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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