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First Click -- Virginia

Rosalind Helderman

Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
Good morning! Here's what's happening in politics across the Commonwealth today.

One month and counting until Virginia voters go to the polls. Have you registered to vote yet? Today's the deadline!

This may be a critical week in the campaign, as pretty much everyone who is going to vote is starting to pay real attention to the governor's race, even these highly sought late-deciders.

Is the national Democratic party doubling-down on Sen. Creigh Deeds in attempt to close the gap with Republican Bob McDonnell? The DNC will give him $1 million more to spend on his effort. But meanwhile national Democrats begin to say quietly they think they may have better chance in New Jersey than Virginia. Those doing the talking, very diplomatically include Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, head of the Democratic Governors Association.

Fallout continues from a letter sent Friday by Democratic U.S. House transportation chairman Minnesota U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar to Gov. Tim Kaine slamming Virginia for spending transportation stimulus dollars too slowly.

Kaine has defended the pace of spending--saying among other things that Virginia is following deadlines set out by the Democratic White House that differ from those established by the Democratically-controlled Congress. And Deeds has defended Kaine.

Political commentator Bob Holsworth thinks the letter was a politically incomprehensible gift-wrapped present for the GOP, which spent the weekend churning out press statements slamming Kaine over the issue, including one that featured a quote from state party chairman Pat Mullins inviting Deeds to feel free to have at the "Kaine legacy."

It also gave Bob McDonnell a great time peg for the release of a new transportation ad talking about how he grew up in Northern Virginia and now will solve transportation without raising taxes.

The candidates were busy this weekend. McDonnell attended a pumped up GOP breakfast in Fairfax and then got a good reception at a festival in Manassas. Deeds was likewise well received at a fair in Richmond. Meanwhile, this paper ran the first of two lengthy profiles of the gubernatorial candidates, this one on Deeds. McDonnell's turn comes next week.

McDonnell today tours the Richmond jail and meets with a small business owner in Charlottesville. Deeds joins Democratic royalty in Shirlington, greeting a lunch crowd with Sen. Mark Warner, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, Brian Moran and state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  October 5, 2009; 7:11 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Brian J. Moran , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , First Click , James P. Moran Jr. , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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If I recall right, Montana Governor Brian Sweitzer had his well-rounded posterior handed to him this summer when he interjected his opinion into the Virginia governor's race, endorsing and predicting victory by the imminently-trounced Terry McAuliffe. Sweitzer knows nothing of Virginia and I for one would welcome him spending the next month running his mouth up in New Jersey.

Posted by: jeff19 | October 5, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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