Sheila Johnson on Deeds's Speaking Style
This video clip of Sheila Johnson, a supporter of Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine now backing Republican Bob McDonnell for governor, has been making its way around the Internet, starting on Ben Tribbett's blog.
In the clip, Johnson, who co-founded BET, talks about her feeling that Democrat Creigh Deeds has trouble articulating his views for Virginia and seems to mock his stammering speaking style. Deeds senior adviser Mo Elleithee called Johnson's imitation of the rural senator a "petty personal attack."
Deeds himself said at a campaign stop today that he was "disappointed" in Johnson's comments.
"I'm disappointed and I'll be honest. If it's about being smooth or being a slick communicator, I'm never going to win that discussion. But I work as hard as I can to be honest and forthright and tell people what I think and I'm going to continue to work toward creating opportunity and hope and prosperity in every corner of Virginia. I think I've laid out my vision very well," Deeds said.
McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin made no apologies for the routine -- McDonnell was sitting nearby during the speech. In a statement, Martin said that Deeds has been "unable to express any vision for Virginia's future" and "regularly takes two positions on important issues."
"Why the Deeds campaign wants to attack a prominent supporter of both Governor Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama, while reminding voters that she strongly supports Bob McDonnell for governor, is beyond us," Martin said.
The clip -- as well as television advertisements featuring Deeds bungling questions about taxes to reporters right after a recent debate -- show a central theme of McDonnell's campaign as we enter the home stretch of the race: that Deeds is unable to articulate his views in a way that seem gubernatorial.
But Deeds's response to it suggests a closing argument for his campaign, too -- an insistence that Deeds may talk less pretty but he talks more candidly.
Who will voters believe? 29 days to find out.
October 5, 2009; 2:16 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Creigh Deeds , Election 2009 , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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