DOOMWatch: Why Creigh Deeds is losing.

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.

It’s because of this question, and the answers.

17. Can you name one good reason that someone should vote for your opponent?

DEEDS: [Long pause] You know, I can name you a thousand good reasons why they should vote for me. I’m the best-prepared person to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. … Bob is a guy that I’ve always gotten along with, but I get along with most people. I work hard to get along with people. I don’t agree with Bob on a great deal.

McDONNELL: He’s a good family man. He’s worked hard to represent his district well for 18 years. To me, he’s a good story of somebody living and accessing the American dream. You know, he tells the story about … first guy in his family to go to college with four $20 [bills] in his pocket and now he’s competing for the job held by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To me, that’s a great story. I think there’s a hundred reasons why I’d be a better governor than him, but for the way, and this is his own personal life story, the way he has told it — it obviously happened because of tremendous hard work, tremendous perseverance to be able to get to the level that he is at, and I think that’s very admirable.

Slightly contra Jim Geraghty, it’s not that Bob McDonnell can sincerely compliment his opponent; it’s that Creigh Deeds doesn’t dare.

Moe Lane

PS: Bob McDonnell for Governor. No time to stop now.

Crossposted to RedState.


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  • AST says:

    That “answer” says he either doesn’t listen, can’t think of anything good to say, i.e. kind of stupid, or that he’s so rabidly partisan he can’t say anything nice. Any one of those is reason enough not to vote for him.

    Or, he could be losing because this has become a referendum on Obama’s performance.

  • Baby M says:

    It may or may not be why he’s losing, but it’s undeniably the mark of a loser.

  • Techie says:

    Oh come on, lying comes to these types naturally. Surely he could come up with something on the fly.

  • Cinco Jotas says:

    He doesn’t dare compliment MacDonnell because the Kos Kiddies with krucify him.

    Thus, comes across as a petulant crybaby which together with braying jackass, make up the two default settings of the loonie left.

  • JorgXMcKie says:

    Because I’m teaching a campaigns and elections course this fall, my class has been following the VA and NJ gov elections and the NY-23 US Rep election.

    In all three cases, they find at least one candidate running a strategically flawed campaign. Deeds stands out for them. (And like most college students, about 80% of them are Democrats or Left-leaning.) They also think Christie in NJ followed a flawed strategy akin to Hillary Clinton’s Dem primary campaign but *may* win anyway.

    I believe Deeds is a somewhat flawed candidate who had a bad strategy and followed it until it ruined his chances.

  • WT says:

    I’m in Charlottesville, watching this campaign, and Deeds (who i’ve met, and like, personally) so totally screw this campaign up because of the influence of the national party, that I think he’s hopeless as a politician. He and McDonnell were really not that far apart on most issues facing Virginia, but the way he’s run this campaign, he’s had to “evolve” into something that I don’t think he ever was. And it’s a shame, because it would have been more interesting to see a campaign between colleagues that would have focused on the actual issues Virginia faces — transportation being the most important — but it ended up being Deeds saying “McDonnell hates women!” and McDonnell saying “WTF?” It’s a shame, because it doesn’t reflect well on this lovely Commonwealth.

  • Britt says:

    Ah Style Weekly…a Richmond institution. My mom used to be the editor.

    I don’t think Deeds is a bad candidate so much as I think the supposed blue shift of my Commonwealth is not as it may appear to some. Yes, Northern Virginia is diverse and moderate and blah blah the WaPo gets swoony blah. The blue shift is based on four men and five races:

    Mark Warner’s run for Governor in 2001
    Tim Kaine’s run for Governor in 2005
    Jim Webb’s Senate win in 2006
    Obama winning the state in 2008
    Mark Warner winning the other Senate seat in 2008

    VA Governors cannot win consecutive terms, which is why we have a new one every four years.

    Warner, a successful businessman, spent twice as much as Mark Earley in 2001, and Earley had a hard primary fight. Warner’s pitch was being a moderate, even conservative Democrat. He won with 52% of the vote. Jim Gilmore, his predecessor, was seen as a bit of a bungler and was not incredibly popular. Earley had been AG under Gilmore, so he had that association working against him.

    Kaine in 05 was seen as a continuation of the popular and effective Warner. The GOP ran an absolutely abysmal candidate in Jerry Kilgore, who was AG while Kaine was Lieutenant Governor (Each office has a separate election, no running mates). Warner had an approval rating above 70% and threw that in with Kaine. A conservative third party campaign also drew off Kilgore votes. Kaine ran as a moderate, vowing particularly not to commute death sentences. Kaine won with 52% of the vote.

    Webb ran against George Allen, beating him after the “macaca” video went viral. Webb ran as a moderate, gun toting, “fighting” Democrat with a rural background. He is a decorated veteran and Reagan Administration official. Allen ran a terrible campaign and Webb won with 49% of the vote, coming in 0.3% ahead of Allen.

    Obama flooded the state with money in 2008, galvanized the black vote, ran attack ads everywhere, called up every college student in the state (except me!) to stump for him, and of coursed ran as a centrist, post partisan, moderate Democrat. He got 52% of the vote.

    Warner ran on Obama’s coattails, and remains enormously popular due to his successful term as Governor. He draws a lot of the independents because of his temperament and competence. His opponent was Jim Gilmore, the man he succeeded as Governor. Warner again outspent his opponent (9:1), ran unopposed while his opponent had a primary challenge, and of course ran in a very good year for Democrats. He came in with 65% of the vote.

    See, I argue that the blue shift of VA is not a systemic shift, but due to these four men, who they ran against, and what the general mood was at the time. Notice how all four of these men ran a centrist campaign, all of them claiming to be a new kind of Democrat. I argue that it was a series of weak GOP opponents, and a national political climate that favored Democrats in the last two elections, which caused these five races to come out blue. VA is still a red state. Not Texas, not Oklahoma, but maybe more like Indiana or Tennessee. I think it’s still 5 points to the right, not a true tossup the way Ohio or Florida is. You have to be a moderate Democrat with lots of money, a weak opponent, good charisma and a friendly or neutral political climate to win in Virginia. That’s happened a lot in the last decade, but I think it is a series of single victories more then a fundamental shift.

    As for Deeds, the issue is that the Dem heartland in VA is Northern Virginia. He has done nothing to appeal to those transplanted government workers, lobbyists, and lawyers. He prefers to run in “Deeds Country” (his term) which means the Shenandoah Valley, and the hills of the southwest and western parts of the state. Which, well, isn’t as solid blue as he thinks it is. Oh, and Deeds has already lost to McDonnell, in 2005. He never really had a shot, but the other two Dems in the primary were Yankee carpetbaggers. Plus, he doesn’t have the money, doesn’t have the charisma, doesn’t have a weak opponent, and doesn’t have the favorable political climate. So he’s gonna get beaten bad. The WaPo tried to sink Bobby Mac with the thesis story, but that didn’t work (one more sign that the blue shift have been overstated). Bolling, the LG, will be reelected, and Ken Cuccinelli will win the AG slot, making an all GOP administration for the first time in years. In four years, McDonnell will gear up to challenge Warner for his Senate seat, and Cuccinelli will run for Governor. AG is traditionally the on deck spot for Governor.

  • Gerbertz Nachriya says:

    Deeds is losing because his party popularity is waning, and he’s done nothing to set himself apart from that wane. And that’s the story of every losing Virginia candidate for governor as long as I’ve observed this state’s politics.

    Local politics in Virginia is weirdly dull. There’s never any attempt by a candidate to make an idealogical argument on the merits of conservative or progressive policies in general, nor any ” My Plan for Virginia” policy proposals trotted out by the candidates. It’s as if there’s some assumption by Virginia’s political class that talking about core political philosophy or what it is that an administration should actually do will piss off more people than it could ever attract. The policy stands of a candidate can only be found squirreled away in vague platitudes on backpages of their websites or in debates or dead tree newspaper op-eds that no one watches or reads.

    Instead, Virginia campaigns consist of nothing but self-serving character ads and attack ads. Literally nothing else. Nothing but completely shameless, bordering-on-the-bizarre attempts to malign and stigmatize a candidate. In particular, the strategy is to anger a core voting block, such as blacks (think the whole George Allen “Macaque” debacle) or women (think “this guys 25 year old college thesis wants women chained to the kitchen stove”). And any substantive information on a candidate is drowned in misinformation–even to a fan of politics like me whose earnestly researching what policies candidate X stands for.

    The result is maintaining a political status quo that shifts only with larger national political trends. If the national party is doing good or bad, the voters have no inclination other than to project that level of popularity on local candidates with little (R)’s or (D)’s beside them.

  • Fen says:

    In short, Deeds turned the question back around to himself. I’m so sick and tired of politicians dodging questions. Its why the TownHall meetings became so uncivil. If there was any reason to vote against Deeds, this is it.

  • higgins1990 says:

    Can’t wait until the Dems get trounced at the 2010 mid-terms. Liberals will say how it’s not a referendum on Obama, how it has nothing to do with Obama, how Obama can’t be to blame for the resurgence of conservatism and the Republican party. Promises to be high comedy.

  • chai says:

    Also note that Deeds supports Planned Parenthood and abortion rights. These are the main reasons I wouldn’t vote for him. But, of course, he is an uncivil partisan hack, too.

  • Doug says:

    One of these guys has class. Deeds obviously does not.

  • bandit says:

    I’m with Baby M – someone with a backbone could show respect to his opponent in spite of the backlash from the loons – this guy just doesn’t have it.

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