A couple of minutes with Creigh

“So, how’s it going?”
Creigh Deeds and I were walking up Church Street from the Waynesboro Democratic Party headquarters in Willow Oak Plaza on our way to Main Street. It was my job to show Deeds around Downtown Waynesboro, a light, quick tour of what we have going on.

I was asking him about the campaign. Without saying it out loud, what I was getting at were the polls that have Deeds back of Republican Bob McDonnell seven to ten points.

“We had a plan, and we’re following our plan. And we’re right where we need to be,” an unflinching Deeds responded, not referring to the polls directly, but to where we are on the calendar.

You’re not going to win or lose an election in August. John McCain knows that. Remember last year when the McCain folks went all out in the summer to reverse sagging poll numbers, capped by the surprise announcement putting Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket? McCain was looking pretty solid in the polls this time last year.

“The polls aren’t about us,” Deeds said as our conversation moved on to the particulars.

“It’s about what’s going on in Washington.”

“And the economy,” I interjected.

“It’s about Washington and the economy,” Deeds agreed.
“And neither are going to be where they are now in October and November,” I said.

“Right.”

“You can’t be too worried about where you are in August, right?” I asked – more declared, with a question mark.

“We’re following our plan, and we’re right where we need to be with our plan,” Deeds repeated, explaining the strategy, that you don’t spend a lot of time and energy in the summer going over specifics, “because voters aren’t paying that close attention this far out.”

“We’ve been doing what we need to do,” Deeds said – raising money, traveling the state to meet with party activists, with community leaders, Democrats and Republicans on that side of things, like he was to do a couple of minutes later on Main Street, spending some time at the Wayne Theatre getting to know the people driving that project, who you might be surprised to learn range from moderate-liberal Democrats to strong Republicans.

“McDonnell has been running wall-to-wall here in our TV market since April,” I related to Deeds, who seemed surprised himself to hear me say what I thought was something that had to have been a statewide strategy.

“If I didn’t know anything more than what I saw in his ads, I’d say McDonnell would be a good governor.”

Put that in there with what people are thinking about Washington and the economy, and we are where we are, I said.

And that was it. A couple of minutes one on one, and it was back to work.

 

– Column by Chris Graham

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