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Another joint appearance? And more on Tribbettgate, and Deeds

Are they throwing us a bone? That was my first thought when I got the news today about the almost joint appearance of the three candidates for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination at this weekend’s Virginia Young Democrats convention in Charlottesville.
At least we get a shot at having the three together, sort of, in the same room, just about, in the same place, technically, at roughly the same time, oh, about 30 miles away.

I’m probably reading too much into it, I know. Officially, Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran will be at the convention on Grounds at the University of Virginia Saturday morning from 10-11:30 a.m. By looking over the schedule, I am getting the sense that the best we’re going to get in terms of a joint appearance is their entourages bumping into each other in the hallways at the Chemistry Building.

But if all we can get is a technicality, well, considering that the nearest real-life joint appearance of the three is in Richmond, and next month, I guess we take what we can get.




Which is more than I can say for my efforts to get an answer on why the three candidates agreed to allow the lunatic-fringe-unto-himself that is Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato infamy in as a moderator on one of the scheduled gubernatorial debates. I did get a call from one of the campaigns, and what I was told is that the discussion around Tribbett included a thorough consideration of the pros and cons of having the Human Burning Bridge (my words) involved in the debates. “We decided that the pros outweighed the cons,” I was told. “The cons clearly outweigh the pros,” I shot back. “Well, we hope you’re wrong about that,” was the response, followed a little later, in a nod to my comment sent by e-mail to all three campaigns that if Tribbett ends up moderating the debate as scheduled, then I’m done as far as whoever gets the nomination is concerned when it comes time to staff the general, “Please don’t hold it against us.”

At least that campaign called me back. The other two didn’t even acknowledge my e-mail, which is curious to me considering that I had included mention in the e-mail that I had made up my mind this week to call the candidate that I want to endorse to coordinate everything that would need to be coordinated there. Which probably isn’t anything to sneeze at; I mean, I am a local party chair, and the editor of a website that gets several thousand readers a day in traffic, and a print magazine with a reader base of 10,000 that just won three awards for journalism excellence from the Virginia Press Association.

So … you don’t call back? Or send an e-mail even just acknowledging receipt? Interesting. Very interesting.




The big winner in the debate/joint appearance news item (even after having to pick up the pieces from the Tribbett embarrassment) – Creigh Deeds.

He gets eight joint appearances with McAuliffe and Moran. See where I’m going with this? Yeah? The guy trailing pitifully in the fundraising race gets on the same stage with the heavy hitters eight times. And not one of those joint appearances is in his backyard.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the way Deeds wins the primary is by having McAuliffe and Moran split NoVA, Richmond and Hampton Roads and then kicking their tails in the Valley and Southwest.

No joint appearances in the Valley – advantage Creigh.

One joint appearance in Southwest moderated by Ben Tribbett – I’m giving Creigh a slight advantage over McAuliffe and counting Moran out, thinking the Tribbett BS doesn’t play well out this way.

It’s far from being a guarantee, but that has to be their strategy, and they’re getting it handed to them on a silver platter.


Column by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press