David Cox | The BeeVees
TV has its Emmys, Broadway has its Tonies. Virginia now has its BeeVees, the first annual awards surrounding the yearly Labor Day extravaganza that makes our own Buena Vista the political capital of the Commonwealth.
This year was no exception. The current governor, the lieutenant governor, and candidates for all three statewide jobs (those two plus attorney general), along with two vying for House of Delegates, were there. Alas, no U.S. Senators showed up.
An event like that deserves some awards being awarded. So here we go:
This year’s winner of the Sign Wars is…Creigh Deeds, and the Dems. Both sides had thousands out. Republican Bob McDonnell came close to winning for having more big ones. But, reversing the old adage about early birds catching worms, the Deeds staffers crept in after their GOP counterparts and placed signs carefully in front of Republican ones. Or perching atop them. Or even in islands in the stream below the bridge leading to Glen Maury Park, or even in the stream itself. Clever. Since all’s fair in love and (sign) wars except one (the eighth commandment of political law, Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Opponent’s Signs), Creigh’s Army wins the first annual Sign Wars Award.
Most Stickered Award: McDonnell. His folks got hordes of people plastered. That doesn’t mean those folks will vote for him; I saw one woman with a sticker of each opposing candidate, clearly a conflicted soul. But it made an impression.
The Highest Decibel Citation also goes to McDonnell’s Minions. Deeds’ disciples did pretty well in the yelling department, but my ears hurt more when the ’Pubs hollered.
Best Speech: Jody Wagner, hands down. A newcomer to the BV festivities, she managed to cover (1) her vast experience in matters financial, (2) her connection with administrations that kept receiving Best- awards (for business, managed, for raising children etc.), (3) her vision, (4) swipes at her opponent, and (5) her commitment to outwork the one she wants to make her predecessor by actually showing up in places she should. Following Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling who in running for reelection spoke of what he wanted to accomplish, she observed that he’d been in office for four years; hence, “Bill, where have you been?” Why hasn’t he been working on achieving what he envisioned? Good point. Good line.
Most typical speech of one’s own party: Bob McDonnell, again. He brought in 9/11, veterans, offshore drilling, low taxes (combined with a promise to build roads…just how? Oh, yeah, these are just speeches), and tying his opponent to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Ho hum.
Most down home: Creigh Deeds, of course. After all, in BV, he IS down home. And he has that folksy way about him. He’s still smarting from the journalist’s remark about being a “nobody from nowhere” who lost by a hair for Attorney General in ’05, but he’s turned it into an effective populist mantra of working for all the nobodies from all the nowhere in Virginia.
Best weather: BV Mayor Mike Clement. The day was perfect for a parade. So if a mayor gets more than his share of blame, he deserves more than his share of credit too.
That’s it for this year. Do you have nominations for this year, or suggestions for next year’s categories? Write this very newspaper! Get those ideas coming!
As for the political season: away we go! Do you think we can abide these next 49 days?
This column originally appeared in the Rockbridge Weekly.