Deeds gets endorsement of Washington Post
A Washington Post endorsement reversed Creigh Deeds’ fortunes in the ’09 Democratic Party primary. Can Deeds get another boost from another Post endorsement?
“If the current campaign for governor has clarified anything, it is that state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee, has the good sense and political courage to maintain the forward-looking policies of the past while addressing the looming challenge of fixing the state’s dangerously inadequate roads,” the Post offers in its Sunday editorial endorsement, which was released on the Post website Saturday night.
McDonnell, who has been running his NoVa campaign as “Fairfax’s own,” was clearly not even close to getting the endorsement from the Post. “The Republican candidate, former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell, offers something different: a blizzard of bogus, unworkable, chimerical proposals, repackaged as new ideas, that crumble on contact with reality. They would do little if anything to build a better transportation system,” the paper opined.
The Democratic primary endorsement was made on similar grounds, and helped Deeds, a Bath County state senator, emerge from a three-candidate field that featured two formidable NoVa candidates, former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe and former state legislator Brian Moran.
Deeds has been lagging behind recent Democratic candidates in his showing in polls in Northern Virginia, where Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine have rolled up large raw-vote margins to counter traditional Democratic weaknesses in the Shenandoah Valley, Southwest Virginia and Southside. A Post poll released earlier this month had Deeds ahead of McDonnell by just a 51 percent-to-46 percent margin.
The Post endorsement could be the shot in the arm the Deeds campaign has needed since its apparent loss of steam following a September surge based in large part on negative voter reaction to news reports that McDonnell had written a thesis as a graduate student in 1989 that laid out an extreme social-conservative agenda that among other controversial points decried women in the workplace.
“Based on his 14-year record as a lawmaker – a record dominated by his focus on incendiary wedge issues – we worry that Mr. McDonnell’s Virginia would be one where abortion rights would be curtailed; where homosexuals would be treated as second-class citizens; where information about birth control would be hidden; and where the line between church and state could get awfully porous. That is a prescription for yesterday’s Virginia, not tomorrow’s,” the Post wrote in its endorsement editorial.
“Mr. Deeds, lagging in the polls, lacks Mr. McDonnell’s knack for crisp articulation. But if he has not always been the most adroit advocate for astute policies, that is preferable to Mr. McDonnell’s silver-tongued embrace of ideas that would mire Virginia in a traffic-clogged, backward-looking past. Virginians should not confuse Mr. McDonnell’s adept oratory for wisdom, nor Mr. Deeds’s plain speech for indirection. In fact, it is Mr. Deeds whose ideas hold the promise of a prosperous future,” the Post wrote.
– Story by Chris Graham