Desperate times call for desperate measures

You don’t have to win the national championship every week, football coach Lou Holtz says. You only have to be the best team in the stadium on Saturday. Terry McAuliffe is clinging to that right now.
The same SurveyUSA poll that Creigh Deeds’ campaign manager is citing as evidence that the Bath County state senator is best positioned to beat presumptive Republican nominee Bob McDonnell has McAuliffe pulling away from Deeds and Brian Moran in the race for the Democratic Party nomination.

The poll, commissioned by WDBJ7 in Roanoke, had McAuliffe at 38 percent to 22 percent each for Deeds and Moran. The nomination is to be settled in a June 9 party primary. The same poll has Deeds trailing McDonnell by a 44 percent-to-39 percent margin, with McAuliffe trailing McDonnell by a 46 percent-to-39 percent spread and Moran down 46 percent to 34 percent.

The gap between McAuliffe and Deeds and Moran in the Democratic Party race is the first significant one that I’ve seen in a public poll, but it reflects what we’ve been seeing from the Deeds and Moran camps the past several weeks as the attack machines of both have been aimed squarely at the former Democratic National Committee chair.

“I’m not convinced that everyday Virginians like Karen want a governor who thinks that the trade deal responsible for sending her job to Mexico was one of the biggest successes of a former president. And I don’t think hard-working Virginians want a governor who stands with Wall Street executives like Donald Trump and gets 82 percent of their campaign contributions from out-of-state,” Deeds said in the closing statement to a recent debate in Danville, taking potshots at McAuliffe for his ties to popular former president Bill Clinton, the driving force behind the North American Free Trade Agreement, and for his fundraising prowess that one has to think has something to do with the separation between McAuliffe and his rivals for the Democratic Party nomination.

“Terry McAuliffe is bizarrely questioning the stellar record of Virginia’s last two Democratic governors, both of whom have created thousands of jobs in Virginia. This is just the most recent attack in a line of statements that question Richmond Democrats who have worked for decades in Virginia to move our Commonwealth forward. Virginia Democrats know we need someone who continues in the tradition of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, not someone who campaigns against it,” Moran campaign manager Andrew Roos said in a bizarre attack on a McAuliffe statement at a Richmond debate last week that was a line from his stump speech on the inadequate funding given the governor’s office in its Governor’s Opportunity Fund that is used for economic-development purposes.

The Opportunity Fund is barely that – at $19 million per biennium Virginia’s fund is pennies on the dollar to what our neighbors have to give to close business deals.

I have to think in my heart of hearts that a Gov. Brian Moran would want to see the General Assembly put substantially more money in the kitty for him to build upon the economic foundation that Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have laid out for us. I also want to think that Gov. Creigh Deeds would welcome support on the campaign trail from President Clinton and campaign contributions from people outside the borders of Virginia who want to pitch in and help keep Virginia blue.

I learned in my little City Council race last year that you’re not supposed to hold people to things said or done during a political campaign. Especially when it seems to get to desperation time, and we’re clearly there now with six weeks to go.


– Story by Chris Graham


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