Steven Sisson | Three men in a tub!

Hey! Rub-a-dub-dub! Ho! Rub-a-dub-dub! Three men in a tub,
And who do you think were there?
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,
And all of them gone to the Democratic fair!
The Virginia gubernatorial race is on! It’s probably the best field of Democratic candidates running for governor in the history of the party. Three excellent Democrats – a moderate, a conservative and a liberal — have thrown their hats in the ring along with a neoconservative Republican.

How does the Blue Dog categorize these Dems and the lone Pub? Terry McAuliffe is a moderate Clintonestia Dog, State Sen. Creigh Deeds is a conservative Blue Dog and Del. Brian Moran is a liberal Yellow Dog.

The Blue Dog is looking forward to a in-depth discussion of the issues with the campaign, such as a plan for state economic revitalization, lower higher-education costs, a progressive mass transit plan and transportation policies, marriage equality, voter reform and a Virginia state budget that reflects ‘real’ numbers instead of bogus state spending and revenue projections.

The Blue Dog says a pay as you go state budget policy without draconian tax increases is needed.

Three dogs in a tub!

How about Democratic Nursery Rhymes for a change? Three men in a tub, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker …

The BUTCHER – Terence R. “Terry” McAuliffe

Terry “The Macker” McAuliffe is the Democratic butcher of the Republican policies and political opponents. Alligator wrestling McAuliffe is a fundraising Houdini – a financial wizard with the spreadsheets that elected Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In the past presidential election, McAuliffe served as Hilary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Former DNC Chairman McAuliffe’s nickname Terry means “ruler of the people” in Germanic, but as the Democratic chairman McAuliffe ruled the DNC bank statements debt free and outraised the Republican Party for the first time in decades.

McAuliffe is credited with restructuring the Democratic Party and infusing electronic technology to increase the party’s voter rolls.

More to the point, Democratic GOTV changed under his leadership.

Forget about the ex-governor, err … I meant to say Sen. Mark Warner and his bountiful PAC bank accounts. The 2009 Virginia gubernatorial race will probably be the most expensive in our history with Terry McAuliffe in the mix.

McAuliffe has already managed a huge endorsement from billionaire pharmaceutical executive Randal J. Kirk of Radford, who is an advisor to sitting Gov. Tim Kaine.

McAuliffe has also hired as his senior advisor Mo Elleithee – who has a political resume that neither Deeds or Moran can’t match in advisors to their campaigns.

Whoa, Mo! That’s a big fish.

There’s a movement in the Republican Party to dump chairman Jeff Frederick, who is being blamed for the recent presidential loss in Virginia to Democrat Barack Obama. However, it’s probably due to McAuliffe’s interest in running for governor, which will raise the stakes of the gubernatorial race with an influx of dollars as well as the national spotlight.

Terry ‘The Macker’ McAuliffe is the king of the 15-second soundbite. The Blue Dog says Frederick should stay on as chairman with his callous and caustic Muslim, terrorist and socialist verbiage. He adds color to the GOP, err … I meant to say colorful statements.

Read more about McAuliffe: www.terrymcauliffe.com.

 

The BAKER – Sen. R. Creigh Deeds

Creigh Deeds is a master baker when it comes to crafting Democratic initiatives that appeal to mainstream Virginia voters. Whether it’s a constitutional amendment protecting fishing and hunting or being a proponent of Virginian’s Megan’s Law, Creigh is rural Virginian’s finest Democratic attributes.

Deeds received the Leadership in Public Policy Award from the Nature Conservancy and Delegate of the Year by the Preservation Alliance of Virginia.

In 2005, Deeds lost to McDonnell by the closest margin in Virginia history, 323 votes, or about 0.017 percent. That’s a single cat hair of an election margin! And provides evidence that McDonnell is not a populist with the Virginia electorate.

Deeds has been a Virginia public servant for more than 20 years, but has never managed to win a statewide race. Democrat handlers in Richmond often refer to good-natured Creigh Deeds as nothing more than a small town attorney.

“He doesn’t have the balls to win. He should have whipped McDonnell,” said a experienced Democrat handler in reference to the lack of Deeds combative political skills. I sincerely disagree. Sen. Deeds has the fight in him to win, but his political style is visualized by convincing Virginia voters that Democrats are a party of solutions – a party of good deeds, not rhetoric.

The Blue Dog supported Deeds in the attorney general election in 2005.

Creigh Deeds graciously mentored the Blue Dog during his 2003 state senate run, although I didn’t listen to his political advice most of the time.

For the upcoming campaign, Deeds is concentrating on issues of transportation, economic growth, and energy, including alternative energy clean coal which might garner and lock-up Southwestern Virginia primary voters.

Creigh Deeds is only one of a handful of Democrats to have secured the NRA ‘A’ rating year after year.

However, his lukewarm support of traditional Democratic issues, such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage could hurt his chances of securing the nomination with core-Democratic primary voters.

Read more about Deeds: http://DeedsforVirginia.com.

 

The CANDLESTICK MAKER – Del. Brian J. Moran

Representing Fairfax and inside beltway voting jurisdictions, Brian Moran is the illuminating liberal light of Northern Virginia. On Thursday this week, Moran announced two-thirds of the DPVA Steering Committee support of his gubernatorial campaign.

However, Terry McAuliffe is a McLean resident, which is located in the Democratic heart of Moran’s Virginia House District. One can only anticipate national DNC and state DPVA officials and loyalists to split their support.

The endgame with the gubernatorial campaign might come down to name recognition in the Democratic-rich region.

Not too smart Brian Moran political advisors criticizing and questioning McAuliffe’s so-called opportunistic candidacy has given him credence and legitimacy with Virginia news media outlets.

Dumb, dumb, dumb …

In addition the national media picked up Moran’s handler’s amateur ill-advised comments as well.

Double-dumb, double-dumb, double-dumb …

In a case of too sad, but how true, Moran is virtually an unknown General Assembly member and wallflower to Virginia voters outside NOVA and Democratic Party circles.

Even those who are considered politically astute and conversant might mistake Moran for his older brother, Virginia’s Eight District congressman, Jim Moran.

However, I will admit Moran has managed to shine his own light as the chairman of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. Recently, the Virginia PTA named Moran the Child Advocate of the Year award winner and the Virginia Sheriff Association named Moran Legislator of the Year.

While serving in the General Assembly, Brian Moran has been lockstep with governors Warner and Kaine’s policy initiatives and has been a faithful attendee of Equality Virginia and like-minded liberal Democratic events.

The Blue Dog knows Democratic political chits are not always paid back in-kind.

Don’t read me wrong, the Blue Dog sincerely believes Yellow Dog Brian Moran is a good Democratic candidate and would make a wonderful governor, but I have serious doubts that Brian Moran could actually win a statewide election against a very angry and ugly mood-stricken Republican Party.

Take in case the Moran talk the talk concerning transportation issues in his region, but the Blue Dog has yet to see him walk the walk with a viable mass-transit solution or any type of alternative transportation legislation from his desk.

No mas! Err … I meant to say no mass transit?

Northern Virginia is a transportation planner’s nightmare due to the construction of home dwellings and business along the I-66 corridor and main thoroughfares in the region.

Read more about Moran: www.brianmoran.com.

 

Wing-nut opposition

Without a doubt, Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell is right-wing snarling Pit Dog when it comes to campaigning and lawmaking.

The Blue Dog says McDonnell will lose the governor’s race if the Virginia Republican Party continues playing patsy to the evangelical right instead of promoting sound conservative fiscal policies.

Mainstream Protestant and Catholic voters having been leaving the Republican Party in droves because of this. During the presidential election, the Obama victory in previous red states across the nation proved the Blue Dog is correct with the assumption.

Nevertheless the three Democratic candidates shouldn’t waste time badgering each other in the upcoming primary and direct their political rhetoric and fire toward AG Bob McDonnell as well as his financial backers, “The 700 Club’s” Pat Robertson, Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr and the Focus on Family’s Jim Dobson.

His membership in the Patriot Pastor organization is counter to his call for a common-sense and issue-oriented campaign.

But lets’ forget about the Dogs of the Cultural Wars for now. Because McAuliffe supported Gov. Tim Kaine chances as Obama’s vice-presidential nominee behind the scenes, the Blue Dog believes it’s only a matter of time before Kaine endorses McAuliffe’s run. If Kaine were to accept a Cabinet position with the Obama administration, then Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would replace him, sending the GOP wishes into a political tizzy concerning McDonnell self-directed ascension to the governor’s mansion.

Let’s just hope President-elect Obama doesn’t want Tim Kaine to be the next Secretary of Transportation considering Kaine’s stalled transportation efforts and policies in the Virginia General Assembly.

Assuming Kaine leaves for the green pastures of the White House lawn, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling ability to upgrade and then downgrade from governor back to lieutenant governor is a political quandary, to say the least.

How could Bob McDonnell credibly run for governor when the lieutenant governor has already been placed in the office?

No doubt it’s revisited history time to a decade ago when right-wing conservative AG Mark Early challenging moderate Republican Lt. Governor Jim Hager for the Governor’s Mansion.

It’s mind-boggling!

An endorsement by either Kaine or Warner before the June 9 Democratic primary could just about guarantee a favorable primary outcome for the Democrat of choice in NOVA, Hampton Roads and Richmond.

That’s Political Reality 101.

But let’s say McAuliffe-Moran split of those voters would probably assure Deeds the nomination because he polls well in rural Virginia.

The scenarios are numerous.

Rub a dub dub,

Three Democrats in a tub,

And who do you think the nominee will be?

The butcher, the baker,

The candlestick maker.

I can’t decide, because I like all three!

 

Column by Steven Sisson

 

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