Exclusive Blue Virginia Interview: Sen. Donald McEachin

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    This morning, I had the opportunity to speak with Sen. Donald McEachin (D-9th) for about 35-40 minutes. We covered a number of subjects, here are the highlights, paraphrasing or quoting what Sen. McEachin had to say.

    *With regard to Massey Energy, Sen. McEachin believes that Attorney General Cuccinelli certainly has the power to look at Virginia-based companies’ safety records within Virginia. Depending on where the safety violations take place, that will determine what course of action the Attorney General takes.

    *In addition, there’s no doubt that the AG has the power of the “bully pulpit” to speak out about companies like Massey. That’s precisely what the AG should be doing.

    *In general, Cuccinelli clearly is trying to pander to (and deliver for) his “base.” He is definitely a “true believer,” as is Bob McDonnell.  

    *McDonnell and Cuccinelli are forgetting the “first rule of politics,” which is “don’t make yourself into a punch line.”

    *McDonnell and Cuccinelli are embarrassing Virginia, and this can’t help matters when it comes to economic development.

    *”I am truly surprised at how badly they’re handling themselves on so many things.”

    Much more after the “flip”

    *Can they go on for 3 years 9 months more like this? “I’m fearful of that.”

    *McDonnell and Cuccinelli are most definitely “in sync” with each other.  Cuccinelli “isn’t doing anything that McDonnell doesn’t believe.”

    *Democrats need to contrast themselves with McDonnell and Cuccinelli, focus on our message of moving Virginia forward. “I’m seeing a reenergizing of the base” because of McDonnell and Cuccinelli, and we’ll see more of that.

    *A lot of us found our “sea legs” during the last session, including people like Senators Houck and Locke, who stepped up in significant ways.

    *There’s no substitute for Democrats having good candidates, but we also need to raise money, give the new DPVA Executive Director some time to build the organization in a way to accomplish the goals we’re setting forth. Also, the DPVA needs to “give us the air cover” to sound out some themes.

    *”I’m excited about being a Democrat and an elected official right now.” “We can draw some pretty stark differences” with Republicans, plus the “public’s attention is heightened right now” thanks to McDonnell and Cuccinelli.

    *Rick Boucher should be able to defeat Morgan Griffith, who is “not up to the task of taking on Boucher,” is far behind in fundraising, “hasn’t had a competitive race in years,” and “hasn’t been on the hustings.”

    *Optimistic about Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye being reelected.

    *Jim Webb will kick butt and be reelected in 2012.

    Thanks to Senator McEachin for taking the time to speak with me this morning.  As I told him, he is one of the Virginia Democrats who has truly stepped forward since the election disaster of November 2009, strongly making the case for Democratic values and against the divisiveness and harmful policies of the Republicans. Thank you, Senator McEachin, your efforts are very much appreciated!