Over at NLS, Ben’s touting Chap Petersen as the possible way – the only way? – to stop Ken Kook-inelli from becoming governor of Virginia in 2013. Personally, I like Chap a lot, think he’s very strong on environmental and economic “fairness” issues, and believe he’ll make a great governor some day, but I also think it’s way too early to be speculating much about 2013. For one thing, we have no idea if Kookinelli will run for Governor, for reelection as AG, or whether he’ll be sharing a cell with Rod Blagojevich by then. Heh. Also, we have no idea what the political climate will be in 2013, how the Bolling-Kookinelli rivalry will play out (although I presume Cooch would crush Bolling in a Republican primary or convention), to what extent Terry McAuliffe will promote his own candidacy and even lock down the governor’s nomination, whether Tim Kaine will come back to run for governor again, etc., etc. A million unknowns, in other words.
One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to see the 2009 experience repeat itself, because that was a nightmare. First and foremost, I worry that Chap! vs. T-Mac could turn into a bloodbath, allowing Rural Conservadem Creigh Deeds Part Deux (aka, Ward Armstrong) to sneak in as the two “urban crescent” Dem’s destroy each other. No thanks.
Having said that, what Democrats need to do is start laying the groundwork for 2013 now. We need to be organizing, building our party, developing our candidates, defining what we stand for, speaking out against the craziness of Cooch et al, etc. If we do that, and if Cooch turns out to be as divisive and extreme as he’s been the first 7 months, then Democrats have a great chance of winning back the Virginia governor’s mansion in 2013. Which means we’ll need the strongest candidate, someone who can appeal both in the “urban crescent” as well as not get wiped out in the “red” parts of Virginia. Could someone with the profile of Chap Petersen do that? Seems like it to me, especially after he annihilated the (seemingly) formidable Jeannemarie Devolites Davis in 2007. Anyway, now back to regularly scheduled programming.