Did VA General Assembly Democrats Hurt Obama?


    By Paul Goldman

    This is what we call a 200-proof political column, what a soldier in combat has to do. There is no room for sentimentality or value judgments here; as General Sherman wisely advised, war is hell.

    Fact: The better Governor McDonnell does, the worse it is for President Obama.

    Why? Because – and I realize this is not the general view – Governor McDonnell is my 100-1 long shot sure bet for the GOP VEEP nomination if VA Democrats keep laying rose petals before his feet.

    Here’s why. I don’t see Mike Huckabee as a serious national candidate, the same for the Newtster, or Haley’s shooting star out of Mississippi. Those dogs don’t hunt.  

    Electoral math wise, the Republicans need a presidential candidate to carry Indiana, Ohio and at least one other state they lost in 2012 in the zone from Pennsylvania to Iowa. If not, they are sure losers. The party and the voters will figure that out.

    Florida and North Carolina are two must-win turnover states for the GOP ticket in Dixie. That’s where the VEEP has to help. With Florida Senator Rubio out and the Tarheel state having no one, hello Vice-Presidential candidate Governor Bob. A hundred gets you $10 large. A grand=$100K. Lay it down.

    Thanks to the VA Democrats, I should say. By saving McDonnell from his liquor disaster and from a transportation plan that Mark Warner pointed out greatly adds to the red ink of debt and billions in interest payments Republicans claim to be against, VA Democrats have made McDonnell a credible VP choice.

    Or put another way: It gives a party now strapped to delusional southern candidates a sane one, a television-friendly Southern Catholic conservative from Notre Dame, the first ever GOP Dixie choice like that. Potentially very powerful because they need a Southerner on their ticket.  

    McDonnell on the ticket is Tim Kaine’s worst nightmare. Florida, North Carolina and Virginia have more than half the swing electoral votes the GOP needs to take back the White House.

    VA Democrats said they had to add $4 billion or so to the debt, and zillions in interest payments, for the good of the state.

    The National GOP thanks them.

    • robsmithiii

      …a swift, sharp kick to the ribs while we’re down.  Excellent.

    • Elaine in Roanoke

      The state of the southern GOP right now makes McDonnell too moderate to appeal to the Neanderthal views prevailing at the moment in the Republican Party, southern branch. Don’t forget…many of them think George Allen is too moderate.

    • WaHokie

      the Democrats not putting up more of a fight against Bob McDonnell’s shell game of deficit spending is embarrassing and shameful, and will further screw over the next Governor of Virginia, who (god willing) will be a Democrat.

      However, I do take issue with the idea of basing a case off of “whatever is good for X republican is bad for Y democrat.” That same attitude is why Obama faced no congressional support from Republicans for his entire legislative agenda–it proved politically wise to derail Obama’s agenda at ANY cost to the country. Politicians who govern based on the future pretense of power sacrifice the legitimacy of their trade.

      I am not remotely suggesting that republicans offer positive solutions for governance, but that still doesn’t mean that democrats should prevent legislative victories for the sake of denying McDonnell political power. One can respect the will of the electorate and work hard to make cohesive arguments against the republican agenda while not devolving into petty political maneuvers.

    • Teddy Goodson

      of the recent Assembly session, Goldmanusa.  Thank you. Obviously, a 200-proof analysis is a bit heady for some. It is also not the only possible outcome out of a plethora of possible futures—- but it could be, especially considering how poorly the Democrats presented their case (there we go, messaging again), and how poorly the Democrats have continued  to make their case post-Assembly. Where is the Democratic narrative,* pounded home in local town halls and press releases? I personally find it appalling. So, what else is new?

      *Assuming, of course, the Democrats have a joint narrative  

    • aznew

      That Democrats have helped make McDonnell a legit 2012 VP choice (though I retreat not one whit from my contention that McDonnell is more interested only in credibly seeking the nomination for 2012 than actually getting it and being the VP on a ticket that might lose badly to Obama. That could change if GOP prospects change over the next year).

      Notwithstanding that, I’m doubtful that putting McDonnell on the ticket will necessarily mean that the GOP would carry Virginia. The presidential electorate is quite different from the gubernatorial one in Virginia, as is seen in the phenomenon of a governor from a party different than the WH occupent has won here for the last 30 years (although other factors are also at play there).

      In that regard, I wonder whether Virginia can even be considered along with the rest of the South anymore for presidential politics, given the cultural, party and demographic breakdown in NOVA.  

    • The Richmonder

      Is Mr. Goldman suggesting that General Assembly Democrats should have allowed Bob McDonnell to sell Virginia’s ABC stores to his campaign donors for a nickel in order to discredit McDonnell as a moderate.

      I’m not sure that discrediting Bob McDonnell is worth knocking a giant hole in the budget.

      How did the Democratic Party of Virginia “save” Bob McDonnell from ABC privatization?  Senate Dems defeated McDonnell and made him look incompetent and maybe even a little crooked into the bargain.  How was that a win for McDonnell?

      Now, allowing McDonnell to use the Commonwealth’s credit card to build roads is probably a bad idea, I’ll grant you that.