Those involved in local politics are irritated by the soul who suddenly appears and expects the same deference as those in the trenches for years. Anyone familiar with Ben Tribbett expects him to call it as he sees it. So why have he and others tiptoed around the Fairfax campaign?
On separate occasions I recently ran across Brent McKenzie and Susan Hippen in Hampton Roads. Each of them is running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Neither of them is a newcomer to local politics or is unfamiliar to Democrats in Virginia Beach. Everyone in the local committee understands they have paid dues. Brent has been doing yeoman’s work for the local committee as long as I can remember. Susan spent many an evening making calls for then candidate Obama and working for other Democratic campaigns in Virginia. Both have a history of personal accomplishment. Neither burst onto the scene without laying the groundwork. Easy to take them seriously.
…Mr. Fairfax, while certainly possessed of potential, did very little of note while at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (E.D. Va.). It is unclear if he personally tried a single jury trial while serving as an AUSA. Indeed, his only verifiable lead prosecutorial credit is to an indictment for a phone snatching case in 2011. – PhilVABlue comment on NLS
When Justin Fairfax surfaced as a candidate for Attorney general, he came across as an interloper. No one could cite his work with local committees in Northern Virginia or the DPVA. Nowhere in his own biography does he mention any involvement in local democratic organizations. He could have a pass for that if instead he had spent time with some other local community organization, but that does not appear the case either. Rather, he embellishes a rather mundane series of accomplishments.
Now we could not have known how incompetently he would guide his campaign when he entered the race. But now we have that as a further demonstration that he is unqualified to take on the responsibilities of the Attorney General’s office. There is nothing to commend him to our consideration for much, if any office.
So how is it that he has made the leap from political bystander to candidate for statewide office? What is the compelling argument that he should be taken seriously? And why did Ben essentially treat Fairfax with kid gloves when he endorsed Senator Herring?
I can’t tell you, just like I can’t tell you why the locals in Virginia Beach told Terry McAuliffe that the young man running as a Democrat for the 81st HoD seat in 2009 was a credible candidate. Sometimes we just want things to be the way we want them to be even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In this case there just is no evidence at all; nothing to commend Justin Fairfax as a credible candidate much less an actual Attorney General. But I can tell you that Ben should sharpen his sword.