This morning I happened to see the latest tweet from Liz Charboneau (@lizchar) updating us that another day has gone by without the Republican nominee for Virginia Governor having an issues page on his website. And it made me wonder if there were some hints at Glenn Youngkin’s policy positions that we might glean from his Twitter feed—because I can kind of reel off from my head the policy priorities of the McAuliffe campaign without even have paid all that much attention, just from seeing his tweets.
So I headed over to Youngkin’s Twitter feed. I scrolled back to the beginning of the month, and…nothing. I see he’s touring Virginia, checking out all the lovely towns and people of the Commonwealth. That’s nice for him—I’m sure making himself wealthy running a private equity company, he didn’t have much time to learn anything about Virginia or her people. But policies? Nope. Unless you consider his platitudes to “bring a new day to Virginia,” make Virginia “the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” to “preserve the American Dream,” and to “take Virginia from good to great” to be policy ideas.
In addition, Youngkin refers to a “plan to restore academic excellence in Virginia’s public schools,” and a “plan to make Virginia the most Veteran-friendly state in the union,” but there’s no plan linked either there or elsewhere, and no details. (And I’m kind of confused about this because Virginia already ranks 4th in the nation in quality of public schools and 1st in the nation for military retirees.) To be honest, it feels like Youngkin’s running for a middle school student body president, more than a governor.
Compare this to Terry McAuliffe’s Twitter feed since the beginning of the month, which (repeatedly) emphasizes his specific policy priorities and plans, including:
- 100% clean power by 2035.
- Paid sick leave.
- Investment in affordable childcare.
- $2 billion investment in education.
- Invest in Virginia HBCUs.
- Plan to strengthen higher education.
- $15 minimum wage by 2025.
- Raise teacher pay.
- Expand pre-K to all 3- and 4-year-olds in need.
- Enact “first right of refusal” law for mobile home communities.
- Lower costs of prescription drugs by holding drug companies accountable.
- Increase supply of affordable housing.
- Invest in gun violence prevention at the community level.
- Paid family and medical leave.
This is the kind of information we the voters should be seeing from these candidates right now—specific, tangible plans on how to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and on how to move Virginia forward over the next four years. Unfortunately, we’re only seeing this from the McAuliffe campaign.
The thing is, it’s even more important that a candidate like Youngkin – who has never served the public, has never stood before the voters before, has never been vetted by an election before – should absolutely be using every means to share his positions. Obviously, he shouldn’t be ducking debates, filling his social media with empty platitudes, and offering voters a website completely lacking in substance. Except, of course, Youngkin doesn’t appear to have any substance; instead, he’s just another multi-millionaire looking for his next power trip, just like Trump. To borrow from the movie, The American President:
“We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, [Glenn Youngkin] is not the least bit interested in solving it…This is a time for serious people, [Glenn], and your fifteen minutes are up.”