Virginia, I’ve touched a raw nerve.
My recent posts complaining about Terry McAuliffe’s fundraising in his race for governor have caught the attention of his supporters and they aren’t happy. Some fellow Virginia Democratic bloggers have removed their links to my blog in solidarity with McAuliffe. (Horrors!)
Other pro-McAuliffe commenters have called my argument “flawed” and accused me of a “baseless smear”. (Ouch!) They’ve also correctly pointed out the McAuliffe has raised more money in Virginians than Creigh Deeds or Brian Moran. In their minds, that justifies the huge out of state dollars McAuliffe raked in. (Macker money is pure and good.) These posts are among the most visited and commented upon since I’ve started this blog. (Interestingly, there has been a great deal more support for McAuliffe on the Daily Kos versions of these posts than on the versions hosted here.)
The McAuliffe partisans seem to believe that the ends justify the means. The don’t believe there is anything inappropriate with this high level of influence from people who don’t live in Virginia and whose lives will not be influenced by the Governor elected in the fall. (The participants in my poll on Daily Kos disagree.)
From where I sit, it feels like it did when I lived in the District of Columbia. The people of D.C. know that it doesn’t matter what you vote for or what the City Council does, the Congress, where you don’t have a representation, can overturn decisions whenever they want. It’s not very Democratic.
This is the same with Virginia’s governor’s race. Wealthy people who don’t live in Virginia are giving millions of dollars to buy our governor’s mansion for a man who has no history in our state and no history of public service. I’m told that I should overlook it because their candidate is the ONLY one who can beat Bob McDonnell in the fall.
Frankly, that’s crap.
Both Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds can beat Bob McDonnell, but for different reasons. Moran, as the former Democratic leader of the House of Delegates has relationships with elected officials from across the state based on his 20 year history of public service in Virginia. This access to Virginia’s local political organizations would prove to be very helpful. Alternatively, State Senator Creigh Deeds has a strong base of support in a largely GOP area of the state which McDonnell has to win if he’s going to prevail in the fall. I don’t discount that Deeds nearly beat McDonnell in a race for Attorney General four years ago in a state which had a much more GOP tilt.
As for McAuliffe, I’m confident he will lose should we make the mistake of nominating him. Given his carpetbagger status, his antics in the 2008 presidential campaign — particularly his push for Hillary Clinton long past her shelf life as a viable candidate — his controversial fundraising history at the Democratic National Committee, not to mention his lack of history in our state, as well as his polarizing personality and high negatives, I don’t think he can win over independent voters. I also believe there is a large chunk of Democrats like me who resent his attempt to buy his way into office. We will not vote for him.
If Moran or Deeds win the nomination, I don’t think backers of the losing candidate will take long to support the winning candidate, but I don’t think they would be as willing to support a McAuliffe nomination.
What do you think? I think we can do better than Terry McAuliffe.
Crossposted on Daily Kos.