The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Hate To Be The One To Say It

But let's make sure the Republican Party puts forward our best and our brightest for our gubernatorial nominees in the future.

There is definitely a reason that Bolling received 66,000 more votes then Kilgore, and McDonnell received 60,000 more. I hate to say it, but Kilgore lacked two major qualities:

1) he did not energize the base - and when I say base, I mean the Christian Right

2) his campaign was afraid to put him in front of a camera (and i love the guy...he's great in person, but he was not an articulate candidate) and terrified of putting him in a debate

Ultimately, we have to realize that we cannot run campaigns that are entirely based around instilling fear into the citizens of the Commonwealth that the Democratic candidate is going to raise taxes. We tried it in 2001 and it failed miserably. Warner raised taxes despite promising not to, and no one really cared. There has to be some greater uniting principle of our campaign than scaring our opponents. Once again, an anti-tax campaign against Kaine failed. He's raised taxes in the past, and will do so again in the future. Apparently a Republican candidate needs to offer more if he wants to get elected. Then again, I'm trying to figure out what Kaine stood for myself.


Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

Mike Farris tried the "energize the Christian Right" approach. It failed. It will continue to fail. It's odd you would suggest that the party pay less attention to economics and more to the social wedge issues that didn't pan out well for us this year. Voters don't care about social wedge issues; activists do. The only way to win on social wedge issues is to so depress turnout that only the activists show up at the polls--and then make sure that your activists outnumber the other guys.

The latter may be an effective tactic in Virginia, because the GOP does have more activists that the Democrats here. But, how ever good a method it may be for winning, it's a piss-poor method of governing. What matters more? A sound Commonwealth, or the party label beside the name of the person in the Executive Mansion?

1:55 PM

Anonymous S Pi said...

As per usual, I agree with Jaded JD. I used to work with the old-school GOP Senators (Benedetti, Stolle, Hawkins) but have migrated over to the Ds (unlike JD). Craddock should be exhibit #1 of why the activist as candidate is not a formula for success in Virginia. Black is #2.

2:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Bolling won with so small a margin against a true liberal, who was underfunded and personally disliked, is more instructive than the Kilgore loss. We are in major trouble if the Bolling model becomes the party's new path.

2:35 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably shouldn't encourage primary challenges against moderates in your own party too. Craddock? Opps.

3:12 PM

Anonymous Magnolia Messenger said...

Pandering to the far right of the party is the last thing a GOP candidate in modern Virginia needs to do. If a mainstream Republican wins the exurbs (Loudoun County, Va.), he'll win the election.

3:18 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Farris lost 12 years ago! Gee, not much has changed since then, just the House of Delegates's went Republican (on social issues), George Bush won 2 elections (on moral issues), the Congressional make up of Virginia changed completely and social conservatives have grown exponentially in size and influence.

Go ahead GOP, keep trying to win without social conservatives. Best of luck as the minority party.

4:35 PM

Anonymous magnolia messenger said...

Keep trying to win without social conservatives? Huh? Who exactly are social conservatives voting for? Not Tim Kaine. -- Magnolia Messenger

4:52 PM

Blogger James Young said...

It apparently really gripes all those Connaughton Kool-Aid drinkers that the biggest Republican vote-getter in Virginia in 2005 -- and second generally only to Tim Kaine -- is Bill Bolling.

Ha, ha, HA, ha, ha!

5:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, quite frankly, not Jerry Kilgore. A lot of social conservatives simply stayed home, or voted for Bolling/McDonnell and not Jerry.

5:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how do you explain 50,000 more voting in the Governor's race then in the LG and AG races?

5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's simply low and dishonest of you to say NOW that Kilgore was a weak candidate with a poor campaign only AFTER he lost. That's the worst sort of Monday-morning quarterbacking, and just plain meanspirited to boot.

7:29 PM

Blogger Lighthorse Harry said...

These common were beliefs I held all along, but I wasn't going to attack the man if he had a chance of winning because I liked him and where he stood on the issues...that doesn't mean I can't criticize the campaign or the candidate.

How is that dishonest of me? I never said he was a perfect candidate during the race, nor even implied it. I just said he was far better than his opponent, which he was.

10:29 PM

Blogger Gone said...

In 2009, the GOP needs Steve Baril. The Attorney General's race would not have been so close this year, and the NRA would have endorsed him over Deeds. When I say they need him in 2009, I am not thinking attorney general. I mean Governor. Let's not lose another one.

1:22 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's a surprise that Leslie Byrne was competitive in Virginia to begin with," said Mark Rozell, a political analyst at George Mason University. "A more centrist candidate easily would have won. But voters differentiated between her and the top of the ticket."

5:52 AM

Blogger Lighthorse Harry said...

Futuregovernor, I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that one...we need to draft Paul Harris for governor if we aren't assuming McDonnell and Bolling will be battling it out in '09. Steve Baril is not our candidate, though he might be electable in a general election.

1:23 PM

Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

"Steve Baril is not our candidate, though he might be electable in a general election."

Well, I hate to be the one to, you know, observe the obvious, but if you've got a guy who can win, and winning is what you want, um, why don't you pick that guy?

Because for too many conservatives, it's not about winning; it's about winning on their terms or none at all, losing so they can complain about having lost.

1:55 PM

Anonymous The Jaded JD said...

S Pi,

You know, if you guys hadn't left, or at least came back, the GOP would be a lot different than it is--and more successful in general elections.

1:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These common were beliefs I held all along,"

Which you apparently took care to hide from view.

"but I wasn't going to attack the man if he had a chance of winning because I liked him and where he stood on the issues...that doesn't mean I can't criticize the campaign or the candidate."

So, in other words, when politics is involved, why should anyone trust your commentary to be sincere? You've basically just said that it's shaped in whatever way makes it most politically effective, not necessarily your honest full opinion.

And of course, it gets more interesting when you consider that you probably defended Kilgore against attacks against his weakness by attacking the character and motives of the critics... despite the fact that you basically agreed with them. That's sort of twisted, no?

2:24 PM

Blogger Lighthorse Harry said...

Jaded JD,
You make a good point, but there is also a point when you support candidates for their electability who will never stand for anything important to you, making the whole point of campaigning for them rather pointless. I don't really find it useful to put my name on the line for candidates that don't believe in much other than themselves. It's a delicate balance.
Anonymous, since when did supporting a candidate require that you believe that everything he or she does is perfect? I thought he would have made by far the superior governor, regardless of the questions marks surrounding his candidacy. I'm not required to express the entire extent of my feelings on every matter that I support do not support. There is also the quality of discretion.

3:29 PM


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