Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Virginians On A Roll And Political Danger…D. Kleinman

Creigh Deeds

Virginians On A Roll And Political Danger…D. Kleinman


Not wasting any time and with Tim as Party Chair we’re going to have $$$$ for November.


Dear ed,

The choice is clear.  In November, Virginians will decide between Creigh Deed's commitment to keep moving our state forward and Bob McDonnell's desire to turn back the clock.

That's why, in just a few minutes, I will join Brian Moran and Terry McAuliffe at a special event in Richmond to formally endorse Creigh's candidacy for Governor.  Brian, Terry, and I are eager and excited to work together to electCreigh Deeds our next Governor so that we can continue making Virginia an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

We can't wait one minute to come together and build the grassroots campaign that will be essential to victory.This year can be as successful as the last if we stick together and focus on our combined strength.

Please click here to give $5 to support the strong coordinated field effort that will be the key to success in November.

Momentum is going our way. Virginians have been happy with the work Democrats have done in this state, and I believe that voters will quickly recognize that Creigh is the candidate they can trust to continue the progress we have made.

Our ability to speak directly to voters was the key to our success in 2005, and I believe that our capacity to do the same this year will determine the outcome in November.

The Democratic Party of Virginia and the Virginia Coordinated Campaign need your support so that we can implement the same strong coordinated field effort that has been part of every major Virginia Democratic victory in the last seven years.

Click here to give $5 to support the Virginia Coordinated Campaign!

I look forward to working with each of you this year to elect Creigh Deeds,Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon, as well as our terrific Democratic candidates for the House of Delegates. Together we can keep Moving Virginia Forward.


Tim Kaine

Contest Will Play Out on a National Stage in the Fall

By Rosalind S. Helderman

Washington Post Staff Writer 
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When they last ran against each other four years ago, Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell were little-known local politicians who battled to within 323 votes of each other out of 2 million cast in a race for attorney general.

This time, the two men with deep roots in the state will not only battle for Virginia's highest office, but will do so in an election that is expected to draw intense national attention and be viewed as a bellwether for the Democratic Party.

Their 2005 race for attorney general was dominated by law-and-order issues. Now, the campaign will emphasize the serious pocketbook concerns facing Virginia voters and will trace the themes that dominated the primary: jobs, the environment, energy.

Already, the two have unveiled competing plans to expand access to college and have signaled that they will fight to convince Northern Virginians that they are best positioned to solve transportation woes.

Their past go-round, which ended with a lengthy recount that left Deeds embittered and itching for another opportunity to knock off McDonnell, could carry with it a sense of déjà vu, with closely matched rivals battling into the fall.

"I think we had previews and coming attractions last time," said longtime Northern Virginia GOP strategist J. Kenneth Kling. "This time will be a real barnburner."

Within minutes of Deeds's victory, the fuse was lit.

His victory speech included pointed shots at McDonnell, saying that the general election would pose a "very stark choice" and suggesting that he would continue to tie the GOP candidate to the "disastrous" economic and social policies of the Bush administration.

"I will never turn my back on the children, the seniors and the working families who are the backbone of our middle-class economy," Deeds said.

In a taped video announcement distributed after the results were in, McDonnell congratulated Deeds, but he also made a point of listing the positions that are likely to distinguish his campaign from his opponent's.

"This campaign is saying yes to new jobs for our citizens," McDonnell said. "Yes to offshore drilling and more energy. Yes to charter schools and performance pay and to real education reform, and yes to greater access and affordability at our colleges and universities to serve our young people better."

The campaigns will also almost certainly become personal.

Deeds lives in a sparsely populated county on the West Virginia border, a heritage that brings with it a stammering, unpolished earnestness. His adversaries have been poking fun at recent TV commercials featuring him staring silently into the camera -- suggesting that Northern Virginians might be turned off merely by his heavy drawl.

McDonnell has a long record as a social conservative, serving as a former protégé of religious conservative icon Pat Robertson and attending the Regent University law school. Democrats have signaled an interest in highlighting that background in a state that has pushed to the center on social issues.

Republicans have begun suggesting that Deeds's defeat by McDonnell just four years ago means he is vulnerable.

In 2005, the suburbs of Loudoun and Prince William counties were crucial to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's victory. Deeds didn't carry either county. The fall race will probably be waged there once again, and McDonnell is preparing to tout himself as the candidate who can convince suburbanites that he understands their concerns.

"McDonnell's image and family-oriented ads are made to order for suburban voters," said Larry J. Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia. "Deeds's rural demeanor and twang do not naturally attract well-educated suburbanites."

This year, the race will unfold on a national stage.

McDonnell will campaign with a parade of Republican presidential hopefuls. Deeds will have new allies at his side as well: two popular Democratic senators, a well-liked Democratic governor who can also bring to bear the resources of the Democratic National Committee, and a figure Democrats hope will deliver Deeds to the governor's mansion: President Obama.

Although there is also a competitive governor's race in New Jersey, strategists in both parties see Virginia as the contest more likely to shape perceptions heading into the midterm election year of 2010.

"The stakes truly couldn't be higher," said Phil Musser, former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "It has all the elements to make the case for the legitimization of the Obama governing philosophy and strategy, or the beginning of a GOP comeback. As such, this will take on a much larger life of its own."

The Virginia battle should also quiet pundits who thought the commonwealth was turning into a deep blue Democratic state. Both men have conservative credentials -- Deeds has in the past been endorsed by the National Rifle Association -- and both will have to work to build connections to Northern Virginia, home to most of the state's voters.

Republicans will also seek to convert one of Deeds's strengths -- voters' perception that he is the natural heir to the popular Kaine -- into a weakness. During Kaine's four years in office, new investment in transportation foundered, unemployment rose amid the national recession and students paid more in tuition at public colleges.

Experts expect the November race to see unprecedented levels of spending by the national parties. The Democratic Governors Association has invested about $3 million on independent expenditure ads attacking McDonnell and has signaled plans to spend freely between now and November. The DNC will also be directly involved in helping assemble a coordinated campaign aimed at turning out the Democratic vote and will probably launch independent expenditure ads of its own.

National Republicans have been just as aggressive in funneling money into the race. The Republican Governors Association has contributed about $2 million to McDonnell's campaign, while the Republican National Committee has given him about $1.5 million.

Republicans had been eager to pin Democrats' hopes on McAuliffe, whose previous political experience has been as chief fundraiser and confidant of President Bill Clinton. Clinton failed to carry Virginia in either of his presidential elections. They trained all their fire on McAuliffe during the Virginia Republican convention last month. U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) joked that McAuliffe had sought to buy the executive office after spotting "Virginia's governorship pop up on eBay."

No one mentioned Deeds.

VIRGINIA: Last night, Creigh Deeds beat Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran, 50%-26%-24%. The AP: “A state senator and small-town lawyer pulled off a surprising win in Virginia's Democratic primary for governor, besting a former legislative colleague and the well-funded Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.”

The Washington Post: “All three campaigns and state political experts had agreed that Deeds was coming on strong in the final days of the race, but no one expected him -- or the other candidates -- to come close to winning the 50 percent of the vote that he captured. In an e-mail sent to supporters less than two hours before polls closed, McAuliffe's campaign predicted that "this thing could come down to the wire." McAuliffe came in second, with 26 percent of the vote, followed by Moran with 24 percent.”

Washington Post analysis adds, “When they last ran against each other four years ago, Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell were little-known local politicians who battled to within 323 votes of each other out of 2 million cast in a race for attorney general. This time, the two men with deep roots in the state will not only battle for Virginia's highest office, but will do so in an election that is expected to draw intense national attention and be viewed as a bellwether for the Democratic Party.”

Deeds won practically everywhere. He won Arlington County, 47%-37%-16% over Moran and McAuliffe, respectively. Moran won Alexandria, 55%-32%, over Deeds. McAuliffe got just 13% there. Deeds won Loudon, Prince William, Northampton, Southampton, Richmond, you name it. And turnout was higher than the expected 200,000 or so -- 320,369 came out to vote.

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Take me to your leader

Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor June 10, 2009 09:57 AM

New poll results out today give credence to the argument that the GOP -- battered in the 2006 and 2008 national elections, trying to find its way in opposing President Obama's agenda -- really is without a leader.

The Gallup survey asked respondents to name the "main person who speaks for the Republican Party today," but 52 percent could not name anyone -- either saying no one, everyone, or no opinion.

Even among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 47 percent could not name a single person. And among those party leaders who were picked, only one of the top six -- Senator John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee last year -- is in elected office at the moment.

Leading the pack among Republican respondents were talk show host Rush Limbaugh and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 10 percent each, former Vice President Dick Cheney at 9 percent, and McCain at 6 percent. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney each drew 2 percent. None of the other names being mentioned as possible presidential contenders in 2012 made the list.

The standings were generally the same among all respondents. Interestingly, former President George W. Bush and John Boehner, the top House Republican, were named by all respondents and by Democrats, but not by Republicans.

Democrats, on the other hand, had little trouble identifying their leader. Obama led, not surprisingly, at 67 percent, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew 6 percent and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at 3 percent.

"While being associated with the party of the sitting president gives the Democrats a natural advantage over the Republicans in having a well-defined person representing them, these data clearly underscore the leadership vacuum that confronts the Republican Party today," Gallup says in its analysis. "Almost half of those who identify with or lean toward the GOP cannot think of a single political or other figure when asked to name the main person who speaks for their party. And none of the three individuals whom Republicans name -- Limbaugh, Cheney, and Gingrich -- would likely be characterized as new visionaries or individuals bringing a fresh or new face to the Republican political scene. None of the three hold elective office at this time, all are older white males (the youngest of the three is Limbaugh, who is 58), and only one has a realistic chance of running for the presidency in the future (Gingrich).

"Perhaps most importantly, none of these is mentioned by more than 10% of Republicans, a telling indication that rank-and-file Republicans today simply have no single consensus leader around whom they can gather their forces."

The poll results are based on responses to a survey conducted May 29-31 that has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Political Danger

by Danielle Kleinman

In the words of my friend Ed Dickau; “There is nothing more dangerous in politics as unfulfilled expectations. Obama can't do it all by himself. Our own party has to stand behind him in a united fashion; we are not! We have an economy that really is being reconstructed, not repaired. Does anyone have the total answer to Iraq,

Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iran...NO!!! Are we prepared to devalue them in terms of our dependence on oil. Are we willing to say to the auto industry we can and will save your asses if you produce the true, no-hybrid, no plug in electric car and kill off 90% of our oil needs...No.  

We are already in a Soviet like decline and there are nations rising in Latin America and we continue to screw around we will accidentally cause an Arab unity that they have never been able to put into place themselves. Nothing unifies like a crisis and an enemy and we are potentially both. Everyone wants Obama or someone else to solve all of this for them and more.”

Those profound words that are still ringing in my ears! As I watch the GOP talking points of the day, I can’t help but become more cynical about bi-partisanship. What does that mean? No one knows because it doesn’t exist. It’s like a UFO; you might believe that it’s possible but listening to the GOP makes it far less probable.

We are in a state of reconstruction. No one wants to call it that or label it that way but we are. The Economists are trying to direct Congress but they are over their heads as well. The financial mess that we are in today is like a game of pick-up sticks; you never know what other piece will move when you move the others. It’s both chilling and sobering.

I come from a college educated and success background and I consider myself fortunate. I see the struggle of others and I know that they have no possible way of understanding or appreciating what is happening to our country. I am no way an expert but I know enough to see the dangers of what has happened and of what is to come. Where is our voice?

 Obama cannot do this alone. We must begin to understand and act. This is one of the most critical times in our nation’s history and I am puzzled as to why no voice has been out in the media that people will listen and react to. Yes, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz have been out there but their audiences are just like you and me; we agree. The issue, as I see it, is that we are so divided as a nation because of the past 8 years that we have not come together because the line is long and broad between us. 

The only way that we can all get through this together is to unite. Even if it’s only the Democrats uniting, perhaps we can inspire others to see another way. We CAN make a difference, we CAN change the world but we have to start now. There is no time to waste on this left/right B.S. Let’s stop the in-fighting and push for our inspiration, for our country! 

In the words of the man who has inspired me (and millions of others) “YES WE CAN!”


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