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originally posted on kindler's diary yesterday as a comment.  Several people requested that I post it as its own diary, so here it is, in slightly modified form.

Let me speak as a Virginian since 1982

which also makes me a carpetbagger, and as someone who knows the author of this diary, and all of the major dems mentioned in the piece by kindler and in the comments on that thread.

1.  Jim Webb -  is NOT going to run for governor.  He had his reasons not to run again for Senate.  His background and mien were a far better fit as a Senator than as a governor who has to negotiate with a legislature like our General Assembly.

2.  Tom Perriello is a good friend.  I think it would be a real mistake for him to run against McAuliffe in a primary.  As much as I like Tom, I think he would lose and in the process might destroy Terry's chance of winning the general.  Why do I think he would lose?  Quite frankly, Terry would have pretty much of a lock on the Arrican-American vote.  If you go back to the 2009 gubernatorial primary the only Congressional District Creigh Deeds did NOT win in the 3-way context was the 3rd, Bobby Scott's.  Tom would also be challenged severely on his vote for the Stupak Amendment -  I have heard this multiple times in exchanges with a number of feminists who point out that Terry, who is also Catholic, has never been anything but openly pro-choice.   Although Tom has spent some time helping Dems around the state, he has not come close to what Terry has been doing for four years.  Tom MIGHT be able to raise a decent amount of money for a primary race, but Terry could if necessary raise an awesome amount of money.  And Terry has the one trump card of his close friendship with Bill Clinton, which matters hugely in the African-American community, but also among some more conservative Dems and Independents.

3.  Terry McAuliffe -  I agree with Kindler that he has an almost boyish ability and enthusiasm that can be contagious.   It can at times also be over the top, but he has spent so much time around the state that he has learned how to temper it.   Last time he had Mike Henry and Mo Ellethei helping his campaign.  I suspect that Mike Henry will not this time - he had left politics but came back in for Tim Kaine's Senate race.  But I know he would really like to get back to his other pursuits.  Mo is still in politics.   Terry will also have Levar Stoney, who used to run the Virginia Democratic party, helping run his campaign.

(keep reading below the squiggle)

My wife worries that Cuccinelli might win.  If Terry is not damaged/weakened in a primary, I do not think so.  Cooch has hurt himself with several important constituencies

-  pro-choice women

-  the University of Virginia community, including alums

He has no chance whatsoever of making inroads into either the Black or Hispanic communities (and the latter is increasing in Virginia).  

And as noted before, Terry has the advantage of Bill Clinton as a validator.  I might suggest people go back and look at the votes in Virginia in 1996 -  Clinton only lost to Dole 47-45 (remember, Perot was in the race).  As the last two presidential contests have shown, Virginia is far less conservative than it was then.  Yes, in a gubernatorial year the vote does tend to be down, but I think Terry is quite well positioned to defeat Cooch.

What is of even more importance is that Terry knows he needs to do what he can to help on races in the House of Delegates, all 100 seats of which are up at the same time.  The Dems will NOT take it back, in part because of gerrymandering.  But McAuliffe has the ability to "dominionize" those races - to help talk about the impact of individual districts on the Old Dominion as a whole.  

Is Terry a perfect progressive?  No, and a perfect progressive might have trouble defeating Cooch.  Terry is probably somewhat MORE progressive than Mark Warner, but like Warner would be someone with whom the Richmond business community would feel comfortable.  As would the expanding NoVa business community, which is very much into high tech.

I know a lot of conservative types from outside the state would support Cooch - expect the likes of the Koch Brothers to be very active.  But Cooch will not be able to swamp Terry with outside money.

Oh, and in Virginia?  1) Corporations can donate directly;  2) all contributions are disclosed.   I actually think that works to Terry's advantage, because it will be very easy for his supporters to tie the most extreme of Cuccinnelli's positions around the necks of any corporate type considering contributing to him -  we have some experience going after Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh on their positions.

Do not get me wrong.  I love Tom Perriello.  While I would not quit my teaching job, were he to run for office and ask for my help, I could not decline.  But I think it would be s serious mistake for him to challenge McAuliffe in a primary I think he would almost surely lose, and also risk being blamed for weakening the nominee if the primary got too heated.

Originally posted to teacherken on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (35+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:58:47 AM PST

  •  Re the UVA crowd ... (9+ / 0-)

    far too little known in the Commonwealth is the high likelihood that the leadership crisis was caused due to pressure from global warming deniers to prevent an offer to Michael Mann of a tenured position.  

    Some discussions

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:27:13 AM PST

  •  Yes I agree. (12+ / 0-)

    There is another good reason: the race is going to be the most high profile race in the country.

    I don't expect Booker will be dumb enough to challenge Christie in New Jersey so all were going to have nationally is Virginia. That means The Cooch will be the face of the Republican Party. That's a good thing. For a race like this, we need a well funded corprodem like TMac. For the reasons you stated.

    The biggest loser in all this is Bob McDonnell, who gambled on running for Vice President and lost and now realizes he should have run for Senate. Now he faces the terrifiying prospect of running against Mark Warner, or fading for six years to run against Kaine. Worse, there's no Romney presidency for him to snag a cabinet office from. He's just done.

    All he can really do now is go try and run for president.

  •  Thank you for a considerate diary about this race (5+ / 0-)

    Why can't most people write these types of diaries instead of hit pieces that pit us viscerally against each other in this community?

    "Aux ames bien nees, la valeur n'attend point le nombre des annees" Pierre Corneille.

    by Patate on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 05:54:11 AM PST

  •  A good take (7+ / 0-)

    Terry really needs an uncontested primary. The other thing he will need is turnout. The people who sat out 2009, 2010 and 2011 are going to have to show up.

  •  Cooch Watch... (6+ / 0-)

    You've got to check out

    Cooch Watch

    which is a group of young feminists who are "dogging" the Cooch and getting him on tape at every opportunity.  They also have some pretty awesome music videos.

    Maybe they'll catch a "justifiable rape" moment.

    Abortion Clinics OnLine, the world's first and largest source for online abortion clinic information. Join my DK Abortion Group.

    by annrose on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:06:36 AM PST

  •  Not just pro choice women (4+ / 0-)

    But some of my GOP friends who are women were a bit taken back with the trans vaginal episode.   That and the personhood movement is making them really uncomfortable with their party.  

    I can't force you to do anything, I can just make you regret it!

    by restondem on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:22:54 AM PST

  •  Cooch win? Can we regress that far? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, Lujane

    He has a record of failures and witch hunts as AG that even Virginia republicans should have trouble supporting.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:30:29 AM PST

    •  We CAN regress that far (4+ / 0-)

      This cannot be seen as a walk-in-the-park for McAuliffe simply because "Cooch" is on-paper a walking, talking fruitcake.

      "Cooch" will get north of 47% of the vote even if he were to burn a dubiously suspected witch at the stake on live TV.  

      How he gets to the needed additional 3%+1 is what the VA GOP will be feverishly working on with loads of financial support.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:04:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He has a record of success in getting into office (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md

      despite starting off in a state senate district where even the right wing Republican he was replacing refused to support him. He won reelection in that district, even while it was getting increasingly hostile to his form of politics. When that district got too hot he side slipped into the off cycle statewide office he now holds.

      He has the near fanatical support of the most rabid anti-abortion segments of religion, both Catholic and Evangelical. The mega churches and even the NOVA Catholic churches that tend to be so reactionary that one in Chantilly banned Girl Scouts turn out in force.

      If ordinary Democratic and allied voters, not paying much attention to this election a year after the "big win," do not get to the polls those true believers will even give him good results in NOVA. That in combination with "red Virginia" can well put him in governor's chair.

      Underestimating the Cooch's ability to pull one off is like underestimating the risk of eating oysters from a cesspool.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:36:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  1996 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JamieG from Md, Lujane

    Thank you for mentioning 1996. The Sunday before election day I attended a big rally with Bill Clinton, Chuck Robb & Mark Warner in Springfield, VA. It was the first time I had ever seen a sitting President.

    I remember Clinton arrived at the site via Marine One, which I thought was pretty cool--and also pretty considerate because a motorcade would have made traffic a nightmare.

  •  We need a 2012-level GOTV ground game... (5+ / 0-) boost turnout. We typically lose anywhere from 30-40% of the voters in the off-year elections (Turnout in 2009, with Deeds, was particularly bad - 45% lower than 2008). We can't let that happen this time.

    One key to such a ground game is keeping the OFA networks active and engaged in a state-level race.   Cooch's particularly virulent wing-nuttery gives us an opportunity to do so, but it won't happen just by itself.  

    There are two ways this could happen - top-down or bottom-up.   Top-down would involve an agreement between OFA leadership and the Gubernatorial candidate, following which some signal would go out for OFA Volunteers to go sign-up with the campaign.   That would be good and I hope it happens, but I'd rather not rely on it.

    The bottom-up approach has three components.   First, OFA networks need to keep themselves active, along the lines of the Webb Brigades after 2006.   It would be great if NTLs - now that people have rested up a little - reached out to their volunteers and had periodic meetings or just social gatherings to maintain the connections.  Not everyone will respond, of course, but enough will to maintain a skeleton.

    Second, the eventual Gubernatorial candidate needs to reach out to the OFA volunteers to link this race to the causes, values, and issues that brought them out to work in such number in 2008.   Yes, part of that was the President's unique charisma, which cannot be replicated. But this race is the next battleground in the fight to drive the wing-nut agenda from the national stage forever. The Democratic campaign has to make sure that the contrast between our candidate and Cuccinelli is clear and sharp. As many have said, this is perhaps easier with the Cooch than with a McDonnell kind of jive-shucker.  

    Finally, local party committees should actively recruit among the OFA volunteers to fill the many gaps in their permanent grassroots networks - precinct captains, outreach committees, voter registration specialists, volunteer coordinators, data people, etc. Again, the kind of work that goes into the day-to-day operations of a party committee may not be to the taste of every OFA volunteer. But if even some get engaged, it would strengthen the link between the Party grassroots framework and the OFA volunteer base, which could pay dividends as we get towards November and need the feet on the street to come out. It could also have the effect of re-vitalizing local party organizations in areas where they are not strong.  

  •  Forgive my ignorance... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, kareylou

    I don't know much about Virginia (aside from several visits to my brother who live in Newport News), but is there anything preventing Mr. Perriello from running for another office? Since Mr. Cuccinelli is leaving the Attorney General's office, might that not be a good fit?

    •  This year, Lt. Gov is very important (5+ / 0-)

      The State Senate is divided 20-20, and the Lt. Gov has the deciding vote. Right now he's a Rethug, and they took advantage of that to reorganize the Senate so that all committees had Republican majorities and chairs.  

      If we win the Lt. Gov's race, we immediately regain control of one chamber of the state legislature.  So the position - normally seen as just a stepping stone to an eventual run for Governor - is crucial to stopping the wave of batshit-crazy legislation coming out of Richmond.

      Tom Perriello would be a very strong candidate for this office. If he is indeed interested in running state-wide (and this is all just rumor, so far), this is where I see him as adding the most value to the Party and the Commonwealth.

  •  The "carpetbagger" thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, pelagicray, JamieG from Md

    The "carpetbagger" ridiculousness should be blown out of the water right up front.  

    How many people are born and live their whole lives in the same state?  I thought the whole point of American federalism was that we all find our own destiny in the place that suits us.   I don't think there's anything about natural-born in any of the state constitutions.

    I've lived in Virginia for a decade and I consider myself fully a Virginian.  My ties to the Midwestern state where I was born and raised are minimal now - just a few family connections.   Does that make me "stateless?"

    Anyway, didn't McDonnell and Cuccinelli both come from somewhere else?  

  •  It seems like last time out (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zerelda, davybaby, Lujane, JamieG from Md

    McAuliffe (fairly or unfairly) had the cloud of the Obama-Clinton primary hanging over his head .  That is so "ancient history" by now, and  he has the opportunity to grab the support of a united Democratic Party eager to win back the Governorship.  This is a good opportunity, and I hope the Dems don't blow it.

  •  Glad I don't live there anymore. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Under no circumstances whatever would I cast a vote for McAuliffe.

    I would not vote third party, I would just leave it blank.

    I can imagine no circumstance in which I could stomach pulling the lever for that slimy weasel-ass motherfucker.

    No way. I have standards.  

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:58:48 AM PST

  •  McAuliffe (0+ / 0-)

    A quick comment.

    McAuliffe may not be as progressive as prospective candidates like Tom Periello, whom I admire, but he is easily left of center by Virginia standards, certainly in comparison to Criegh Deeds, whose dreadful candidacy will long be remembered.

    TM, even if he's not exactly a radical, has the potential to help being about real change in Virginia's archaic political culture, which will open the way to genuine progressives in the future.

    Here's what I mean.  Virginia, like most places whose political traditions predate the industrial revolution, is obsessively parsimonious when it comes to any kind of state expenditure (except perhaps prisons), since prior to the Industrial Age tax revenues of any kind were very scarce.  It also identifies any kind of unmet need, whether for education or healthcare, as indigency, and to be repressed and pushed
    out of its borders.  Virginia's geographical advantages mean that it is today the ninth wealthiest state in the union on a per capita basis, but state expenditures of all kinds still nudge the lower end, if not the absolute bottom.

    McAuliffe will push Virginia to modernize its thinking, and realize its potential.  His 2009 campaign was full of good ideas about lowering tuition at state schools, and making investments to attract good jobs, especially in the energy sector.

    Don't have time for more, but TM deserves people's support

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