John Marshall will not run for LG

According to my sources, John Marshall will not run for LG in ’09. Marshall is the current Secretary of Public Safety with an impressive bio. Who does that leave for the Democrats statewide? The list of potential candidates includes the following (and probably a few others): David Englin Brian Moran Bobby Scott Creigh Deeds Steve Shannon Chap Petersen Viola Baskerville John Grisham Of all of those, my favorite is Steve Shannon.

Thanksgiving

Not thinking much about politics right now. Just football. Hoping that the Dallas Cowboys self-destruct. Remember Leon Lett’s Thanksgiving goof against the Dolphins years ago?

The search for new leaders in the GOP

This discussion over at Commonwealth Conservative really cracked me up…particularly this comment:

I nominate Delegate Rapp from the Yorktown district. I met her during the GOTV effort and was totally blown away. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as on top of things and full of fire. She’d make a VERY intimidating candidate for whoever the dims put up in 2009 Comment by Atomopawn ” 11/22/2005 @ 10:46 am.

I hope to God this was intended to be a joke – particularly considering the fact that the GOP has about 50-60 potential candidates for statewide office who are better suited than Rapp. Ok, I exaggerated a bit. It’s more like 150-200 potential candidates.

George Allen in ’08?

I’ve kept pretty quiet about Allen’s chances in ’08 for a while now. I’ve been shopping the idea around to some friends on Capitol Hill, and their unanimous bipartisan reaction is the following: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” None of these people are from Virginia, but their impression of him is that he’s a lightweight (mentally and in the Senate), that he’s a pretty poor speaker, and that I’m trapped inside of a Virginia politics bubble. No one cares about this guy outside of the state! Let me say that I loath George Allen. There is no other politician besides George W. Bush that I hate more. I think he was one of the worst Governors in Virginia history. He filled the executive branch with his “goonies”, “henchmen” and “lackeys”. But my own feelings and the analysis of my Hill friends aside, I still think he’d be a strong conservative candidate for President. He says the right things to please the Republican base, and his “affable” personality can convince many moderates that he’s not a far right guy. Allen has two problems: 1. If he runs nationally, the Democrats will use the confederate flag issue to call him a racist. This won’t help him… 2. The prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency will scare conservatives into nominating a moderate Most conservative elites (see: bloggers, pundits, politicos) realize that Hillary Clinton resembles John Kerry more than her husband. Most admit that she can win, but not by much. However, amongst the conservative base, Hillary Clinton is feared. These people are paranoid and panicked about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She’s the Hildabeast from the East. Stopping her assent to power is more important than outlawing abortion, keeping gays from marrying, or any other conservative issue. She is their #1 concern in ’08. Ask a arch-conservative about abortion. They’ll get angry and tell you it’s murder. Then ask them how they’d feel if Hillary Clinton was elected president. Blood will come out of their ears. Because of this passion and fear on the Right, I’m open to the idea that even the most diehard conservatives in the Republican base will become pragmatic and decide to turn to a moderate as their nominee in ’08. I’m talking about McCain or Rudy. Both of these guys are really good friends, and I honestly doubt that both will run for the nomination. They’ll work it out and one or the other will run. Either one of these guys would automatically win the presidency in the general election in a huge landslide. If the Republicans are reeling after an ’06 midterm loss, this will add to to McCain and Rudy’s chances.

Virginia Democratic Party

There has been plenty of navel gazing amongst Republicans for the past two weeks, but what about the Virginia Democratic Party? Where are we? What are our strengths and where can we improve? Strengths: 1. Candidate recruitment at the local level Taking a look around at the ’05 HoD races, I see tons of strong candidates on the Democratic side and many weak candidates on the GOP side. Many were not victorious, but the fact that we mounted credible races should not be forgotten. Christopher, Werkheiser, Fulk, and Ferguson are all strong candidates who ran great campaigns, despite the fact that things did not turn out as they expected. Roemmelt gave Bob Marshall a run for his money in a tough district. Look for all of these people to play a role in the future for the Democrats. Bulova, Marsden, and Poisson all ran great campaigns. 2. Strategy at the statewide level Byrne, Kaine, and Deeds could not have run better campaigns. Byrne overcame the “liberal” label to run close to a Republican who held his base. Deeds overcame a late surge by McDonnell and is now locked in a tight recount situation. Instead of trying to emulate Mark Warner’s ’01 race, Kaine ran his own race and made a strong play for the exurbs that will serve the Democrats well in the future. 3. Possession of the Governor’s mansion during an economic boom We took the Governor’s mansion at the exact right time in the economic cycle. A strong economy and plenty of tax revenue should allow us to do two things (at the same time): 1. Give funding to Virginia’s critical needs 2. Cut some taxes and retain the VDP’s moderate image 4. The Senate The VA Senate is packed full of liberal Republicans who will work with Kaine. Until the Republicans purge the RINOs from their party, they’ll continue the infighting and mixed messaging. Of course, it will take some vicious infighting to purge the RINOs, but that’s to be expected. 5. The looming return of Jim Gilmore If Gilmore steps back into the spotlight, the future is bright for Democrats Weaknesses: 1. No bench We’re going to need to pull statewide candidates out of our asses in ’09. Meanwhile, it would be disgraceful if we allowed two straight Senators to run unchallenged. 2. Weak fundraising Republicans continue to pull in way more money than us. One Virginia made up a bit of that difference, but as Mark Warner’s presence fades away and his attention turns to ’08, we might be in trouble… 3. Huge ideological minority in the House We may have picked up 2 seats in the House, but we also lost a couple of moderate Republicans (Dillard and Reese). The overall change in partisan tilt is minimal, although losing Dick Black and Brad Marrs helps a bit. 4. Strong Republican bench The Republicans have the opposite problem on their bench – too many people vying for too few statewide seats. This will be a problem for us in ’08 and ’09. 5. Growing influence of the NOVA liberal wing of the party We now have a game plan for winning in Virginia, and it involves running moderate candidates. The candidates who can run strong in the rural areas (rare) can concentrate there, while the urban candidates can rack up big margins in the urban and suburban areas. If we change courses and allow NOVA to pick all of our nominees, we’ll be saddled with liberals who cannot win. The Virginia Democratic Party cannot afford to allow NOVA liberals to run the show. Question marks: 1. Will Tim Kaine govern like a liberal or a moderate? Will he resist the urge to raise the gas tax? 2. Who will step forward and run in ’06, ’08, and ’09? 3. Will the Republicans wise up and start nominating Davis’s and Connaughton’s? 4. Will liberals take control of the VDP? 5. Will immigration ever be a viable issue for Republicans in NOVA? 6. Will Roe v. Wade be overturned, changing the political landscape at the state level? 7. Will it be Allen v. Warner (in some shape or form) in ’09?

Hillary

Here it is folks: Most people are willing to say that the Presidential nomination is Hillary’s for the taking, unless an anti-Hillary candidate emerges and Democrat coalesce around this person. I’m willing to go further than that. If Hillary Clinton seeks the nomination, she CANNOT be denied it. 1. A large chunk of females in the Democratic Party support her and probably won’t consider supporting anyone else. 2. For a candidate like Hillary (huge name ID, huge popularity amongst Democrats, huge war chest) to be denied the nomination, party operatives would have to mount an anti-Hillary campaign and back another candidate. This will not happen. Why not? Because bashing Hillary would be paramount to bashing Bill Clinton, and Democratic Party operatives would never turn against Bill Clinton. If Hillary decides to run, she will run on the Bill Clinton legacy (balanced budgets, entitlement reform, peace and prosperity). Democrats will not and cannot attack that legacy.

Murtha, the “Unlikely Dove”?

I knew I smelled a rat! When I heard the press recently reporting breathlessly on Democratic Hawk John Murtha’s call to pull the troops out of Iraq, I wondered, “Democratic Hawk? Is there such a thing? And I’ve never heard this guy on the Christopher Hitchens Liberals for Blowing Stuff Up speaking tour…” It turns out that Murtha isn’t really a hawk. He criticized the war as early as 2002. Furthermore, he doesn’t even call to bring our troops home (as the media exclaims). He’s calling to set time tables and draw down our troops, while maintaining a presence and fighting terrorist groups in Iraq. Fighting terrorist groups? Hmmm. As Mickey Kaus points out (I sourced his post for my post), that’s eerily similar to what we’re doing right now. It’s sad when even I can see a liberal bias in the some media outlets through my democratic beer goggles.

More GOP strife

In my effort to air as much Republican infighting as possible on this blog, here is the Phil Rodokanarkis, CFE, response to Ken Hutchinson

Dear Ken: Thank you so much for your nice and thoughtful message. Your message proved exactly what a number of conservatives said all along about you and the Kilgore campaign: You simply don’t posses the maturity or political acumen to head any campaign, never mind a statewide initiative. Perhaps, your message to me has finally opened Jerry’s eyes… You ask who cares about my columns. Well, the answer is obvious”you do! My writings couldn’t generate so much passion in anyone if they are irrelevant. If you haven’t figured out by now that email messages are not the way to vent anger, then you are more hopeless than I originally thought. Let me spell it out for you: Email messages can be easily circulated! In the future I recommend you don’t use emails to air your diatribes. If you continue, even your RINO patrons may have second thoughts about engaging your services again. ________________________ Phillip Rodokanakis President Virginia Club for Growth Email: president@virginiaclubforgrowth.org Again, I agree with Phil. The GOP needs to purge the RINOs from their party. It just doesn’t make sense for the Republican party to have liberals running around begging for tax increases. It’s unnatural.

James Young on John Warner

This amused me: “…as much contempt as I hold John Warner in for his vote against Robert Bork and betrayal of a GOP candidate for the Senate (Ollie North), the death penalty is certainly not appropriate. I would only put him in a room, nude, with a pork chop tied around his neck. Along with four female pit bulls with extreme PMS. ”

Message to Democrats drooling over Gilmore’s possible ’09 run for Governor

Shhh… Let’s all adopt the following talking points, and maybe this dream will come true: Talking Points: 1. “Gilmore will be a tough opponent. I don’t like the Democrats’ chances in ’09 against him.” 2. “Gilmore will unite the fissures in the VA GOP by reminding them of the 90s, when they took over GA and controlled all facets of VA Government. I fear his nomination in ’09.” 3. “Oh my god! No! ‘No Car Tax’ is an amazingly effective slogan* that, if used again would still be unstopable. I guess we should just trot out Don Beyer again.” 4. “Jim Gilmore is likeable and popular in Virginia. This will be a tough race, we’d better choose a strong candidate in ’09.” Those are some great talking points, I recommend that you repeat them. We can’t discourage our Republican friends from nominating Jim Gilmore. That would just be too good… *I once used the slogan “No Car Tax” to win a Student Council election. I can attest to it’s effectiveness.