Today is election day in Virginia, when we will pick our party candidates to run for office in November. Just this morning, a friend of mine here in Charlottesville wrote to ask which gubernatorial candidate he should vote for to be the Democratic candidate for, um, Gubernator. Here is what I wrote:
Let me start with a negative.
I think Terry McAuliffe is exactly the wrong kind of Democrat to have in office. This is the first elected office he has ever run for. He has a big fat rolodex, but a dearth of anything he can point to as genuine legislative accomplishments, and he really seems to be the ultimate opportunistic carpetbagger. His entire campaign appears to be fueled by name recognition and who are his friends. I would be personally embarrassed if Democratic voters supported him.
Strictly on the issues, I am probably more closely aligned with Brian Moran. But he, too, is a total Northern Virginian. I do not get the sense that either he or McAuliffe really care about the issues we face here in Central and Southern Virginia. I would go so far as to say that they only want our vote, except that I’m not sure they even want that. I have not seen either one of them down here, even in Democratic Charlottesville, other than at a single fund-raiser for the McAuliffe campaign.
And then there is Creigh Deeds. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with him probably half a dozen times in the past few years. He is warm, and genuine, and what you see is entirely what you get. I may not agree with him on all the issues, but I think he is more representative of this part of Virginia. I have spoken to Republicans who would be willing to support Creigh. And in the general election, I think he has a better chance against Bob McDonnell.
Here is a Creigh Deeds story. Last summer, I attended a Democratic Party picnic here in Charlottesville. It was mainly an event for Tom Perriello, who was then running against Virgil Goode. I was there with my 11-year-old daughter. I helped her fill up her plate, got her some lemonade, then went back and got my own lunch. I sat down next to my daughter, was just about to finally take a bite of my food, and she interrupted by asking if I would get her more lemonade. Indeed, she had downed her entire glass. I sighed, put down my food, and was about to get up when a voice over my shoulder asked “You want some more lemonade, honey? Let me get that for you.”
And then, of all people, Creigh Deeds picked up my daughter’s lemonade glass, walked back to the beverage table to refill it, then with returned the glass. Of course, he stopped along the way to shake hands and chat with people, but still, she got a fresh glass of lemonade and I got to eat my lunch. Very smart move on his part. I told her later to remember the man who got her lemonade, for he just might be the next Governor of Virginia.