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2012 Shenandoah County Reagan Day Dinner

March 23, 2012 1 comment

Update: Jamie Radtke, candidate for U.S. Senate, has been added to the line-up. Tix are still available, so get yours today!

The Shenandoah County Republican Committee is proud to announce its

2012 RONALD REAGAN DINNER

April 7, 2012

Yellow Barn – Shenandoah Caverns, VA

Featuring:

U.S. Senate Candidates:

Former Governor & U.S. Senator George Allen

Delegate Bob Marshall

Jamie Radtke

6th Congressional District Candidates:

Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Karen Kwiatkowski

Our Legislative Representatives in Richmond:

Senator Mark Obenshain

Delegate Todd Gilbert

The Dinner, catered by Shaffer’s, starts at 6:15 pm

Private Reception for Sponsors and Dignitaries at 5:30 pm

Silent Auction benefitting the Republican Women of Shenandoah County at 5:30 pm

Standard Tickets: $25

Sponsorship Opportunities

Included with a Sponsorship: Dinner & Private Reception, with a chance to meet, and take pictures with, our distinguished guests; A chance to sit at a table, during dinner, with one of our distinguished guests; and recognition in our Event Program.  At dinner, Sponsors will be seated in the order of their sponsorship; within each level, seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Levels of Sponsorship

Event Host: $75 per ticket.  In addition to the aforementioned sponsorship perks, Event Hosts will be recognized for their generosity at the greeter’s table.

Event Sponsor: $50 per ticket.

Event Patron: $35 per ticket.

Program Advertising: $50 for Business card size; $100 for half page; $200 for full page.

Contact information:

Jeremy McCleary, SCRC Chairman, or Blake Philips, SCRC Events Chair

(540)459-2444 or (540)459-3727; mcclearylaw@gmail.com; P.O. Box 389 – Woodstock, VA 22664

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Books and the Ballotbox (Poll Included)

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Ah, the joys of campaigning. There’s many things to love about it….meeting new people, the rush of contacting voters, putting up signs and handing out bumperstickers. There’s one thing, though, I’ve never really loved: the quaddrenial rush of books from presidential contenders. There’s a few reasons I’ve come to loathe this. Largely, I feel bad for not reading them, even though most of them are just filled with ghostwritten pablum that differs little from the candidate’s stump speeches. I don’t read as quick as I used to, but with all these candidates, even if you are a fast reader, that’s still alot of time. Then there’s the whole thing of actually shelling out $30 if you want to read them before their author is little more than an afterthought in the race…..(I’m not on the Kindle train yet)

Apparently, somebody reads them, though. There was much ballyhooing about Cain’s book a little bit ago, how it appeared his campaign was more book tour than campaign. Now, the New York Times notes the same thing about Newt:

Even as he widens his lead in the polls, Newt Gingrich spends substantial time on an activity that raised questions about his ultimate motive when he was a back-of-the-pack candidate: selling and signing $25 copies of his books.

As his primary foe, Mitt Romney, and the White House intensify their efforts to negatively define Mr. Gingrich, his sole public event on Friday is at a bookstore in Washington. On Saturday he flies to Des Moines for a Republican debate but plans to squeeze in an afternoon book-signing.

Experienced campaign strategists cannot recall a top-tier contender devoting so much time to pitching products while seeking the White House. Mitt Romney, who also has a book out, has never sold it while stumping, his campaign said. President Obama, a best-selling author in 2007, did not incorporate sales events into campaign appearances, according to a spokesman for his re-election committee.

Mr. Gingrich’s devotion to book-selling, Republican strategists said, raises questions about the propriety of a candidate who is generating personal income while seeking the White House, as well as whether he is making the optimum use of limited campaign time.

There’s certainly plenty to talk about here, but let’s face it–Newt has spent the last twelve years or so as a political entrprenuer, starting organizations here, shilling a book there, appearing on this or that news network. I’m sure its a hard habit to break. And of course, Newt has always been a prolific writer (or the one whose name is on the jacket, at least), having written 21 some odd books throughout his career (some of which one intrepid New York Times Magazine author dared to read).

But what about candidates that are new to the writing game? Well, not so hot for Michele Bachmann (h/t Political Wire):

Michele Bachmann’s weak poll numbers may be showing up in slow sales of her memoir, Core of Conviction. In the two weeks since the book was released, it’s sold just 3,000 copies despite a media blitz and numerous book-signing events by Bachmann.

Those numbers come from Nielsen BookScan, which gets the information directly from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and most other retailers. The company estimates its sales numbers capture 75 percent of the book market although it currently does not get information from discount retailers Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.

As of 5 PM ET on Wednesday, the book ranked 4,200 on Amazon’s bestseller list, although it ranked 62 on the site’s political bestseller list.

Ouch. It’s hard to judge how well her book is doing–sooooo many books are published in America that the average per book is around 500 copies (keep in mind that we’re talking about a really wide range of numbers here, so the average isn’t all that great of a statistic). But the fact that its not even intriguing readers of political books indicates that Bachmann’s book is not breaking through.

Honestly, not only is it not that important (trot out old “x’s don’t vote” trope here), but its not all that uncommon. If you really want to read any of these books after their shelf-life, I suggest in about nine months you head down to the Green Valley Book Fair, where they’ll be available for about $5/pound (ok, so they don’t sell them by the pound, but on average you’ll be paying about $3-5 per title)

Basically, there’s five kinds of political books

  • The reporting/history book–usually written by a third party shortly after or around the time of the events in question (“What It Takes”). A subset of these books may fall more in line with the history genre (The Last Campaign, about either the 1948 Election or RFK’s 1968 campaign, depending on which one of these same titled books you pick up) but still are plenty interesting for politicos
  • The kiss-off/tell all–written by an ex-administration official or someone who played a pivotal role in the events in question–you know, your Scott McCllellans of the world. Some my be polite, like Christie Todd Whitman, but even she had a critique in there
  • The campaign book–written by people who are actively running for office or considering it. Most are ghostwritten (see above)
  • The policy book–closely related to the campaign book, but written by someone who may not be seeking higher office in the near future but is trying to build support for their policies (Think “Young Guns” here)
  • The memoir–written by former officeholders. Usually written by the subject, but likely polished by a professional author (“Decision Points”, “My Life”)

Again, very few of these books have a very long shelf life. Probably the ones that last the longest are the memoirs and the history books, because they’ll be of interest long after the fact. The others, however, don’t tend to lend too much to either political professionals or historians, so don’t be surprised if they don’t see additional print runs.

So what say you, dear readers? Add categories in the comments, and chime in with the polls below about your political reading habits.

The Style Primary

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The problem with taking the time to gather your thoughts, at least in the blog world, is that there’s probably someone out there who’s quicker on the draw than you….you wanted to get all the facts straight, double check everything, but somebody else already has (or isn’t too bothered by those pesky “facts”). And so it was with this post, where I had the basic idea that Cuccinelli v. Bolling isn’t going to come down so much to the issues but as a pure contest of political style.

First, DJ over at the Right Wing Liberal:

Very little distances either man on issues: In the State Senate, both Cuccinelli and Bolling established low-tax, low-spending, and culturally conservative records. They even made the same mistake (backing the Howell version of HB3202), and walked it back during the critical but now nrealy-forgotten 2008 special session. We may see some dramatic magnification of miniscule differences, but I doubt it will be enough for any neutral (of which I am one) to go one way or the other.

……

As candidates, Bolling and Cuccinelli have very different skill sets. This is the political version of apples and oranges. Bolling is steady, predictable, and affable; all excellent qualities in a candidate running on a good record in an electorate generally favorable to him. Cuccinelli, by contrast, is dynamic, originial, kinetic, and on occasion hyperactive. Many more voters would be comfortable with Bolling than Cuccinelli (good for voter breadth). Cuccinelli forces voters to think, takes risks that could be game changers, and never backs down from a challenge, thus appealing to voters who are more focused and engaged (good for voter depth). To make things even more complex, each man’s traits could be strengths or weaknesses depending upon the political climate – and that means the political climate could be the one thing that determines which one would be the better candidate.

Chris over at Mason Conservative has much the same thinking, though he framed it more in regional terms:

Its a battle between Richmond and Northern Virginia.

 

The agendas of business interests, local governments, and even the citizens themselves of Richmond and Northern Virginia are different.  Richmond is old Virginia.  Its business interests are defined by old bankers, law firms, and tobacco companies that have been bankrolling Virginia elections since forever.  Northern Virginia is defined by developers, contractors, dot.coms, environmentalists, public servants that come from PTAs and HOAs and where education and transportation and the biggest issues.  And when you look and the needs of both regions of the state, then look at the relative small size of the state budget (compared to other states), there isn’t enough money for both of them.

………

You want to know why Bill Bolling is so outraged at Ken Cuccinelli?  Because Ken represents the biggest threat to the power of Richmond in this state it’s ever seen.  He’s charismatic, made a national name for himself, never was able to be controlled in the senate, and he cannot be pushed aside as a “moderate” someone downstate conservatives would be embarrassed to support.  Bolling has done things the Richmond way.  He’s paid his dues, worked hard, been loyal, said and done the right things, and waited his turn.  Just like all of them.  There isn’t much of a difference in politics between the two, which is a much bigger problem for Bolling.  Ken can’t be brushed aside like Davis was by the claim he’s some wishy-washy Fairfax moderate RINO.  That card is gone, and Bob Marshall proved in 2008 how strong a conservative with a NOVA base can be in a primary, and Ken only confirmed that in 2009 with his drubbing that he laid on two other candidates.

Ken is like Northern Virginia because he doesn’t play by the old rules, he doesn’t care about who’s turn it is, he doesn’t care about the old way of doing things.

And so goes my thinking. What we have here isn’t so much a fight over issues as a fight over style. Bolling comes from the political school of thought that you need to bide your time. Principles are important…you wouldn’t be bothering with this if you didn’t have something pulling you in, right? But what good are you going to be if every time someone challenges you your first move is straight for the jugular? Work the vineyards, move up….you’ll get your chance to make a difference. Cuccinelli doesn’t quite see things that way…..its all about principles, values. You’re either right or you’re wrong. You’re not doing it right if you don’t fight in the streets, leave no stone unturned, refuse to confront people. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Which I think is what makes all of this so disconcerting for so many activists. Let’s face it—RPV is predominantly conservative. Yes, there’s a few, just a few old hat moderates left, but their numbers are dwindling every year. And yes, there’s always someone right behind you saying that you’re not conservative enough……remember, it wasn’t even twenty years ago that George Allen and Ollie North’s people were looked upon with some distaste. It wasn’t so long ago that Allen was the outsider…..and Bolling was one of his guys. But things change. So who do you go with? The guy who takes no quarter on your issues and is willing to lose, so long as he’s right—or the guy who was there all along, used to even be more like his now opponent, but waited, worked for this moment?

A sidenote: A lot of people seem to be framing this in the context of “Republicans always go with the guy whose turn it is.” First off, this is largely based off of experience in presidential primaries—Bush ‘88, Dole ‘96, McCain ‘08. This is comparing apples and oranges. I’m not convinced that “its his turn” holds as much sway as it did prior to the Tea Party rise and their domination in primaries in 2010, nor that it ever really existed below the presidential level—ask former Delegate Clint Miller if he thought it was Allen’s turn in 1993. Secondly, these races are very different—yes, presidential primaries are a long slog, but there you’re dealing with contacting millions of voters in different states, each with its own nuanced system for choosing delegates to the national convention. Here, you’re dealing with getting voters in one state out on just one day (remember, the State Central Committee has already settled on a primary). Yeah, sure, you need to target your areas of the state, but they’re not weighted—whoever gets the most voters wins. Finally, the reason we’ve ended up with “the anointed one” in many past GOP Presidential primaries is not so much that they were always the front runner—Buchanan was whipping Dole hard before South Carolina, and Bush had lost more contests than he won up to South Carolina in 1988. McCain was in a similar situation, and even the Gipper lost Iowa to George H.W. Bush in 1980. The reason they ended up winning was because either they were prepared for the long slog or the new favorites of the activists withered under the hot lights of the media. Say what you will about Cuccinelli upending the order—fair or not, he’s been through this before, as has Bolling, but to a degree he’s had it tougher in no small part to his narrow re-election to the State Senate in 2007. Cuccinelli, love it or hate it, is ready for prime time.

To underscore just what’s going on here in terms of this being more a contest of style than issues, I decided to do a little more research—I decided to actually LOOK at both men’s records. Well, scratch that—I decided to look up where the two men have stood in the eyes of various groups, left and right, that dare to rate members of the General Assembly.

Two important caveats here. One, let’s keep in perspective that Ken and Bill only served concurrently for three sessions—2003 to 2005. If you follow the GA, you know that no one session is quite like the other. Sure there are perennial bills, but those are not the ones that define each session—those bills come up year after year because they always fail. The issues that define each session change. Secondly, just as both men are going to go over each other’s records with a fine toothed comb, so did these interest groups. The bills that each group takes into consideration are rarely, if ever, a complete record of every bill that touched upon that group’s issues, and those issues change from year to year—which is why one year you may get a 100% rating but the next 40%. But until I or some other intrepid blogger gets the time to examine every bill both men voted on (which will likely be around the time one of them or their Democratic opponent is sworn in), this will do.

This information is gleaned, largely from both men’s pages at ProjectVoteSmart (Ken here, Bill here). If either camp wants to correct the record here, I welcome it. So with no further ado:

Cuccinelli and Bolling: Interest Group Ratings

Key:

NS—Not Serving in the body that was rated

NR—Not rated (group did not issue ratings)

All scores are out of 100% unless otherwise noted

Abortion

Virginia Society for Human Life (Pro-Life)

1999

2000

2001

2002

2004-05

2004-2007

Cuccinelli

NS

NS

NS

NS

100

100

Bolling

100

NR

100

100

100

NS

NARAL/Pro-Choice Virginia (Pro-Choice)

2002

2004

2005

2008

2009

Cuccinelli

NS

0

0

0

0

Bolling

0

0

0

NS

NS

Planned Parenthood (Pro-Choice)

2004-05

2009

Cuccinelli

0

0

Bolling

0

NS

Business
Virginia National Federation of Independent Businesses

1996-7

1998-99

2000-01

2006-07

Cuccinelli

NS

NS

NS

100

Bolling

100

83

100

NS

Virginia Chamber of Commerce

1998

1999

2000-01

2002-03

2005

Cuccinelli

NS

NS

NS

NS

82

Bolling

88

89

79

89

100

Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education
97 99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Cuccinelli NS NS NS NS NS 62 68 82 NR 61 94 89
Bolling 84 85 100 79 86 71 67 100 NS NS NS NS
LGBT Issues
Equality Virginia

2003

2004

2005

2007

Cuccinelli

0

0

0

67

Bolling

100

0

0

NS

Social Conservatism
The Family Foundation

1999

2001

2002-03

2004-05

2006-07

2008-09

Cuccinelli

NS

NS

100

100

92

91

Bolling

88

93

100

100

NS

NS

*Note: The Christian Coalition did ratings prior to Ken’s service. Bill received a 95% in 1997 and 100% in 1999.

Education

Virginia Education Association

1998

2002

2004

2005

2006

2006-07

2008

Cuccinelli

NS

NS

33/0*

67

80

78

75

Bolling

30

43

33/0*

50

NS

NS

NS

*Note: I found two different scores for 2004; both are included here
The Environment
Virginia League of Conservation Voters
99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Cuccinelli NS NS NS NS 17 11 0 43 50 57 10
Bolling 33 60 100 80 20 50 0 NS NS NS NS
Labor
Virginia AFL-CIO
99 2001 2002 2003 2004* 2005* 2006 2007 2008 2009
Cuccinelli NS NS NS 9 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bolling 0 0 50 0 6 11 NS NS NS NS
Gun Rights
National Rifle Association
1999 2003 2005* 2007 2009*
Cuccinelli NS A NR A A+
Bolling A A A NR A+
*Note: Bolling’s 2005 score is for his first LG run. Both men’s 2009 scores are for their respective statewide runs that year. The NRA assigns alphabetical grades that are based both on legislative work and survey responses
Virginia Citizen’s Defense League
I’m having trouble working out percentages here, since VCDL assigns one grade but VCDL-PAC is the one that hands out endorsements. Suffice it to say that both men, as far as I know, have been endorsed by VCDL in all of their runs throughout VCDL’s history. However, if I am wrong here, please let me know. Candidate surveys can be found here—figured I’d provide the source on this one because of the very nuanced nature of this exercise (or rather, the fact that too much nuance will earn you scorn from VCDL).
Conclusion
Obviously there’s a lot to chew on here, and again, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re highly interested in all of this, I suggest tracking down the actual scorecards for that year—again, something’s gotta be up for both men to earn over 50% from Equality Virginia once while pulling in zeroes the rest of the time—same with their wildly gyrating League of Conservation Voters Scores. This is the tip of the iceberg, and we have over a year and a half to go, but for right now—its pretty clear that the two men are relatively close when it comes to core issues for the Republican base. (As DJ pointed out, they both even made the same mistake by backing the miserable transportation plan in 2007, abuser fees and all). I have no commentary beyond that—just wanted to throw this out there.
Corrections, additions, and just plain criticism welcome.

Wherein I agree with Jon Huntsman

November 30, 2011 1 comment

From the LA Times: Jon Huntsman: Herman Cain a distraction in GOP race

Speaking with the Boston Globe, the former Utah governor said he was again disappointed to see Monday night that a fresh report about Cain — the latest alleges an extramarital affair; it follows accusations of sexual harassment earlier in the month — was getting more attention than the major issues.

“What about a [financial] downgrade that is being anticipated? What about Europe? What about so many other issues out there that we ought to be talking about and that people ought to understand where candidates come down on those issues?” Huntsman said.

“Every time another accusation comes up, it diminishes our ability to stay focused on the issues that really do matter for the American people. And I think that’s a disservice to the voters,” he added.

Now, dear readers, before you think I’ve gone soft on you, let’s make a few things clear. I do NOT think Herman Cain should get out of the race. I do NOT favor Jon Huntsman for the nomination (he’s not even on my top five list…..). And I DO think that this is not a high minded appeal by Huntsman for the media to be more civilized but rather pure jockeying on his part to become “the thinker” in this race.

Here’s what I DO agree with Huntsman on: the media spends far too much time on the personal part of the campaign and not the policy part. Honestly, this is nothing new (look to the 1800 campaign when both candidates were labeled as godless heathens, depending on if you were reading a Federalist or Democratic-Republican leaning newspaper), nor something limited to national politics (there’s nothing more the local political media loves to cover than a “debate over debates”). The fact of the matter, though, is when it comes to politics, the hierarchy of reporting goes personal information, campaign tactics and strategy, and somewhere in the basement, policy talk. It’s what we really WANT the system to be about: voters choosing the candidate who will put into place the policies they want, a debate over the direction of our community and nation.

But that’s never how it plays out. And honestly, its not all the media’s fault. To quote Megadeath, “Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying?” It used to be all about sold the most papers–nowadays, its more about who gets the most clicks. But it all comes down to the same thing–public interest, which under most media schemes, leads to revenues. Even with bloggers in the mix now who aren’t operating on a revenue based schema, they’re still interested in getting people interested, because that leads to clicks, and that leads to access, and that leads to more clicks. Of course, with many bloggers now hosting advertisements or pursuing lucrative mainstream media careers, the distinction is ever more blurred–if it ever really existed at all….but that’s a book for another time.

Ultimately, though, people are interested in this sort of thing. There’s an undeniable strain of prurient interest in the human race. Also, schadenfruede and jealousy play a role as well……there are some people who just love to see the “big guys” taken out, even if they weren’t always the big ones. And moral issues ARE important….the problem lies in how important they are to each individual, to say nothing of the fact that some things are clearly moral to some and clearly immoral to others. Or maybe ethics is the word I want to use…..see how I turned that around? That’s the problem–in elections at the national level, you’re trying to appeal to the worldview of some 100 million odd people. A good chunk will always choose you, another chunk will never choose you, and the battle lies in the middle. But all of those are individuals….each with their own thinking on all of the issues a presidents faces and their own views on how a president should act.

So my point? Yes, I do think that America faces some big, big problems right now and THAT’s what we need to be talking about. We can sort this all out about Herman Cain, and if it is true, well…..it would certainly give me pause about him. But the great irony is that Cain would not be in this position were it not for the fact that he was a candidate that electrified the conservative base with a clear, appealing message: the now infamous “9-9-9” tax plan. Once he got to the podium, to the surprise of the media’s wagging tounges, they just HAD to know who he was….and so did a certain chunk of the electorate. Now we know more about him, and there’s lots of questions, justified questions….but we’re completely away from the very thing that brought him to us in the first place, the issues.

There needs to be balance. That much I know–unfortunately, the best I can do is encourage voters to consider everything equally and not be drawn into the horserace. I just don’t have an answer to how change how elections are covered–and as a student of politics, I’m not sure anyone ever will.

The First of May: A Turning Point?

As I mentioned previously, the evening of May First is one that will be indelibly printed on the consciousness of a generation. The college students who witnessed the events of September 11th are emerging as the newest generation of leaders. The high schoolers that saw the massacre of thousands in New York are now becoming established in their chosen careers. And the middle schoolers who may have had to ask their parents why they were gripped with fear and anguish on that fateful day are now figuring out just what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Each of these groups begins this new chapter in their lives with one fact apparent: the mastermind behind those attacks is no more. So just what do we do with that?

Countless pundits and analysts (yours truly included) have pointed to Osama Bin Laden as the Hitler of our generation. Yet while these two figures share much in common, there is much to separate them as well–not the least of all having to do with the scale and witnessing of their respective atrocities. I am sorry if I offend, but Hitler is the far greater evil. He was a man who first co-opted a movement that fed off of the collective misery of an entire nation and shifted it into an ideology based on fanatical nationalism and racial supremacy. He used the movement to chip away at the democratic institutions of a nation to first build it up and then destroy it through his own prejudices and desires. He molded public opinion in his own image, to the point where an entire nation, some knowingly, some on the edges, participated in a slow but massive execution targeted at all who did not meet the image their leader envisioned for this monster he had created. An entire religion was targeted and nearly decimated through his machinations. The worst of all was that those who were called to defeat this beast were mostly not even aware of its scale until it was defeated–we can simply not process what it meant to be a young army private witnessing the horrors of Buchenwald and Auschwitz.

Osama Bin Laden, on the other hand, was undoubtedly a worshiper of death and destruction as well. He, however, was never able to manipulate an entire people into following. His was a ragtag band of “true believers” whose dedication to the principles of Islamism, though appealing to many living in third world conditions, just never caught fire as a mass movement because, frankly, it was unclear just what that would entail. Even the Taliban, which was the only government that came close, and even they never had complete control of the territory of Afghanistan. The nation was bereft with fighting between the Taliban and two former enemies that formed the Northern Alliance. Even today Afghanistan has only a barely functional government. Amidst all this chaos, however, stood a figure calling for the destruction of all that did not see the world as he did. It was never really clear what a world controlled by Bin Laden would look like–the important part was destroying all that did not meet his vision of Allah, which alternately meant Communism and the West. It is indisputable, however, that Osama was able to carry out countless acts of terror using those few fanatics that he could reach.

Read more…

The First Serious Candidate of 2012?

April 26, 2011 1 comment

Unpublished update: I wrote part of this article on Friday, with Ron Paul still “thinking.” Then boom, Monday he gets in. So some of this should be taken with that in mind–I’ve edited it since, but in my mind Paul is just “getting” in, so I haven’t completely made the transition. So I must say something I would have never said in 2008: Paulistas, I apologize.

It’s official: Gary Johnson will be seeking the Republican nomination in the 2012 primaries.

Gary who?

Gary Johnson, the former Governor of New Mexico. It’s alright if you don’t remember him–his term ended in 2003. You may recall, though, a governor of a smaller western state being one of the highest ranking Republicans (and indeed, official of either party) to call for the decriminalization of marijuana. Yeah, that was him. So why am I getting excited over a candidate that would seem, at face value, to be little more than a historical footnote?

Well, for starters, I see Johnson as the first serious candidate to officially enter the race. Now now, I know what you’re thinking–don’t Tpaw, Mittens, even the Donald have a better chance at this point? Perhaps, but as you’ll hear me belabor over the next six months while I continue to write on the ebb and flow of the race, because, hey, even an unpaid blogger seeks good copy, things change. Nobody could beat George H.W. Bush in the early part of 1991. Nobody.

But when I say serious, I don’t mean an attitude of a candidate that’s “in it to win it.” What I mean is a candidate that is serious about their ideology and has put forth or presents real solutions to the problems facing America. Newt may have once stood on the edge of being that candidate, but nowadays, he’s more “anti” than anything else. Romney, well, we’ve already discussed Romney’s issues–in that there are really few he hasn’t flipped or flopped on. Huckabee, too, is largely a Tea Party cheerleader these days. And although I’ll admit that I’m anxiously awaiting Pawlenty’s alternative budget, right now, he seems more focused on shaking the perception that he’s just too dull to take on the One.

Read more…

2009: A Year in Swag

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Folks, everyone here knows that I worked on Victory this year. You all also know that I am an avid collector of historical political items. So what more fitting way to close out the year than with a pictorial review of the items I picked up along the helter skelter trail, from my unemployment to coming on board to the exhillirating convention to a troubled summer to my auto wreck, all the way to a bittersweet victory. Enjoy.

Bolling and Cooch shirt with just a small sampling of the veritable Baskin Robbins that was the McDonnell bumper sticker effort

Close up with some of the locals

More coalition stickers

More locals and coalitions

Even more coalitions stickers

8x10s of the statewide candidates that hung in the Page Co booth, along with a ubiquitous Bobs for Jobs sign

Items from the convention plus the morning after the election

Close up of my credentials, plus a signed folder from Mark Moseley

Invites to inaugural festivities, plus celebratory buttons

More buttons (note that I didn’t have enough for this box, so a few ’05, ’08 and even a Chuck Smith button slipped in)

A few official buttons, some by seconday vendors and committees, and two I had commissioned myself (Maureen for First Lady and Dukes for McDonnell)

And my prized posession: a framed photo of the infamous barn next to 81 in Augusta County, signed by all the local delegates, the statewides, Congressman Goodlatte, and Michael Steele

My New Year’s wish to my former colleagues: my all of you see as much success in your new gigs as we did together as part of the Virginia Victory effort.

And to those I worked with, both staff and volunteers: It was an honor and privellege, and a fitting capstone to my professional political career.