Posts Tagged ‘Bob McDonnell’

Give this man some air!

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Cal Thomas has a column in the Washington Times, the first of what I’m sure will be an endless stream of copy hailing McDonnell as a new Republican hero.

In a recent interview at his transition office, Mr. McDonnell – who crushed his opponent Creigh Deeds by a 59 percent to 41 percent majority, attracting sought-after independents by a 2 to 1 margin – said that while he emphasized bread-and-butter issues like jobs, transportation and taxes during the campaign, he hasn’t forgotten social issues that are near and dear to the Republican base: “I am a social and economic conservative and have made no bones about it. I have an 18-year record as attorney general and as a legislator of not only supporting, but leading on a lot of those issues … but what I understood people were most concerned about … were quality-of-life and pocketbook issues: jobs, economic development, taxes and federal intrusion into the free-enterprise system.”


Message: If you have a good platform that can improve the economy and promote job creation, independents will give you a pass on your social agenda. That is a reversal of traditional Republican thinking of putting social issues front and center. “I try to [attract Independents] by reaching out and embracing people, not having a covenant of limitations that excludes people.”

Certainly Mr. McDonnell has set up a winning playbook for Republicans to use to their full advantage in 2009, and his team deserves the plaudits it has won over the past few weeks, including at the recent RGA conference. But the time is drawing down for that: now is the time for governance, a task that Mr. McDonnell is fully up to. I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll lead by his guiding conservative principles–indeed, he’s doing his homework as we speak–but let’s give them some time to go into effect before we start throwing the man into the national spotlight as a “contender”, alright? He’s got a Commonwealth to run, and the last guy made a pretty big mess of things…..

Thoughts on the RPV Luncheon

December 5, 2009 1 comment

The snowfall in the Valley today cut my day at Belle Grove short–not short enough for me to catch the RPV Luncheon live, but enough for me to review the tape. Special kudos to the RPV New Media Committee for making this possible. New media has penetrated every aspect of the Advance moreso than any year (although I’ll note that many of the Commonwealth’s finest twitterers and bloggers have been a bit quiet today–though some of them may be fleeing back home to beat the snow). Here’s the feed for your purusal–I’ll note that a good chunk of the video is a a review of some of Tim Murtaugh’s greatest hits and other gootage from the campaign, so you may want to fast forward to catch the speeches from each of our statewide victors.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

My thoughts below the fold

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Continuing Advance Coverage

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

CPAC currently leads in the polls, and since I may otherwise be engaged this weekend, the Advance is looking out for me. However, that doesn’t mean an end to our continuing team coverage of RPV’s Advance this weekend. I’m working on plans for a correspondent during the event. Bella has volunteered, but unfortunately there’s no way for me to humanely get her there, and I have yet to discover a way to discreetly mike her, despite the large frame of your average Norwegian Forest cat. Not that I think that a cat would be out of place. This is the confab where there will be much discussion of the Grand Old Party’s new outreach to a wider swath of voters, and I can only assume that includes Feline Americans, given the “Cat Lovers for McDonnell” button I spotted on the trail (and still seek for my collection, FYI).

Ok, enough of my insane ramblings. On to my very real thoughts about the coming weekend. First, some background on the event. It was started by former Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Donald S. Huffman, who served from 1983 to 1992. The event is an annual gathering of Republican activists to both discuss the past election’s results (there’s one every year in Virginia) as well as to prepare for the coming year. One would think this of this as a retreat, right? Well, Huffman and the original organizers were of the mind that the GOP should never retreat but always “advance.”

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Last of the ’09 Victories

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

From up north, from stunning news from Nassau County, New York (better known to the TV watching populace as Long Island), one of the 10 richest in the country. From the New York Times (free subscription):

Nearly three weeks after Election Day, the recount in the race for Nassau County executive is expected to conclude on Monday. Edward P. Mangano, the Republican challenger, has a slight lead over the Democratic incumbent, Thomas R. Suozzi.

Although Mr. Suozzi held a 237-vote lead on election night, out of about 245,000 ballots cast, he has trailed Mr. Mangano since the recount began on Nov. 9. As of Wednesday, with all but a handful of the ballots counted, Mr. Suozzi trailed by 217 votes. Tallying was halted for Thanksgiving and will resume on Monday morning. But the results may not be conclusive.

Although the race certainly didn’t draw a great deal of national attention, the outcome is one to pay attention to as Republicans consider how they will win back the suburban voters they won in the 80’s and 90’s but dawdled away in the earlier part of this decade. As I mentioned earlier, Nassau is one of the ten richest counties in the country, putting it in that same lofty territory as Loudon, Prince William and Fairfax counties here in our own commonwealth. For the Virginia-centric, it is also analgous to Prince William to Fairfax. Just as with Prince William, Nassau was reliably red until the dawn of the tech age*. Nassau has seen its Republican State Senators erode, and county council control shifted to the Democrats. It went for Barrack Obama with 53%, lower than Prince William’s 57% for Obama but still a solid win.

Yet, this year, like Prince William, Nassau County has gone for a candidate (though by smaller margins) that ran on core Republican principles of cutting government waste, fixing tax problems, and generally efficient government. The same can be said for all of the aforementioned exurban counties, along with the urban county of Fairfax. If Republicans want to win in 2010 and 2012, there’s something to be said for the results in Nassau County and Virginia.

*Nassau went for Clinton in 1992 but just by a slim plurality. 1996 was the first year it went solidly for a Democrat, a trend it has continued since.

Some ’09 Bits and Pieces

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s some interesting stories and media about both the aftermath of the 2009 election season. First, the Richmond Times Dispatch on the brilliance of the McDonnell campaign. They note the importance of competence in a campaign. Just how can voters be expected to support someone who can barely manage their own effort to get elected:

The underlying problem for Deeds may have had little to do with strategy and tactics, however; at times the Deeds campaign appeared incompetent. Groups reported great frustration in trying to set up meetings and forums with Deeds. The candidate himself proved inept when working crowds. The Democrats dispatched mediocre surrogates to events where Deeds’ presence was required. Appointments that should have been scheduled in a day or two took several days or more.

The McDonnell effort never faltered. The candidate and his team stayed on message. If someone were to ask aides who would win the Notre Dame game, the snap answer would say, “Bob’s for jobs.” “Honey, what’s for breakfast?” “Bob’s for jobs.” And so on. McDonnell arrived early at breakfasts, lunches, and dinners — and lingered. He did not rehash old stories about setting out for college with $80 in his pocket but would address issues of immediate concern to his audience. He explained the state implications of Obama’s far-out agenda. His staff promptly returned calls and e-mails.

There’s also some commentary on the brilliant handling of the thesis issue, and notes that while Obama may have had some effect, ultimately campaigns matter.

Meanwhile, McDonnell’s ticket mate Ken Cuccinelli is getting to work. Also from the RTD:

Ken Cuccinelli sits at the head of an empty table in a large conference room at the Virginia attorney general’s office in Richmond — a fast-food cheeseburger in one hand and an open binder, thick with office briefings and organizational charts, in front of the other.
He intends to devour both.
As the attorney general-elect, Cuccinelli — a 41-year-old lawyer, fa ther of seven and Republican state senator from Fairfax County — inherits a statewide office formerly occupied by Bob McDonnell, who leveraged the high-profile post into a successful run for governor this fall.
“The first priority really is to get a team in place here that can continue, and we’re always seeking to improve the professional quality of the work done in the AG’s office,” Cuccinelli said.

The article also features praise from, of all people, Ken Willis, state director of the ACLU. It also features some of Ken’s trademark good humor and humility:

McDonnell, who turned the office over to Bill Mims in February to run for governor, said Cuccinelli has good people to work with in his old office.
Said Cuccinelli: “He emphatically told me I was getting a good office, by which he meant very knowledgeable and professional, very capable, doing a good job, even while struggling with the budget.
“He finished with: ‘Don’t screw it up,'” Cuccinelli added. “So I’ll try not to screw it up.”

Finally, via Bearing Drift, comes a remarkable video showing some of the hard work and dedication of people behind the scenes. It also features some heartwarming scenes of the Governor-elect himself being, well, a real person and the good natured, dedicated man that so many of us on the Victory staff were extremely proud to work for.

Mama Said Knock You Out

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

The Republican Governor’s Association met this week, and although the caucus may be at its nadir, holding only seats, the mood was rather celebratory, given the amazing wins in New Jersey and Virginia. However, although New Jersey was the tougher contest, it was Bob McDonnell and his blow out win that got the rock star treatment. McDonnell was lauded for both his tone:

“The focus should be on bread-and-butter, kitchen-table, quality-of-life issues,” said Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican who was this month elected governor of Virginia, a seat that had been held by a Democrat, and whose victory is being held up as a formula for Republican reconstruction. “I think that really helped us. We ended up with a two-to-one margin with independent voters because of our focus on the economic problems.”

And tactics:

“Looking at President Obama’s campaign last year, he did a phenomenal job using social media, Twitter, text messaging, any number of other things in order to reach people,” McDonnell said.
More than 30,000 supporters signed on as Facebook friends, and McDonnell aides said they worked to he site fresh and responsive to issues.

The campaign also spent 7.5% of its overall media budget on online advertising – a far higher portion than most political campaigns these days.

That included banner ads on Google, ads overlaying YouTube videos, and even a new tactic of targeting voters throughout the day with ads appearing on their screens at work in Washington, D.C., then later that night on their home computers in the suburbs.

“We bought banner ads on virtually every major site with a demographic that we were trying to reach with the independent voters,” McDonnell said. “You couldn’t go to those sites without having a popup with my name on it.”

A less visible piece of the online strategy came in the behind-the-scenes cultivation of conservative blogs, aides said.

A number of conservative blogs have focused on LL Cool J’s classic line “Don’t call it comeback,” but given this advice to the guvs:

“They are going to face Deeds’s problems, where they really have two options going into their re-election: Do they stand with Reid and Pelosi on issues like national health care and appease their base or do they stand with taxpayers in their states unhappy with this plan,” he said.

I think we should be focusing on the title of the song instead. The Govs races are going to take on a much different hue from the congressional races (with the possible exception of California, where conservatives are rallying around Steve Poizner over the media darling ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman), and the RGA is locked and loaded for action.

GOP Ticket Barnstorming through Valley

Bob McDonnell and the rest of the GOP team, along with Speaker Bill Howell and the newly minted RPV Chairman will be flying around the state on Monday, June 1st to show that Republicans are united and ready to spread their pragmatic, conservative message from Strasburg to Tappahannock and from Gate City to Fairfax.

The team will be stopping at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport just a little bit before noon. Make sure to be in the Airport Lobby by 11:45 A.M. so that we call all gather to greet our winning team. To RSVP either click here or email me at If you are interested in covering this event for a media outlet, please let me know.