Monday, November 2, 2009

Up a Creigh Without a Paddle

Here in Ole Virginny, our governors cannot succeed themselves. As a result, we (or more like a third of "we," since turnout in these things is so low) will be choosing a new Governor tomorrow. The winner inherits a weak economy but a legacy of eight years of very sound management. (This is where I get a little partisan, but don't worry, I'll skewer both.) So, the Republican, Bob McDonnell, looks like the likely winner. He'll have four years to do for the Commonwealth what his fellow Republicans did for (or "to") the country.

Sadly, the Democratic candidate, Creigh Deeds, has run a disastrous campaign. Whatever best practices were developed by the Obama campaign last year, he didn't learn. (At least he hired Obama's graphic designer to make the T-shirts and signs.) He came through a tough primary where he fought off a challenge from much better-funded candidates, so you would hope he would understand things like messaging. But he tended to focus more on the fact that McDonnell wrote a thesis in which he said that women don't belong in the workplace (which is disturbing indeed)--and didn't do anything to show that he himself was a progressive candidate.

The kicker is that after the 2008 campaigns, when we learned how important it is to use a huge group of supporters to carry a message and a program through every facet of media (print, TV, and all the forms of social media) -- the Deeds campaign hasn't done any of that. In fact, I called the campaign to volunteer, to which they responded with total tone deafness. It took two weeks to get a call back from them, upon which I said that I didn't have time to canvass or work the polls, but could make calls from home. They never got back to me about that, but did invite me to work the polls.

And then there's Deed's Twitter feed. The only content he's provided has detailed what is on his playlist. Now, I'm delighted that I share his taste in music, but I'd much rather that he use his limited time and money to send substantive information through his social media work. Like what policies he would implement, how to volunteer, how to register to vote, and so on. Like his opponent.

And to top it off, when I mentioned this to the campaign worker who called me about volunteering (which I said I wasn't able to do), she said she didn't know much about Twitter or Facebook. And she was younger than I was.

Tomorrow is going to be a disaster for the Democrats, but the Republicans learned very well from last year. It's enough to make me start referring to the Democratic party without the "ic."

So, we'll have divided government again in Virginia. Jody Wagner looks like she's in a good spot, we have two Democratic senators, and the balance doesn't look to change significantly in the legislature in Richmond. But it's a shame, if you're a Democrat.

Anyway, it's time for me to go get the evening underway, and to watch the Yankees try to claim their 27th world championship. (I used to hang out around here, years ago.)


  1. Nice blog here. This was really interesting to read especially coming from a person who is a native of D.C. I'm also very interested in world and national issues. I could really use some ideas for my blog. If you could, could you please give me some political topics that I could talk about?

  2. Deeds' campaign has been invisible. It's rare to see or hear an ad for him, whereas McDonnell has been all over the airways and internet: McDonnell ads were on Kos and TPM today. He conduct a great, if dishonest campaign, moving to the center (which apparently has a lot of folks fooled) when he's likely govern from the right. Between him and Cuccinelli, you guys are screwed!

  3. On blogging ideas--as with any other kind of writing (but even more so), blogging is about giving voice to what you feel. I have a running list of ideas and subjects that I want to write about. These involve all sorts of subjects.

    But as you alluded to, the angle I try to take is that I'm from Washington and have (I hope) perspective on the city through my work and just living here that other people don't. And that's what I'll try to write about.

  4. Thank you so much. And thanks for following my blog. I agree with writing what you feel. It really makes the reading more personal. I think showing personality is also key in writing. Though I'm not from D.C., I feel very stongly about world political issues and if I show my perspecitive, it gives me a chance to say things to the world which I would not normally be able to say with close people and friends. I believe writing a blog( or anything else) and recieving feedback is great becuase not only do I write my point of view, other people can write theirs. Thanks again.