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I have a curse (“several, actually” – spouse). Having spent a great deal of my career in political campaigns – some 35 US Senate and House campaigns in 25 states over 3 decades, plus supporting dozens more, I have a political lens that I instinctively apply to major events. How is this going to affect an upcoming election?
Even President Biden’s most ardent cheerleaders in the media are rediscovering their petrified journalistic roots and are criticizing not only a decision for US troops to leave Afghanistan – Donald Trump already put those gears in motion – but the horrifically incompetent and ham-handed manner in which Joe Biden followed through.
There’s plenty written and broadcast elsewhere about just how bad Biden personally screwed things up. In quick summary, he withdrew contractors who made the Afghan military’s planes fly. He refused to provide intel, reconnaissance, logistical, and other support as Trump had promised. He did so during the height of “fighting season” (weather matters) in Afghanistan while sending signals that we were hightailing it out of the country. He ignored or rejected expert advice from the intelligence community and his generals.
It was 25th Amendment bad. And then he doubled down on his bad judgment and delusion in a disastrous nationally televised address.
But you know who is defecating boulders right now over the Biden disaster, and more to come? One Terry McAuliffe, the smarmy and unctuous former governor, New York native, Clinton bag man, and life-long political hack who is campaigning for his old job back. This fall. Against Republican Glenn Youngkin. I learned a long time ago that what campaign operations do may affect, at best, maybe 3% of the vote. The political environment does more to drive the vote than anything. Just ask Barack Obama in 2008, or Ronald Reagan in 1980. Just ask House Republicans in 1994 or 2010, or House Democrats in 2008 and again in 2018.
Think about what the fall political environment is going to look like for McAuliffe and Youngkin. Biden just lost our second war in American history in an embarrassing fashion. House and Senate Democrats are going to be debating a $3.5-4 Trillion tax and spending package – all fall – that has unified Republicans in strong opposition.
The southern border is a mess and Democrats will push to include a massive illegal alien amnesty provision as part of their FY22 budget.
Meanwhile, Virginia is completing 8 years of Democratic rule that features a Governor in black face or a KKK hood – you decide – with a dramatically rising crime rate. Oh, and did you note the organic growth of interest in school boards over neo-racism (CRT) being imposed on public schools? Where did it begin? Loudoun County, Virginia.
Sure, demographic trends favor Democrats a bit – downstate GOP leaning counties are not growing, while northern Virginia, drawn by government spending, continues to grow. But recent elections have been really close. Ed Gillespie was almost my governor four years ago, and my Senator six-plus years ago. Ken Cucinelli, then attorney general, very narrowly lost to McAuliffe 8 years ago.
So McAuliffe will soon discover the hurricane headwinds of being a left-wing Democrat with a diminished and incompetent president leading his party, and kooks even to his left (hard to imagine!) pushing crazy policies that will destroy Virginia businesses and send inflation through the roof.
You may ask, what do national and international events have to do with elections for governor in Virginia? While Youngkin is running a Virginia-focused campaign – as he should – keep in mind what voters will be thinking as they look to “send a message.” As soon, and as loudly, as they can.
Youngkin’s final campaign ad – his closing message – is looking rather simple at this point. “Don’t just send them a message. Send them a governor.” Such a message taps the gusher of voter sentiment without “nationalizing” the race. He should also offer to pay for Joe Biden to campaign downstate for Terry McAuliffe. After all, McAuliffe is trying to tie Donald Trump around Glenn Youngkin. He should return the favor.
Fun times! Even New Jersey’s Jack Ciatterelli may benefit (the GOP gubernatorial candidate in the other state having elections this fall).
I am so looking forward to November 2 this year. Happy to be a Virginia voter once again.Published in