2008: A Year in Review
A week away from the new year, some people prefer to look at the year in review. I prefer to look at next year in review. Without further ado, I present to you, in roughly chronological order, the top ten political events of next year:
1) Despite a push for a total repeal, the abuser fees are scaled back significantly to just cover DUI’s and reckless driving. The novelty of posting sob stories of “victims” of this “draconian law” who just happened to be going 60 MPH in a 35 zone will soon fade, and most people will forget it exists.
2) Governor Kaine’s budget faces significant hurdles in the House of Delegates due to the sources of funding, which include raiding the transportation lockbox, despites promises to the opposite, as well as investing $20K into playing the state lottery, hoping for a Mega-millions jackpot. Kaine compromises on a scaled-back version of his bill, largely eliminating the government-sponsored health insurance he proposed.
3) Austin Roberts (R) narrowly defeats Albert Pollard (D) in a special election in the 99th to take over Congressman Rob Wittman’s old seat in the House of Delegates.
4) Tom Davis announces he is not running for re-election; Tim Hugo and Keith Fimian announce they will seek the GOP nomination to replace him; Hugo cruises to an easy victory. On the Democratic side, Gerry Connolly announces he’ll seek the seat. Doubts about Connolly’s ethics causes him to split the non-moonbat vote with Doug Denneny, allowing Leslie Byrne to come away with an underwhelming victory for the nomination.
5a) Fairfax City holds their general elections in May, much to the surprise of Fairfax residents. Roger Federer (?) is re-elected Mayor. (Since I promised the top ten events, I’ll only count this as half.)
5b) Jim Webb is leaked to be on the short list for VP for Hillary Clinton, but when Clinton officials realize that no one in Virginia really likes Webb that much, and (assuming this conversation takes place in March ’08) that his 23 months total of public service makes his claims of “experience” even more laughable than Hillary’s, they quickly move onto better options. Jim Webb then angrily challenges Mark Penn to an arm-wrestling match; Penn declines, while backing away slowly as if to not make any sudden moves.
6) Brian Moran announces he’s running for Governor, setting up a primary battle with Creigh Deeds. Meanwhile, Bill Bolling also announces he’s running for Governor. The spotlight is short-lived when George Allen announces his political comeback by also announcing he’s running for Governor. Bolling then re-considers his bid and runs for re-election as Lt. Governor.
7) Jim Gilmore easily defeats Bob Marshall at the Republican nominating convention; on the same day, Mark Warner holds a rally in Hampton Roads and attract more people to the rally than the number of people that vote in the convention. Throughout the campaign, Gilmore attacks Mark Warner hard; Warner, who doesn’t need to respond, continues to act above the fray, causing Gilmore to attack him harder, at times reaching Jerry Kilgore levels of ridiculousness.
Ken Cuccinelli, on account of his young family (including his newborn daughter) declines to run for Attorney General in 2009, while not ruling out a statewide bid in the future.
9) Election Day! Hillary Clinton, despite campaigning several times and spending millions of dollars in the state, loses Virginia. Thelma Drake, facing token opposition, wins re-election in the 2nd district. In the 10th, Judy Feder out-raises and out-spends Frank Wolf, only to increase the her margin of loss by less than five points, from 16 points in 2006, with Wolf once again being easily re-elected. Tim Hugo barely squeaks out a victory over Leslie Byrne in the 11th district. Jim Gilmore celebrates his victory to the United States Senate, before remembering that one must winÂ more votes than your opponent, not less, and realizes his 39% of the vote probably doesn’t cut it.
10) State Sen. Chap Peterson, after deciding that a year in office was, quote, “probably enough”, announces he’s running for Lt. Governor again in 2009.