Tim Kaine Hedging His Bets on Deeds?
At the end of his coverage of the latest Rasmussen, Waynesboro County Committee Chairman Chris Graham posts what he’s hearing as a Democratic unit chairman:
“The bad poll news comes on the heels of a story circulating in Democratic circles today that the Democratic National Committee is reportedly holding on to its $5 million financial commitment to the Deeds campaign out of concern that the Deeds campaign has focused too much of its attention on the controversial Bob McDonnell 1989 grad-school thesis setting out a hardline social-conservative political agenda for his budding political career and not enough on putting down a framework for what a Deeds administration would do for Virginia.”
The obvious implications are huge: If the RNC keeps its $7 million commitment, McDonnell’s cash advantage could grow from $2 million-and-change to more than three times that, which will help not only on television but investment in the ground game both sides agree will be key to winning or losing. Furthermore, it represents a two-fold vote of “no confidence” in Creigh Deeds’ campaign, and indeed in Deeds’ own ability to communicate a message or even to govern.
The more interesting implications of this move are Chairman Kaine’s role in all of this. Obviously, he takes his DNC marching orders from the White House, so the question is: Did Tim Kaine fight for a continued investment in Creigh Deeds, or was Kaine the voice-in-the-ear that prompted this decision?
It also raises an interesting question about Barack Obama’s potential involvement in the campaign. Thus far, Obama has taken a cautious approach to using his political capital in races like NY-20 and the New Jersey Governor’s race. Obviously he has participated somewhat on behalf of Deeds, but if the Obama-controlled DNC bails on the race, what are the chances of Obama committing any more effort?
Bob Holsworth wrote a few days ago in his list of ten reasons why both sides think they’ll win: “4. Obama will make voters forget the Wilder betrayal”. Can the Creigh Deeds campaign generate the kind of African-American turnout necessary to win without Doug Wilder and without Barack Obama? I have my doubts.
This is just a rumor, from one unit chairman in one part of the commonwealth, and decisions like these are never set in stone. But if the rumor holds up, in part or in whole, $5 million represents a lot of missing voter contacts, which could have significant ramifications from the top of the ticket all the way down. Keep your eye on this story.