Devastating: WSJ says White House “steps back” from VA
In my estimation, this is the worst development yet for Creigh Deeds. The lede of the Wall Street Journal:
The White House is stepping back from lending its heft to a bellwether gubernatorial race in Virginia, party strategists say, seeking to conserve its political capital and avoid close association with a candidate who might lose.
Ouch. A few paragraphs later:
After one appearance earlier this year, Mr. Obama hasn’t committed to any further engagements in the state, despite repeated requests by the campaign of Virginia state Senator Creigh Deeds. Mr. Obama will make a second appearance on behalf of New Jersey Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine, on a date yet to be announced.
Double ouch. Creigh Deeds still has Mark Warner and the Washington Post, but the deck is increasingly being stacked against him: Sheila Johnson, the NRA, and every single business group endorsing McDonnell; the Wilder non-endorsement; and now this.
It’s worth noting exactly how far Deeds has deviated from the campaign model of Warner and Kaine he pledges to follow. Where they de-emphasized social issues, Deeds has made it the centerpiece of his campaign. Where they pledged no tax increases (and quickly betrayed the electorate once elected), Deeds has wedded himself to tax hikes. Where they were able to get business support, Deeds has received none and is instead embraced by unions. Where Warner was able to get votes in rural Virginia and Kaine was able to run up margins in Richmond and NoVa, Deeds seems unable to do either.
With Bob McDonnell, we have our best candidate and our best opportunity in over a decade; let’s get out there, keep the pressure up, and make sure we bring this home.