Sunday, December 7, 2008

Playing chicken

The Virginia GOP met over the weekend at a very high priced coop, The Homestead, in Bath County. As expected, Jeff Frederick held on to his chairmanship, but that certainly doesn't mean all the hens are happy. The internal divisions remain sharp as some activists wonder if the divisive and often abrasive young chair can pull the party together in time for the 2009 elections. As Phil Cox, campaign manager for presumptive gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell said, “We can keep doing what we’re doing and we can keep losing.”
Apparently, there was no agreement on Frederick's "Statement of Republican Principles" that all candidates would have to sign to win party support. It sounds like a "loyalty oath" that would likely demand adherence to Frederick's and the ultra-conservatives' views. Hard to know exactly what the document includes and who supports or doesn't support it as the executive committee met behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, there was grousing about the cheap breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, blame for George W. Bush, the media, and others for Gilmore's crushing defeat, and conservative bloggers tilting the table for their guy for A.G., Ken Cuccinelli.
To the east in Charlottesville, that liberal hatchery, the Democratic Party of Virginia was meeting with a far more festive atmosphere. Announcements of inaugural events, smiles, cheers, pats on the back were all the order of the day.
Democrats are blessed with three (or two??) candidates for Governor. Creigh Deeds got moderate applause when he was introduced to speak, and some people had buttons for Brian Moran. Brian stayed in NOVA to attend a family function and was represented at the podium by a surrogate. Terry McAuliffe, who claims he is only exploring a run and will make a decision in early January, also spoke. For now, at least, everyone was friendly and spoke no evil of an opponent. But on NBC29 News a few rotten eggs were thrown when McAuliffe commented that the other two seemed "stuck in the legislature." Detractors called McAuliffe a "carpetbagger," said the DNC didn't make progress until it got rid of "his sorry fanny." A party activist from central Virginia urged McAuliffe to "go away." Cluck, Cluck- there will be broken eggs before we get to the June primary.
By the time the candidates for Lt. Governor, Jody Wagner and Jon Bowerbank, addressed the Democrats, folks were getting ready to wrap up the meeting - so their comments were short. Wagner seemed to have broad support in the room and many learned of her popcorn business, Jody's Popcorn. A blog named Coarse Cracked Corn is clearly impressed! There are rumors (and winks) that the state chair, Richard Cranwell, is considering jumping into the race. That might make for an interesting winter and spring as Wagner has already picked up a number of influential endorsements from Democrats.
Also speaking was candidate for Attorney General, John Fishwick, While many Democrats have heard of him, few know much about him. Vivian Page's blog takes a closer look.
Recited by various speakers were the stats from the election, many of which we've all heard before. First time Virginia has gone blue in a presidential race in 44 years, first time we had two Democratic Senators since the early 70s... the long list of accomplishments of '08 is indeed impressive (and depressing to GOP birds). A few other interesting tidbits - Mark Warner carried all but six localities (a couple of them here in the Valley). Obama improved upon Kerry's percentages in almost every locality. Several Democratic congressional candidates raised more money in their races than Jim Gilmore was able to raise for a statewide race.
On to '09 and kicking the right wing GOP out of one of their last roosts for blocking progress in Virginia - the House of Delegates.

1 comment:

Riley Murray said...

hey Belle Rose -- I promoted your DPVA report on the Blue Commonwealth front page