Friday, November 15, 2013

Racist or NOT Racist?

Sometimes an old community stereotype just won't go away. Kind of like the hateful stereotypes inherent in racism that are all too often part of American society.

A WHSV/TV3 story about the juxtaposition of Halloween and the KKK in Craigsville, Virginia gets examined (at 2:00) in The Daily Show's "Racist or NOT Racist" segment that aired on November 13.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hometown boy?

"It ain't over till it's over," but the daily shifts in the unofficial vote tally in the attorney general's contest now has Mark Herring up by 117 votes. Mark Obenshain may wish he'd made a few more friends in his hometown - he lost Harrisonburg by 186.

Electoral boards have until the end of today to certify votes including provisional ballots. WTOP reports that on Friday the GOP dominated State Electoral Board pushed through a change in procedures used in Fairfax County that may mean most of the 400+ provisional ballots will not be counted. It would ban legal representatives from acting on behalf of a voter unless that voter is present - it is highly unlikely many will be able to show up and protect their vote. The Fairfax Electoral Board disagrees with the change but will comply. Mark Herring carried Fairfax with 61% of the vote.

Then let the recounts and challenges about uncounted ballots begin. It is likely both Marks will keep talking turkey over Thanksgiving but only one will get an early Christmas gift when all the counting and recounting finally wraps up sometime in December.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Classless Act

I'm a loser.
Apparently Ken Cuccinelli has no plans to make the traditional congratulatory call to the winner in the Virginia gubernatorial contest, Terry McAuliffe. The Cooch lost the race by 2.5% or about 55,000 votes.

Even the most bitter rival meet on the field and shake hands - loser congratulating winner even though it rips the soul. It is the right thing to do. Cuccinelli lost on Tuesday and his lack of class shows he is a loser as a human being, too. Virginian's should hope this is the last we see or hear of him.

Over 70% of my precinct voted for the three Repugs. Gives me reason to pause and reflect. Love thy neighbor as thyself only goes so far.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Terry McAuliffe almost blew it

Terry McAuliffe will be the next governor of Virginia but he almost let a sure thing slip away during the last couple of weeks. In doing do, he likely hurt both his statewide running mates, especially attorney general candidate Mark Herring who will have a fight to survive a recount. What are some of the factors that cut what looked like a comfortable 6-8% margin of victory down to about 2.5%? And what can Democrats learn from a near collapse that, if the election were held a week later, could have turned the Commonwealth into a bitter tea party? My foggy brained analysis after counting and recounting absentee votes until after 2:00 a.m on Wed morning:
  • Terry McAuliffe was never able to shake the label of "outsider" or "carpetbagger" and by bringing in Bill Clinton for a statewide tour he reinforced that image among independents and energized Republicans. I'm all in favor of bringing in political heavyweights to fire up the base, but beware of unintended consequences in a campaign's closing days.
  • With the right wing media bashing, and the mainstream media questioning, the rollout of ObamaCare, was it the right thing to bring the president and vice president to the state for campaign appearances? I think not. All that did was, in the minds of some voters, to tie McAuliffe to questions about the competency of government and to link him more with Washington than Richmond. Again, McAuliffe's campaign brought more Republicans out to vote and got many independents questioning him just as it was time to cast votes.
  • Terry McAuliffe we hardly know you! At some point voters want to make a personal connection that establishes trust. Negative campaigns tarnish everybody - voters need at least a few positive reasons to support a candidate rather than simply voting against the other guy. Beyond the Democratic diehards, McAuliffe never succeeded in building that relationship. Perhaps McAuliffe should have taken a page from the Obenshain playbook and given his family a greater role in explaining Terry "the father and the man" to voters.
  • I never thought a minor party candidate would garner double digits like some pre-election polls indicated. I wondered if, come election day and crunch time in the voting booth, more than 5-6% of the voters would decide to "send a message" or "waste a vote." Sarvis, with few resources or recognition, ran a pretty good campaign and aired some compelling TV ads but in the end about half of his "support" drained away, with most going to Cuccinelli.
Virginia was lucky to dodge the disaster that a Governor Cuccinelli would have inflicted on this fine Commonwealth. Now Governor Terry McAuliffe needs to build and mend the bridges that he failed to build and mend in the campaign.
Oh, I've got that day after the election "what if" hangover.  ~Bill Bolling