As we luxuriate in the swelling lack of attention to the Democratic Primary today, a few things come to mind.
Republicans do not let Republican friends vote in Democratic primaries
Although my first vote was a youthful one cast for Henry Howell in the 1977 Democratic Primary, age and experience have taught me that no real good comes from crossing over in a year like this. The GOP picked their guys, let the Dems pick theirs, and then may the best candidates win in the fall. This course-which forces each side to pick the candidates THEY want, and then have those picked candidates champion their positions in the fall-ensures the public gets a clear view of that each party wants to say and how they want to be represented.
Traditionally candidates for office campaign. Hence, I do not understand the nearly complete absence of Jody Wagner in the campaign. As a longstanding Democratic cabinet member if there is anyone who can carry on the Warner-Kaine legacy, it should be her. Of course, that legacy is lack of transparency in budget negotiations, failure to account for funds, failure to offer fresh leadership…Oh, now I understand the nearly complete absence.
I keep seeing lots of signs for McAuliffe and WaPo for Deeds signs…a few for Mike Signer…and almost none for Brian Moran.
The Poster Boy…
I think we are seeing that regardless of what happens today that the real poster boy for the Virginia Democratic Party is…Brian Moran. Moran ran this year seeming to think that he was owed the nomination as the dutiful leader of the Dems in the HOD, and that he could easily get past Brother Deeds without offering a record of substantive legislative accomplishment or ideas to address pressing state issues, instead hoping the House GOP would implode and he would be handed power on a plate. In fact, Moran apparently thought he could do so and avoid questions about why he was unable to make his ideas policy. Now its primary day and the Dutiful Son may run 3rd of three.
I think what whomever the Democrats select this year is going to have that same problem. You cannot hold the governors chair for eight years without substantive achievement simply by blaming the other party. The Democrats and their leadership in both houses have preferred to sit back and let the GOP implode in intra-party squabbles rather than offer up their own ideas-and let them get beat-so as to create a contrasting record. Governor Warner misrepresented the need for the 2004 tax increase, and Governor Kaine has regularly and willingly taken on positions in office that are contrary to what he campaigned on in 2005.
We shall see what the electorate thinks of all this in November…but for now, we may be seeing in the Moran implosion a rumble of what is waiting in Democrats who run in November as the heir to the Mark and Tim show…