Endorsement Mania, Sour Grapes, and Ring the Bell

Recent endorsements in Virginia have sent the chattering class to doing that which they do best-chatter.  Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET and supporter of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine endorsed GOP nominee Bob McDonnell, while Creigh Deeds got the endorsement of former GOP legislators Russ Potts, John Chichester, Marty Williams, Brandon Bell, Katherine Waddell, Warren Barry, Jim Dillard, and Panny Rhodes…which leads to the discussion of which endorsement is of more value.

As a general matter, I don’t know how much ooomph endorsments have-sometimes it just seems like so muchinside baseball.  I do think an endorsment that brings something new to the table, that brings someone new to your side, clearly has more power to it.  To have someone like Ms. Johnson, someone who supported the two previous democratic gubernatorial candidates and is also a member of demographics that have not been GOP friendly recently, has to be counted as a big gain for Mr. McDonnell.

Senator Deeds on the other hand gets the endorsements of the sour grapes crowd, who serve the same purpose now as Linwood Holton did in the 1980’s.  These are men and women elected on the GOP ticket who, when they don’t get all they wanted, bail.  It is an eclectic bunch, but all have an axe to grind.  Their endorsements really are far more personal than they are political.  Potts and Chichester could have worked for change in the legislature, but instead chose to demand things be done their way and without compromise…and when they didn’t get their way bailed.  Waddell won a house seat on a plurality, then got whomped the next time around.  Williams and Bell lost reelection primaries and want their ton of flesh.  Barry’s son is a Democrat and Sheriff of Fairfax County.  Dillard stepped down and was succeeded by his chief aide, who was elected to the House as a Democrat.  Panny Rhodes is the one I get most-she was targeted by Jim Gilmore in 1999, beat back the primary effort against her, then got gerrymandered out of her seat due to ideology and grudge from Gilmore.  Yep, seeing a lot of real surprise independent support here.

But the oddest choice is Brandon Bell.  He is from one of the stronger GOP sections of the Commonwealth, and in backing Deeds certainly has forfeited whatever party pull he had.  Yet somehow he thinks folks believe him when he says he is backing Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli.

Yeah, right.


4 thoughts on “Endorsement Mania, Sour Grapes, and Ring the Bell

  1. Bwana:
    My only comment is that some of these endorsements does cause some to wonder. I agree of all, Ms Johnson’s endorsement of McDonnell probably gives him the bigger advantage – at this point- however, like you said most of these are really inside baseball. Take care Bwana,


  2. Bwana, I know I confuse a lot of people but my choice of Criegh was out of character not ideology. I am absolutely supporting Bolling and Cuccinelli. Bolling remains a good friend and while I might have some issues with Cuccinelli, he does know the law and would make a good AG.

    I learned a important lesson from a great man Hunter Andrews. He once told me that it is good to vote with your party but always put Virginia first. That is what I did.

  3. I know I am hard to figure out but my choice for Governor was made purely on character not ideology. I have had a unique opportunity to work with both men. I am further unencumbered by being in political office and “being required” to support the nominee.

    I am supporting Bolling and Cuccinelli. Bill and I are good friends and I trust him for another term as LG. While I have some issues with Ken I believe he will make a good AG.

  4. Pingback: Ring the Bell…but what of Character? « Renaissance Ruminations

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