There is little surprise that Amy “Pulitzer” Gardner has not followed up her reporting on Bob McDonnell’s thesis with a similar in-depth report on Creigh Deeds 1999 campaign advertisement where (as reported in the Weekly Standard blog on 9.9.2009) Mr. Deeds makes assertions and espouses positions on domestic partnerships that coming from a GOP candidate would be labled homophobic.
The WaPo has never backed away from its anti-GOP stance, even to the point where in 2006 it’s own ombudsman condemned the slanted coverage of the Allen-Webb U.S. Senate campaign. What is interesting is how nuanced their decision is…and how it reveals how far the WaPo will go to protect its candidate of choice.
Some might welcome (as did a Deeds partisan here) a WaPo review of all the pertinent past comments of both candidates, confident Deeds would show up better in the comparison.
Ah, but the WaPo knows the truth. The paper is not going to run the story. They don’t want to do anything to impact the Ms. Gardner’s Pulitzer dreams, and they realize that no matter how fair and balanced it would be to run the story (even with massive spinning) it would do two things:
1. Continue to unsettle Northern Virginia Dems, Tidewater Dems, and national liberal contributors who are already uncertain about how liberal Deeds truly is on certain issues, and remind them he is not the consistent liberal they like to see.
2. Remind voters across Northern Virgina that not only has Deeds focused his campaign on social issues and not on front burner issues like jobs and transportation, but that he has a fondness for any issue that will get him elected and a general commitment to none. In 1999, he campaigned saying he saw no reason for special rights for gays. In 2006 he opposed an amendment to the Virginia constitution that banned gay marriage, but then in 2009 (now a candidate for governor) he comes out against gay marriage because marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Abraham Lincoln said “I have little respect for a man who is no wiser today than he was yesterday”. I think we all understand folks changing their positions, but there is a difference between evolving positions and those who change positions purely for short term political advantage.
A fairly written article would report not only what he said in 1999, but would reveal his commitment to expediency. While running in a conservative delegate district-Creigh Deeds slides right on an issue. Deeds then moved left in preparing to run for governor in 2006, but after getting the nomination moves right on the same type of issue in 2009s.
This position hopping is done by the same candidate who won’t offer a transportation plan until after he is elected so as to not “poison” relations with the General Assembly. This position hopping is done the same candidate who prides himself on the number of spending bills he has submitted, but will not say how he plans to fund all these ideas.
This commitment to expediency will shine full out in such a WaPo article-and that is why it won’t come out. The paper is not just against McDonnell, but it will jettison journalistic fairness to protect Creigh Deeds from himself.
God Bless the WaPo. Someone has to protect Creigh Deeds from a full out public revelation that the Creigh Dees sincerely backs any issue that he thinks will win him the governorship-regardless how inconsistent it may be with previous positions he thought he had to take to win the governorship.