A Blow to Virginia Punditry

Barnie Day could infuriate me like no other columnist. That was the beauty of his punditry: He elicited sharp reactions. He is arguably the most gifted polemicist at work in Virginia today: alternately tart, sentimental and incredibly funny. Even when he skewered me, I usually had to laugh. It’s a darn shame that he’s giving up punditry for a higher calling.

Said Barnie in an e-mail sent out today:

After some thought, I have decided that I will write no more on Virginia politics and public policy. Henceforth, I am going to devote what word energies and sensibilities I have to 2-3 longer projects that have nothing to do with politics, policy, or even Virginia. A few years ago I agreed to write 12 commentaries for the Roanoke Times. Some 200 pieces later, I think I’ve said about enough—and maybe too much. Many of these pieces missed their mark and landed in that territory marked “vacuous, cheap, mean-spirited, lazy, and worse,” and I apologize for them. To everyone who carried these commentaries, or passed them along in one way or another, and to all of you who were so kind as to read them, I thank you. There remains the need in Virginia for a wide and varied discourse on public matters and I hope you will continue to add your unique talents and voices to the fray as you see fit. Merry Christmas.

Barnie, we will miss you. And we wish you well in your new endeavors.

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6 responses to “A Blow to Virginia Punditry”

  1. vasportsmen Avatar

    I had dealings with Barnie during his tenure in the GA and while we were often on opposite sides of matters under discussion, he was always a gentleman and understood it was politics and not personal (unlike one or two of the RINOS in the Senate). I will miss his commentary. I have to wonder though; does this mean Kaine is about to make him an offer Barnie can’t refuse?

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Barnie is a gifted writer and he always made me think. Sure, we disagreed plenty and occasionally called each other names, but when I argued with him, this minor leaguer knew I was going up against one of the best.

    I’m sorry to see him go, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    “Many of these pieces missed their mark and landed in that territory marked “vacuous, cheap, mean-spirited, lazy, and worse,” and I apologize for them.”

    When I read this I at first thought it was written by the Blue Dog. But then I realized that it said “many” instead of “most.”

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Just when some of us in southside finally had a person from this area who can speak and write for us, poof he vanishes. Barnie has a lot to give the state, and I hope that he would consider taking the gig as Executive Director of the Virginia Tobacco Commission. Barnie’s commonsense approach, banking and finance experience, and expertise in local government make him uniquely suited to lead this equally unique state agency.

  5. I'm Not Emeril Avatar
    I’m Not Emeril

    I will miss Barnie’s commentary. Although he and I are polar opposites politically, the man can write! Once a week or so he even managed to make the Roanoke Times almost worth it’s 50 cent cost.

  6. Barnie is the best! He’s gone, but not forgotten. He’s a good Democrat.

    And yes, anonymous, it’s probably ‘many’ instead of ‘most’ of the columns.

    But who’s counting?

    ~ the blue dog

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