Bolling vs. Byrne

If first you don’t succeed…

Well, I’m going to try to stir the pot for a second time.

The Washington Post reported, Bill Bolling said, “I look forward to competing against my opponent, Ms. Byrne,’ Bolling said in his usual conversational style. ‘And I want to encourage her to invite the candidate for president that she championed in 2004, Howard Dean, to Virginia, to campaign by her side. We hope she does that.”

When Leslie Byrne co-chair the 2004 Howard Dean for President campaign in Virginia, she wrote a Washington Post letter-to-the-editor stating her objections to the war in Iraq:

Is Leslie Byrne an asset, or a liability for Gubernatorial candidate Tim Kaine and Attorney General candidate Creigh Deeds?

~the blue dog

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  1. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    If the past is prelude, the strategies of both the Kaine and Kilgore campaigns are predictable. The Kaine camp will paint Bolling as an out-of-touch, right-wing lunatic. The Kilgore camp will paint Byrne as an out-of-touch, left-wing radical. Opposition researchers will dredge up the most extreme statements that either candidate has ever made and send out alarming mailers to the electorate.

    “Bill Bolling wants to cut education spending for your child!!!”

    “Leslie Byrne wants your daughter to have an abortion!!!”

    Both candidates will studiously avoid discussing the issues that really matter–how will Virginians maintain their economic competitiveness in a global economy? How do we create more liveable communities? How do we meet core state obligations — transportation, education, Medicaid — without raising taxes? How do we improve the quality of Virginia’s health care system? How do we protect Virginia’s environment?

  2. Jim:

    This is exactly why it makes me angry that party primaries benefit the ideologues. The status quo. The already converted.

    Chap/Connaughton had some fresh ideas. Or at least they weren’t a paleo liberal/cookie cutter conservative. But the respective parties wouldn’t nominate them because of lack of pragmatism.

  3. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Paul: I guess I don’t understand your argument. I live in PWC, and I listened to the campaign. From what Chairman Sean said, he’s a tax cutter and a believer that the government shouldn’t provide access to porn through its libraries (both points I agree with, BTW, if they’re practiced).

    Now, I know from my tax bill that he was lying (up 50-60% in five years) about the former, but by your standard applied to his rhetoric, he campaigned as a “cookie cutter conservative.”

    Sorry, just can’t synthesize “pragmatism” with that campaign rhetoric, or with the notion that it’s “pragmatic” to soak the taxpayers for even more. “Pragmatic” strikes me as just shorthand for “willingness to compromise fundamental principles” or, perhaps more accurately, “lacking accord with the principles of the party from which you seek political benefit.”

  4. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Heaven forbid that voters realize that it doesn’t matter what the Lt. Governor supports or doesn’t support, or whether he or she is a lunatic at either end of the spectrum, at least until 2009.

    Unfortunately, guilt by association is such a fun and efficient substitute for boring policy comparisons.

  5. James Young Avatar
    James Young

    Again, I’m having trouble synthsizing, Will Vehrs. How does the suggestion that the LG nominees are “lunatic[s]” qualifies as “passionate but civil debate”?

    I wouldn’t say that even about Leslie Byrne.

    And BTW, Paul, I really liked Chap!’s “fresh idea” to open six gubernatorial campaign … er, LG’s offices around the state at taxpayer expense.

  6. Sorrel Avatar

    To answer the short question posed in the post:Leslie Byrne is a huge liability for Kaine statewide, and won’t help him all that much even in Northern Virginia, with the possible exception of some areas of Arlington and Alexandria, areas that he would carry in any event. Kaine is probably hoping for some sort of Groundhog Day phenomenon where he’ll finally wake up and find he has someone else as his LG

  7. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    James, I’m not suggesting Byrne or Bolling is a lunatic; I was paraphrasing Jim’s first comment about how they’ll be painted.

    I’ve got to work on my style.

  8. criticallythinking Avatar

    Senator Bolling isn’t some guy the anti-tax crusaders dug up and forced through the primaries. He has served the public in elected positions for a long time now. He is a sitting Senator for what, 10 years? That means that in a significant sized population in this state, a majority of the voters have chosen him as a representative.

    I suppose one could argue that that particular senatorial district is filled with people who would vote for a far-right fanatic, but you’d have to explain why all those lunatic-lovers moved into one place just to vote for a right-wing whack job.

    ON THE other hand, Leslie Byrne WAS elected to congress, for one term — then she was found I presume to be either so ineffective, or so liberal, that fairfax county rejected her for Tom Davis (I sure hope my history is right here).

    While Bolling is certainly conservative, he has proven he is electable (and not just in a house race, but a senate race).

    I can’t speak to why the hundred or so democrats who bothered to vote (:->) chose Byrne over a “sensible” alternative.

    I can speculate that on the republican side, given men running on a platform of “I’m more conservative than he is”, voters chose the conservative who had been running longer and had the better organization.

    Ever dream that a strong conservative and a strong liberal could actually debate ISSUES? I think that would be MUCH better for us than having two barely off-center candidates trying to paint their opponents off the mainstream.

    Charles R.

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