More on the Accent Flap: How Kilgore Put 2 and 2 Together

Blogger “Tom” found a transcript of the Jerry Kilgore radio spot that inspired charges from the Kilgore camp that the lieutenant governor is “mocking” his Southwest Virginia accent. Here’s the relevant portion of what the ad said:

“I’m Tim Kaine and I’m running for Governor. If I have something to say I’m not afraid to say it myself. But Jerry Kilgore has been making things up about me and letting slick radio announcers do his dirty work. Virginia deserves a leader who says what he believes himself. …

What’s so offensive about that? It reads to me as if Kaine were criticizing Kilgore for hurling charges at him while distancing himself personally from the actual accusations. Sounds like fair game to me. What, then set off the Kilgore camp? I received this response from J. Tucker Martin, Kilgore’s deputy press secretary:

The Kaine campaign may be many things, but they aren’t dumb when it comes to how to spread a risky political attack. Quite simply, they know better than to just flat out say “Kilgore talks funny” and leave it like that. Their strategy is one that builds on several levels, and with the hope that no one will be able to put 2 and 2 together. Honestly I think they have significantly underestimated the press and the public’s ability to see through the lines.

How have they done this? Easy. On one hand they air an ad specifically commenting on the absence of Jerry Kilgore’s voice. Then on the other they launch an attack site, jerrytheduck, that includes a soundbite of Jerry Kilgore. Why is this important? Because the ostensible purpose of that website is to highlight Jerry Kilgore’s seeming disinterest in debates (a completely incorrect assertion that I will leave for another time). So why include a soundbite of Jerry Kilgore taken FROM A DEBATE between Kilgore and Kaine in 2003? That soundbite, on its face, would seem to undercut the entire point of the website. The fact that it is there, and highlighted, demonstrates that there must be another purpose. That purpose is evident when one combines the radio ad with the website.

Futhermore, any member of the Richmond press corps can attest to the jokes and off the record comments made by the Kaine campaign and its surrogates when it comes to Jerry Kilgore’s accent. Combine that with the posts found on the Kaine echo chamber blogs, and you have a completely coordinated and craven attempt to demean Jerry Kilgore’s native accent for political points. Just like most political rumor mills, you will not find one smoking gun. You have to put the pieces together. Larry Sabato has had no problem doing this, nor have other political observers. …

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Wow Mr. Bacon!

    Sounds like a great new novel. The title could be something like:

    “The Conspiracy”

    A vast conspiracy of epic proportions has been unleashed upon poor unsuspecting rural Virginians! In an insidious and brilliantly evil display of Machiavellian machination, an enormous underground network of imperial clone droids have set out to rule the world “and parts of Virginia” by playing radio ads in rural areas on Christian radio stations that say candidates should speak for themselves and not hide behind slick ad companies.

    These same droids then have the audacity on a website to actually play an excerpt of the opponent from a debate that didn’t go well for him. What dastardly deed will be next?

    We can only wait in dread and fear…

    Coming soon to a store near you!

  2. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    I can’t tell you how flattered that I am to find out that I am a part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. I have, after all, met Tim Kaine on not one but two occasions — that second handshake must have sealed the deal. Man, this is totally going on my resume.

    Presumably, the decoder ring is in the mail.

  3. Waldo Jaquith Avatar
    Waldo Jaquith

    Because the ostensible purpose of that website is to highlight Jerry Kilgore’s seeming disinterest in debates (a completely incorrect assertion that I will leave for another time). So why include a soundbite of Jerry Kilgore taken FROM A DEBATE between Kilgore and Kaine in 2003?

    On the contrary, the sound bite is the most appropriate thing to possibly feature on the website.

    The last time that the two met on the debating battlefield, Jerry Kilgore threw a little tantrum in the midst of getting soundly thrashed by Tim Kaine. Now he won’t debate anymore. So on the Kaine campaign’s website about Kilgore’s refusal to debate, they feature a sound clip of the petulant Kilgore in action. That’s the simplest, most logical explanation.

    Or there’s J. Tucker Martin’s explanation, which features not only a grassy knoll, but also a second shooter and a book depository.

    I believe Occam’s Razor covers this nicely.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Ah, so Kaine’s team is so smart they came up with this elaborate plan, but then made the mistake of carrying it out where there were no NOVA elitists, no one who would snicker diabolically with them at the brilliance of their evil plan?

    This is ridiculous. For the record, Kaine’s little flap earlier about his religion being attacked was the same brand of ridiculous communications crap.

    But for the record, Jerry Kilgore is a lousy debater, and he’s going to debate whatever the absolute minimum number of times he has to in order to claim that he’s not afraid. He is poorly informed, easily frustrated, and none-too-quick witted.

    That’s why he’s hiding.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Come on, Jim. Listen to the audio on

    It’s not his accent, it’s the way he talks. As Russ Potts observed, “he can’t help it that he has a lousy voice.”

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