Tag Archives: Chris Saxman

The Wild Thing — Will Glenn Youngkin Run for President?

by Chris Saxman

The most often asked question I get these days is whether or not Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin will run for president.

*Pro tip* — Until they’re out, they’re in.

If ever there was a next-generation Republican that checks enough boxes to get nominated and elected president, that Republican is Glenn Youngkin.

Do you know that reaction among women (especially girls) when a very attractive woman walks in a room? Sometimes it’s audible…

They can have NO idea who that woman actually is, but they instantly form this well-constructed opinion:


And after meeting the prejudged, some will admit — very rarely mind you — “Damn it. She’s actually really nice. Just don’t make me stand next to her in a picture!”

“Wait, are you calling the Governor of Virginia A BITCH?”

Of course not.

I will admit that it would have been a great clickbait headline and I did consider going viral; HOWEVER, the point is that Glenn is — now brace yourselves everyone — a good guy. Continue reading

Poof! 21 Retirements and 363 Years of Combined Service. So Far.

by Chris Saxman

Here’s a General Assembly Retirement Tracker with estimated years of service:

Retirements thus far – 7 Senators and 14 Delegates. Combined years of service? 363. I’m putting the Over/Under at 30 members of the General Assembly and 480 years of service that will not return next year. So far not returning:

Senator Dick Saslaw – 48
Senator Janet Howell – 32
Senator Tommy Norment – 32
Senator John Edwards – 28
Senator Jennifer McClellan – 18 (Congress start date March 7)
Senator Jill Vogel – 16
Senator John Bell – 8
Delegate Ken Plum – 44
Delegate Kathy Byron – 26
Delegate Rob Bell – 22
Delegate James Edmunds – 14
Delegate Margaret Ransone – 14
Delegate Roxann Robinson – 13
Delegate Kathleen Murphy – 9
Delegate Mike Mullin – 8
Delegate Jeff Bourne – 7
Delegate Dawn Adams – 6
Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler – 6
Delegate Wendy Gooditis – 6
Delegate John Avoli – 4
Delegate Tim Anderson – 2

Not included in this list are the nomination battles between sitting incumbents or the incumbents who face challenges in their new districts. Sixteen incumbents face off which will add another eight to the list of non returners and there are five House members plus eleven Senators facing nomination battles. Possibly 24 could be added to the current 21.

So. Far.

Chris Saxman is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates. This column first appeared on his blog, The Intersection, and is republished with permission.

Will McDonald’s Be Leaving Virginia? Not This year, But…

by Chris Saxman

I wish the headline of today’s column was just click bait. It originates from a headline that was pushed across my phone that read “Will McDonald’s be leaving California?”

That immediately made me think that McDonald’s corporate offices might be considering moving their headquarters from California to another state. Given the exodus of companies that have left the Golden State it would be just another news story about another company leaving California.

Quickly remembering that McDonald’s was based in Chicago, not California, I clicked on the article. The president of McDonald’s USA, John Erlinger, had written an open letter dated January 25th in which he lamented the legislative and regulatory reality of California:

Last fall, the legislature passed a bill – AB257, or the FAST Act – almost entirely at the behest of organized labor’s firm grip on many of the state’s lawmakers. It makes it all but impossible to run small business restaurants, but the impacts are far beyond that. Under the FAST Act, an unelected council of political insiders, not local business owners and their teams, would make big decisions about crucial elements of running a business, fracturing the economy in the process. [Emphasis added.]

Continue reading

Trump’s Done, and It’s Patently Obvious

The American electorate spoke loud and clear on Tuesday – they want to move on and will reward those who effectively govern.

by Chris Saxman

*Phone rings*

“What’s up?”, I answered recognizing the caller ID’d number.

“He’s done, right?” came the question.

“Yup, he’s done.”

The caller hung up.

But much to my astonishment (and to the rest of the country watching), Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little, who had gone to the mound in the 8th inning of Game 7 in the 2003 American League Championship Series (ALCS), left obviously “done” pitcher Pedro Martinez in the game. Against the Yankees. IN New York. In Game SEVEN. With THE LEAD.

The PREVIOUS inning, Martinez who had thrown 100 pitches by then was TOLD by Little that, “you’re done.” He was pulling him. BUT minutes later, Little asked Martinez if he could get the next batter in the next inning out because the pitcher/batter match up Little was thinking about was not good after all. Martinez agreed, went back in the game, got that batter — Nick Johnson — out on just two pitches.

So, Little kept Martinez in. Derek Jeter doubled, Bernie Williams singled, and then came Little’s famous — or infamous- – mound visit and that phone call.

Obvious. Patently obvious. Martinez was gassed. Done. Little knew it the last inning!

If you don’t know how that game ended by now, well, the Red Sox lost. The Curse of the Bambino remained.

The next morning I was listening to a national sports radio show and one of the commentators asked another commentator if Grady Little should be fired for his decision.

The answer came, “He should have been fired on his way to the bus!” Continue reading

Canceling Student Debt Accentuates the Class Divide

by Chris Saxman

The big news of the week was President Biden’s announcement that he was canceling a lot of student higher education debt. #IsItLegal?
Here are three non-judicial-branch reactions to the Biden plan:

The Washington Post Ed Board:

The loan-forgiveness decision is even worse. Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive. It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college, to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees. Though Mr. Biden’s plan includes an income cap, the threshold does not reflect need or earnings potential, meaning white-collar professionals with high future salaries stand to benefit….

Mr. Biden’s student loan decision will not do enough to help the most vulnerable Americans. It will, however, provide a windfall for those who don’t need it — with American taxpayers footing the bill.

President Obama’s Chairman of Council Economic Advisors: Continue reading

The Great Realignment, Best-State-for-Business Reprise, Housing Drags, and Youngkin Popularity

by Chris Saxman

If you read one article this week make it this one from Axios – The Democratic electorate’s seismic shift. Just about every presentation I have given over the last 6 or 7 years begins with a statement or slide that says we are living in a historic political realignment and it’s global. From the article:

Democrats now have a bigger advantage among white college graduates than they do with nonwhite voters, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.

Why it matters: We’re seeing a political realignment in real time.

Democrats are becoming the party of upscale voters concerned more about issues like gun control and abortion rights.

Republicans are quietly building a multiracial coalition of working-class voters, with inflation as an accelerant.

Continue reading

CNBC Top-States-for-Business Ranking Is Worthless

by Chris Saxman

CNBC’s Top States for Business Ranking is quickly becoming synonymous with Major League Baseball’s best known worst umpire Angel Hernandez.

Why? Like Hernandez, CNBC’s Ranking keeps moving the strike zone and they are fast becoming the best known worst ranking.

Here is their explanation :

We assign a weight to each category based on how hard the states are pushing it in their economic development marketing.

They base their rankings on the marketing of the states? Not what works, mind you, but what the sales departments THINK will work. Not where people and capital are actually going, but what the collective thinking is of economic development officials. Hence CNBC added CRYPTOCURRENCY and CANNABIS as metrics. Continue reading

Toxic Brew

by Chris Saxman

Okay. Buckle up. I am sharing with you several graphics that should lead, hopefully, to some serious discussions about the toxic blend of violence in movies, marijuana, smart phones and social media use in our youth — especially young men. First this article from the WSJ on how the use of widely available pornography can impact the development of teenage brains. Maybe rewire neural pathways? Yikes.

Look at the time lines of these (smart phone use, violence in movies, marijuana use – focus on the year 2010) and now add in the intensity/addiction of social media use.

Continue reading

Virginia is the Queen Mother of Bellwethers

Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn

by Chris Saxman

Honestly, where does one start in trying to explain Virginia politics?

Wednesday’s leadership change by House Democrats should not be considered shocking. Democrats had very close contests for caucus control after they won the majority, so losing that majority would naturally jeopardize their leaders.

Suffice it to say, Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn has never had a firm grip on her caucus having won close leadership elections and she barely lost the vote Wednesday.

Just one vote.

Was Wednesday about the younger, more aggressive progressives making a move? Like most things in politics, it’s complicated, but Democrats nationally are losing the enthusiasm of younger progressive voters.

See my 2024 Electoral College Preview on the Democrats problem with younger voters. (AH – yes – the possible move by Joe Biden to forgive student loan debt.)

There’s more to the leadership change than age demographics. This likely came down to the simple fact that Democrats lost control of the House in November and had no clear plan to win it back. In fact, they could possibly lose even more seats this year. Continue reading

Was Virginia’s 2021 Election a Parental Pulse or a Silver Surge?

Walmart greeter Mikki in South Dakota is 99 years old.

Yes, education was a big deal but how about inflation’s impact on fixed income retirees?

by Chris Saxman

Results of a newly released study by TargetSmart, “a Democratic political data and data services firm,” suggest that we should rethink the conventional wisdom and push back on the social media/cable news narratives about the 2021 election.

NOW before everyone hits the reply button that because this is a Democratic firm and they are just trying to improperly turn the 2021 narrative to benefit Democrats in the upcoming midterms — just stop.

The news here is WORSE for Democrats for the midterms, but kudos to TargetSmart for following the data. As the old saying goes — in order to solve a problem, you first have to admit you have a problem.

Today’s Richmond Times Dispatch ran a Bloomberg editorial which provides context: “Piecemeal reform won’t solve U.S. retirement crisis.”

Yet many Americans face the prospect of great financial strain and even poverty in old age, because they lack the resources to support themselves after they stop working.

Continue reading

How’d Virginia Do in “The Great Pandemic Migration?”

Glenn Youngkin was right. Yes, Virginia, we have a problem.

by Chris Saxman

Most mornings start with brewing a large pot of coffee, letting the dogs out into the fenced in backyard, and waiting for the papers to be delivered. Usually I can skim through the local old soldier, the Richmond Times Dispatch, before the coffee finishes brewing. But that first magical sip of morning hits with the opening the Wall Street Journal.

Ahh….the splendor of predawn America.

I read newspapers in reverse by taking the sections and rearranging them in order to read as many articles as possible before doing battle with the editorial section. The Sports section is always first. It’s like stretching before a work out — not legally required, but strongly encouraged.

SO. Wednesday’s lead editorial headline in the WSJ print edition really grabbed my attention:

The Great Pandemic Migration


The online version reads like this:

The Great Pandemic Migration
Census data reveal huge shifts out of the most locked-down states.

As Sheriff Buford T. Justice would say, “That’s an attention getter.” Continue reading

SHOCK Fox Poll — Youngkin +8? Outlier or Actual?

by Chris Saxman

Oh yeah.

That Fox News poll release last night created some noise. No sooner had that hit the airwaves than the phone started blowing up from around the country and Commonwealth. Glenn Youngkin was +8 (53-45).

What do you think? Is this real?

Naturally, Republicans were thrilled and Democrats dismissive. It is Fox News. The reactions would have been reversed were it a poll from MSNBC.

Today, the Washington Post/GMU Schar School Poll released their poll (McAuliffe +1 49-48) and it will likely receive the same partisan response. Republicans will dismiss it and Democrats will hail it.

Republicans will say it’s the Post AND Dwight Schar, for whom the school is named, supports Terry McAuliffe. Given the Fox Poll showing Glenn Youngkin +8, anything closer to a tie will be a response ray of relief for Democrats and another “See I Told You So” (SITYS) moment for the Republicans.

Rinse and repeat. Binary politics at its best.

But it’s gotten so bad this year for Republicans in Virginia that Democrats are complaining to me about how partisan the coverage is.

To which I reply :

Continue reading

Virginia Polls Tightening, 25 Days to Election Day

Home stretch momentum shifting. Independents breaking to GOP.

by Chris Saxman

Trying to make sense out of all the polls you are seeing on the Virginia gubernatorial race?

Start at the top. How’s Joe Biden doing? Hint: he’s never been that popular nationally except when the choice was Biden v Trump.

Terry McAuliffe said as much in this clip put out by the RNC:

Continue reading

Gubernatorial Debate Review with Winners and Losers

by Chris Saxman

Last night’s debate between Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin was more or less like the first one on substance – pretty much the same answers but perhaps a deeper, more clarifying look at those.

I don’t see a lot of votes changing from those who actually watched the debate but there were some notable moments which could be turned into ads that THEN might move the electorate.

This is what campaign consultants fear and desire about debates – there is so much on the line that they are just hoping and praying their candidate makes it out clean but also that the opponent creates an opening to exploit.

I predicted a tie, and on points it was just that. Therefore, given his strong first debate performance, Glenn Youngkin held serve by not losing. Terry McAuliffe was much better this time — less agitated and more at ease.

Princess Blanding, the Liberation Party candidate who has qualified for the ballot, disrupted the debate about ten minutes after kick off. Moderator Chuck Todd seemed unprepared for this and eventually went to commercial breaks. Continue reading

Wilder’s Take on the McAuliffe-Youngkin Race

L. Douglas Wilder. Photo credit: Wikipedia

by Chris Saxman

Yesterday I spoke with former Governor Doug Wilder regarding the recently released poll by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School on the 2021 governor race.

That conversation is one that I will remember for a very long time in that here’s a former governor who, at the age of 90, is still actively engaged in Virginia politics because he honestly just gives a damn about the future of the Commonwealth.

Good on him.

When he picked up the phone for our interview, I naturally asked him:
Governor, how are you today?

Without missing a beat came the upbeat and wise reply:

I woke up! It’s a good day!

My favorite quote from the interview was this:

Truth is not partisan. Continue reading