Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch got a forwarded email from Jerry Kilgore’s campaign that contained “confidential electronic messages” between the candidate and a staffer. Schapiro tells us breathlessly that this campaign “oops moment” provides a “rare glimpse of its inner working.”

I guess it is August.

On Monday, Kilgore’s deputy spokesman emailed Kilgore some thoughts on a New Republic story about Doug Wilder. Kilgore responded, apparently using his hand held computer, with this:

“How about sending this to the press?? Get others to ask, what was Kaine’s role?? This could get us on offense on rt issue.”

Whoa! This is big. You don’t often get an unscripted moment like that. It’s as close as we might ever get to Kilgore in his pajamas, blogging. No profanity, no dirty trick suggestions … just the “rt” shorthand instead of “right.” Hmmm, what does that say about Kilgore?

Of course, the Kaine and Potts campaigns jumped on this failure to delete as evidence that the Kilgore campaign is unraveling. Perhaps they should release a few of their guy’s emails. Let’s compare grammar and spelling!

If you’re interested, Norm Leahy and John Behan covered the New Republic story. Were they part of the “press” that Kilgore mentioned? Were they unwitting dupes of a sinister plot? Could be the missing link in this conspiracy ….

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  1. Russ Potts got it rt…”the gang that can’t shoot straight”.

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    This does seem thin to me. As the old Wendy’s commercial used to say: “Where’s the Beef?”. I see nothing controversial in the “electronic messages”. People in all campaigns do this kind of stuff all the time. It’s called strategy.

  3. I was just following orders, Will.

    Otherwise, Murtaugh was going to spray Round Up all over my lawn. Who can stand up to threats like that?

  4. The “beef” to me is the private thinking of Kilgore, “let’s find something negative in this and get someone else to spread it around for us”. No wonder he will not face the public. Too Nixon like for me and not the kind of person I would want to be Governor of Virginia. Rt.

  5. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    You’re so right, Laszlo. The Kaine campaign doesn’t look for anything negative in Kilgore’s record! They’re not Nixonian–they’re pure as the driven snow.

    If you bothered to read the New Republic article, Mayor Wilder talked about the “stultifying mediocrity” of the city he inherited from, among others, Tim Kaine. What was Kaine’s role in furthering that mediocrity?

    Seems like a fair question to me. It’s as least as fair as the questions Democrats ask the press to investigate about Kilgore’s role in the eavesdropping scandal. Oh, wait. They don’t do that, do they?

  6. Will,

    I did read the report.

    I have never heard Kaine speak in that maner even in private conservations. It’s just another difference between the two candidates.

    I wish you would clear up Kilgore’s invovelment in the evesdropping scandel. Thanks for bringing it up.

    We could probably clear all this up with some public debates between Kaine, Kilgore and Potts.

    I’m glad to see you embracing the thoughts of Doug Wilder.

  7. Not Guy Incognito Avatar
    Not Guy Incognito

    Ok, so nobody can really claim the high road here, everybody does it, but not everybody gets caught like this. It’s a black eye for Kilgore because now we know HE orders it, and not his handlers.

    Is Kaine himself directing negative? I’ll need to see an email from him first.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    C’mon people. This is politics! This kind of strategizing goes on all the time in both parties. Don’t tell me Kaine doesn’t do this. When you see the kind of things they come up with there’s no way they couldn’t be.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    I understand that late last evening the TD staffers were torn between this story and “Water Freezes at 32 Degrees” for expose placement today.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Wilder said that the “medicrity” was not the fault of Kaine or one individual. Richmond had a weak mayor style of government before Wilder was elected.

  11. criticallythinking Avatar

    There are times when I am reminded that politics is not my job. This is apparently one of them.

    I read the article, I looked over Jim’s post and the comments here, and I just don’t get it.

    Kilgore has been saying Kaine did a poor job as Mayor. (A reasonable strategy since Kaine uses his time as mayor as a selling point).

    Doug Wilder comes out with a statement that includes a clever phrase. The Kilgore campaign see the phrase as a winner for them, and form a derivative to use on the campaign.

    Kilgore asks his campaign to get it out there, in the hopes that his campaign pointing out the issue and the Wilder statements might cause another round of newspaper articles.

    In other words, they want to get a buzz in the media, so they release a statement about the Wilder comments.

    This seems like a natural thing to do, not dirty or underhanded. Of course any statement from a known public figure which seems to counter your opponent’s claims is “ammo”, but that isn’t a bad thing — certainly Kaine is looking for people to say that Kilgore’s record is weak?

    And even if Wilder doesn’t draw the connection to Kaine, Kilgore doesn’t have to trust Wilder’s conclusions — and by using Wilder, he gets a democrat backing up his statement. And a Wilder endorsement of Kaine would be damaged.

    I don’t see this as stupid, or wrong, or desperate. As leaks go, even the statements made look good to me, showing that in private, planning strategy, the language is clean and the focus is on issues.

    So I guess I’m just no good at seeing the politics of this.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    You make alot of sense cirticallythinking. Of course Kaine may not have to do this either given there is a ranting lunatic formerly from Kilgore’s party out there running a campaign the sole purpose of which is to denigrate Kilgore.

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