By Dave Andrusko
My family lives in Virginia and we have resided here long enough to watch the state turn “purple”—neither red nor blue. Given that reality—and the fact that only Virginia and New Jersey have gubernatorial elections this year—an enormous amount of time and money will be poured in to the Commonwealth.
And did I mention that the pro-abortion Democrat running for governor is Terry McAuliffe, former head of the Democratic National Committee who lost a prior bid in 2009?
Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard wrote an interesting profile of the race for the Wall Street Journal—“The Obama Campaign Playbook Descends on Virginia.” He begins with a particular egregious McAuliffe ad which goes after pro-life Republican candidate Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The ad is flat-out wrong, is shown to be wrong, and lives on anyway. Barnes compares it to an Obama ad which eviscerated Mitt Romney and then writes
“As the press has noted, the Obama playbook is being tested at the state level in the Virginia governor’s election. Mr. McAuliffe, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has enlisted Obama operatives and is seeking to spur voter turnout by emulating the high-tech, grass-roots effort that worked effectively for the president.
“But there’s more to the Obama model than a strong ground game. Other aspects include waging an overwhelmingly negative campaign, shunning a specific agenda, stressing a Republican ‘war on women,’ and counting on the media to treat its tactics as unexceptional.”
Given McAuliffe’s history, we knew going in that he could and would anything to be governor. Barnes describes it this way:
“Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign is the Obama campaign writ small. It’s ruthless and vitriolic and aims to persuade Virginia voters that Mr. Cuccinelli’s plans for Virginia are not only wrong, but also dangerous to many of its citizens, especially women.”
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You can read Mr. Barnes smart analysis here so let me just end with this.
The nub of the Obama strategy is to float over the battlefield as if he is not connected to the howitzers his campaign unloads on his opponents, as if exactly what his campaign is doing could not be done by Obama because he is so “post-partisan.”
Well, no one would ever accuse McAuliffe of being “post-partisan.” His is bare-knuckle-style politics on steroids.
The question will be if the local (and national) media at least pretend to be non-partisan and not only “fact checks” his habitually inaccurate accusations but also loudly reminds the public that is McAuliffe’s modus operandi.