The Predictable Tone of the Post’s Virginia Editorials

by Jim Geraghty

Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign is cheered by this coverage in today’s Washington Post:

The speeches [at the Virginia Summit on Economic Competitiveness and Higher Education] fed into the narrative that emerged from the TechPAC flap: that McAuliffe is breezy while Cuccinelli grasps the details and gravity of the job. Both candidates had 45 minutes to address the group. Cuccinelli gave a 39- minute address heavy on wonky details. McAuliffe gave his standard 16-minute stump speech.

Cuccinelli’s campaign sent out a release asking, “Has Terry McAuliffe lost the Washington Post?”

Let me help them with that: “No.”

I would love to be proven wrong, but the editorial board has torn apart Cuccinelli for the past four years, and detests him in a way few Republicans can match. We can predict what the Post’s endorsement editorial will say:

McAuliffe’s inability to discuss the details of his policies is troubling, as is his past characterization of the ease of electing a governor based upon the ability to distribute government contracts to supporters. But in his sensible support of sufficient funding for the state’s needs (read, tax increases) coupled with his sensible centrist position on social issues (read, never going to touch any restriction on abortion of any kind with a ten-foot pole) make him the clear choice for Virginia.

And if the Washington Post editorial board wants to endorse candidates based on a litmus test of higher taxes, higher spending, and abortion-on-demand, that’s their right. It would just be preferable if they were honest about it, and that they could admit that those issues rank higher in their criteria than say, ethics, or experience, or a genuine plan to ensure the state’s economic health, instead of seeing the state government as a giant prize bag to be used to reward donors . . .