Richmond Times-Dispatch: McAuliffe Is a ‘Deeply Unserious’ Candidate

by Jim Geraghty

The Richmond Times-Dispatch hasn’t endorsed in the Virginia governor’s race yet. But after Sunday’s editorial . . . we can guess who they’re NOT endorsing:

When it comes to raking together piles of cash, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is without peer. On questions of actual governance, though, his troubling lack of mastery and odd flippancy combine to paint a portrait of a deeply unserious candidate.

The editorial goes on to describe McAuliffe’s refusal to name the positions in the governor’s Cabinet; his dismissal of questions from Northern Virginia Technology Council’s Tech PAC (the group subsequently endorsed Ken Cuccinelli), and his recent claim that as governor he can issue “guidance opinions” that would largely nullify existing state regulations on abortion clinics. The editors and Virginia legal experts contend the governor doesn’t actually have the “guidance opinion” authority McAuliffe describes.

The editors conclude, “Taken individually, none of these episodes is terribly damaging. But taken together, they add up to the impression that, despite four years of prep work after his last gubernatorial run, McAuliffe still isn’t ready for the office he seeks.”

The Times-Dispatch endorsed McDonnell in 2009 and is seen as GOP-leaning, so a Cuccinelli endorsement wouldn’t be shocking good news. (This, of course, presumes that newspaper endorsements matter at all.) But it will be particularly fun to see if the Washington Post, king of the Northern Virginia circulation area, even bothers to address the concern that McAuliffe isn’t really that familiar with the office of governor and isn’t sweating the details of the job he hopes to win.

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