Tags: Washington Post

Washington Post Belatedly Realizes Who Terry McAuliffe Is


From the Washington Post editorial board’s endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for governor of Virginia, October 12:

There is no disguising that Mr. McAuliffe, a self-described wheeler-dealer who burst on to the national stage as a prodigious fundraiser for Bill Clinton in the 1990s, lacks the close engagement with policy possessed by Virginia’s recent governors. The ultimate political insider, his stock in trade has been playing the angles where access and profit intersect.

Nonetheless, as a candidate for governor Mr. McAuliffe has taken sensible stands on key issues, and he has had the political savvy to stay mostly on message. Critically, he embraced the transportation funding bill enacted by a bipartisan majority of the General Assembly this year, a measure that will ensure that the state’s roads and rails keep pace with a 21st-century economy.

That same editorial board, beginning to realize what they have done, this weekend:

IT’S HARD to think of a more tone-deaf political move lately than Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s unveiling of his Common Good Virginia PAC, which peddles dinners and sit downs with Mr. McAuliffe, a Democrat, his wife and unnamed “policy experts” for fat cats with a policy agenda for fees reaching $100,000.

Of all people, in all places and at all times, Mr. McAuliffe in Virginia right now is about the worst combination we can think of for this particular brand of fundraising. If Mr. McAuliffe, after fewer than three months in office, is intent on opening fire at his own feet, he’s seized on an effective way to do it.

Wait a minute! You guys assured us he had “the political savvy to stay mostly on message”! How can you be surprised that he’s now “playing the angles where access and profit intersect”?

ABOVE: Terry McAuliffe in 2008, a bit before he came to Richmond
to restore honor, dignity, and decency to Virginia state politics.

Tags: Terry McAuliffe , Washington Post , Virginia

Did the Post Forget Who Was Virginia’s Governor in 2008?


The University of Virginia’s governing board of visitors suddenly dismissed university president Teresa Sullivan, a move that has generated a lot of confusion and anger on the campus. Sullivan had been in the position only two years, and it seems almost no one on campus knew the board was contemplating this move.

The Washington Post covers the story, with an . . . odd sentence:

In a telephone interview Monday, the leader of the board, Rector Helen E. Dragas, said the board would be vindicated in due time.

“It’s really too early to judge this decision,’’ Dragas said. “This decision should be judged after a new president is installed.”

Dragas, a Virginia Beach developer who was named to the board by a Democratic governor in 2008, said the board had voiced “overwhelming support” for replacing Sullivan. Dragas denied the move had any “political considerations.”

Didn’t that Democratic governor have a name? Wasn’t it “Tim Kaine”? The same Tim Kaine who’s running for U.S. Senate this year?

What’s really odd is that Kaine does get mentioned a few paragraphs later:

The board’s decision, made last week, was unanimous, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The board, with 16 voting members, is split equally between those appointed by McDonnell and by his predecessor, Timothy M. Kaine.

So what was this? Poor editing, or an effort to obscure Kaine’s connection to a board’s controversial decision?

Tags: Tim Kaine , Washington Post

Only Half of Democrats See a GOP Congress as a ‘Bad Thing’


The new poll from the Post gives some perspective on the stories of the Democrats’ comeback. (Perhaps that warrants air quotes.) Their base, depressed and frustrated earlier in the year, is coming home in some significant numbers. But that won’t be enough to cancel out enormous GOP base enthusiasm and a lopsided Republican advantage among independents.

Among likely voters, Republicans hold a six-point edge, 49 percent to 43 percent, on the congressional ballot. At this time four years ago, Democrats led by 12 points. Then, Democrats also held a 19-point advantage when voters were asked which party they trusted to deal with the country’s main problems. Today, the public is almost evenly divided on that question, nearly matching public sentiment in October 1994, the last time Republicans won both the House and the Senate.

Looking toward Nov. 2, Republicans still hold two significant advantages. The poll shows that Republicans are paying closer attention to the elections than are Democrats. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans call the 2010 elections more important to the country than others in their lifetime. A similar proportion of Republicans say it would be a “good thing” if the GOP won back control of Congress; only about half of Democrats see that potential result as a “bad thing.”

A Republican Congress: Even some Democrats recognize we need it.

The Obama rebound they mention puts his job approval/disapproval split at 50/47, not exactly a great ratio.

Tags: 2010 , Barack Obama , Washington Post

Washington Post Poll Finds Americans Confused, Eager to Get Off the Phone


Many strange details in the Washington Post poll out this morning.

Obama’s approval rating on the economy has taken a dramatic jump, from 45 percent approving and 52 percent disapproving to a 49/49 split.

Yet 73 percent are worried about the economy, a bit lower than the 88 percent in October 2008, but not by much.

And only 39 percent think Obama’s policies are improving the economy, 26 percent think they’re making it worse, and 32 percent say they’re making no difference.

Yet his favorable rating – separate from his job-approval rating – is the lowest the Post poll has found, at 57 percent, and his unfavorable is at its highest, 41 percent.

The generic ballot question comes out at 48 percent Democrat, 43 percent Republican, which is near the closest it has been (one percentage point difference from last month).

The poll’s partisan split comes out 34 percent Democrat, 23 percent Republican, 38 percent independent. The CNN exit poll on Election Day 2008 put the split at 39 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, 29 percent independent. Is the partisan split on Election Day 2010 really going to be more favorable to the Democrats than 2008 was?

Tags: Barack Obama , Washington Post

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