Northern Virginia Sun Gazette
Editorial: Our Pick for Governor
When the history of the 2009 race for governor is written, the unresolved question may be: What made Democrat Creigh Deeds, a soberminded and likable state senator, opt to run one of the most vile campaigns in recent Virginia history?
It’s gotten so bad that a host of Democratic leaders and supporters had to step in last week and publicly chastise the nominee, telling him he needs to project a more positive image to the voters. But the damage already was done.
Deeds’ decision to focus so much of his time and campaign treasure to attacks on Republican Robert McDonnell suggests that, having come from behind to win a three-way Democratic primary, the Democratic nominee had no general-election strategy or any coherent plan on how he wants to govern the commonwealth. Instead, he chose to spend enormous energy attacking McDonnell, largely through surrogates. It all has struck us as, in a word, unfathomable.
McDonnell is not without flaws. Some of his policy positions give us pause, and some others appear like gimmickry. But put the two candidates next to one another, and there is one candidate who has given thought about how he plans to lead the Old Dominion out of current economic conditions. Robert McDonnell.
McDonnell has the solid backing of the business community, which fears Deeds could become a tool of unions and environmentalist fringe groups, wrecking the bipartisan effort that has maintained the Old Dominion as one of the most business-friendly states of the 50. McDonnell has a plan for transportation upgrades; Deeds urges us merely to trust him to come up with a solution.
For those, perhaps a majority of Northern Virginians, who plan to vote for Deeds, we ask the question: What, besides the (D) next to his name, has he done this campaign season to engender enthusiasm or support? How will someone who has overseen such a debacle of a campaign manage to run the state government?
If voters can find suitable answers to those questions, Deeds is a reasonable choice. But, absent such answers, there is only one candidate who meets Virginia’s standards, and that is Robert McDonnell.