OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Friday, October 07, 2005 :::

A Contrarian Take on a Possible Wilder Endorsement

I almost forgot to make note of this very interesting post by Conaway Haskins of South of the James regarding what might really motivate a Wilder endorsement of a statewide candidate. His theory? It's not one gun a month. It's personal:

Wilder's history with the state party is one of mutual distrust and begrudged respect. In Wilder's view, the party apparatus never properly respected his political talents and achievement in a matter to which he feels entitled; to the party, Wilder is a me-first, self-promoter who is too disloyal for comfort. All of these sentiments bear some degree of truth. Wilder's animosity toward his party is rooted in his initial service in the Virginia Senate. Coming on the heels of Massive Resistance and the Civil Right Movement, Wilder was an outspoken black man and passionate proponent of liberal positions antithetical to the Byrd Democratic machine. Still, over time, he was recognized as an effective by the media and political insiders.

There's much, much more to this post and it bears close reading. I do not doubt that in playing the endorsement game, Wilder may be out to score points against his old foes. And I think Conaway has it exactly right when he says:

...all that really can be expected is that Wilder will, in some way, have the last word -- and last laugh -- regardless of whom he does or does not support.

Yes, indeed. No matter how the race finishes, Wilder will have played his role, raised his statewide profile (again) and, perhaps, also gained leverage he will need to continue to realign Richmond's politcal and fiscal affairs. And if the breaks go his way, he may just carve up a few of his old foes in the process.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/07/2005 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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