Saturday, October 08, 2005 :::
VCU professor Bob Holsworth was the after dinner speaker at the Sorenson event and he gave us his impressions of the gubernatorial contest. A few items that struck me:
Warner, who made a "surprise" appearance, told Holsworth that while Kaine had momentum, Kilgore had a good week.
Holsworth revisited his theme that there is no defining issue in this race. It's more like Tim Kaine running as Mark Warner's younger brother, while Kilgore paints Kaine as John Kerry's nephew. Much hilarity ensued.
He does believe that with the Taylor Behl murder case getting more and greater coverage, and Behl's mother, Holsworth says, calling for the death penalty for her daughter's killer, Kaine might have to face his "Bernie Shaw" question in the Sunday debate on the death penalty. In an essentially issueless campaign, this could possibly be a defining moment.
On a possible Wilder endorsement: Holsworth says it is highly unlikely Wilder will endorse Kilgore, but the question is how strongly, when or even if he will endorse Kaine. Playing into the equation is the fact that Wilder is Richmond's mayor and needs the support of the Republican legislature for many of the proposals he has on the table.
And speaking of tables, Holsworth said that very recently, Wilder and guests were around a table in the Holsworth kitchen discussing what Wilder might do with his endorsements. It seems the former governor was taking odds on what he would do -- like the high-stakes gambler some people believe him to be.
Holsworth believes the only way Leslie Byrne can win the Lt. Governor's race is if Kaine wins. That is not news. But he believes Deeds faces longer odds against Bob McDonnell.
An earnest question from the audience on whether Potts should be in the debates: Holsworth noted that he had been part of the debate organizing team that kept Nacy Spanaus out of the debates even though she was on the statewide ballot. He and VCU were sued, after the fact, and won. But he said that on purely aesthetic grounds, Potts should be included. But also that there had to be some sort of reasonable restriction on inclusion.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/08/2005