Recaps from the TD
Sunday, November 13, 2005 :::
Everyone's a genius in the TD Commentary section today. There's Jeff "Good Copy" Schapiro doing a happy-revenge dance with Linwood Holton over the Kaine win. Jeff has to be somewhat relieved by the results. At least it means he'll have easy access to the Governor's mansion over the next four years. But before he pulls a muscle out there on the old dance floor, I suggest Jeff brush-up on his Bolling (Bill Bolling, that is). While Kaine may already be on the new tax hike victory tour, Bolling is laying the foundation of a 2009 run. Watch what he does closely, Jeff. Bolling still hasn't convinced me that he's gubernatorial material, or even Lt. Gov. material, for that matter. But if McDonnell should be swept aside by an additional batch of mystery votes, Bolling will be the marquee player for the next four years.
Meanwhile, VCU's Bob Holsworth parses the results. He touches all the bases of the new conventional wisdom (Kaine the suburban savior, Kilgore the imploding wonder). But he hits on the relevant lesson of the races: ideas do matter. While neither campaign proposed a grand vision for the Commonwealth (universal pre-K is not exactly a paradigm shifting concept) the need for consistent, grand ideas -- the "vision thing" -- is unquestionable.
Which leads us to Del. Scott Lingamfelter, who picks up the ideas banner and trots downfield with it, only to become entangled with the marching band. His emphasis on social conservative issues is, I think, a non-starter. Virginians are pro-family already, but to their credit, in ways that seem to be consistent with liberty, rather than rigid definitions. There is widom -- and happiness -- in their choices. The state's duty is to leave them be (for more information, consult Brad Marrs, he's not too busy right now).
I do agree with the fiscal policy ideas he puts forward. But it's critical to couple ideas like eliminating BPOL (itself hardly a paradigm shifter) with reduced spending elsewhere. Yes, the Wilder Commission report is still out there. Yes, George Fitch's ides are still out there, too. But for every reduction in state revenue, let's also talk about reductions in state spending.
The chin-pulling and finger-pointing will go on for a little while yet. And in all of these analyses, there are grains of wisdom. Banner ideas? Check. Personality infusion? Check. Changing demographics? Check. Conclusions? 20/20 hindsight is never in short supply.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 11/13/2005