WaPo: Don’t Let Good Deeds Go Unrewarded

From The Washington Post (Editorial):

WHO IS the best candidate for Northern Virginia? Judge by appearances and there are two obvious possibilities in the Democratic primary for governor: Brian Moran, the former Alexandria prosecutor who served a dozen years in the House of Delegates, and Terry R. McAuliffe, the Richmond outsider who has lived in McLean for roughly 17 years. Not in the running would be R. Creigh Deeds, an unassuming state senator from a district closer to West Virginia than to Fairfax City.

However, delve a bit deeper, and the answer might surprise you. In 18 years in the General Assembly, Mr. Deeds has time and again supported measures that might be unpopular with his rural constituency but that are the right thing to do, for Northern Virginia and the state as a whole. He has demonstrated an understanding of the problems that matter most, the commitment to solve them and the capacity to get things done. Mr. Deeds may not be the obvious choice in the June 9 primary, but he’s the right one.

Original DVD cover.

Unlike his opponents, Mr. Deeds has made clear that he would make transportation his first priority, vowing to tackle this region’s greatest challenge while his political capital is at its height. His record suggests that he could make headway. Both Mr. Deeds and Mr. Moran supported the plan of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), ultimately gutted by the state Supreme Court, to generate millions in transportation funding. Last year, however, as both candidates were laying the groundwork for their campaigns, Mr. Deeds courageously voted for a proposal that included raising the state’s gas tax, unchanged since 1986; Mr. Moran helped kill the bill by opposing it in committee. (Mr. McAuliffe says that he’s not opposed to raising revenue for roads, but as with every other state issue, he has no record.)


Virginia’s gerrymandered districts lead to a lack of competition in elections and an aversion to compromise in Richmond. Mr. Deeds has long championed a more balanced process, introducing legislation to create a bipartisan commission to draw up voting districts. Mr. Moran has staked a claim as the candidate who would protect the environment, but Mr. Deeds has a solid record of promoting green jobs, land conservation and alternative energy research.


Some progressive voters may look past Mr. Deeds, assuming he’s too far to the right on social issues. They should look again. Yes, he describes himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment. He’s willing, however, to put limits on gun ownership when the stakes are highest, brokering a compromise in an effort to close the state’s notorious gun show loophole. His support for abortion rights and for an amendment to prohibit the Confederate flag emblem from being displayed on state license plates are all the more impressive considering the weight of conservative voters in his district.

The knock on Mr. Deeds is that he’s a nice guy — an odd insult. The implication is that he might not be forceful enough to push his agenda through a balky legislature. Our judgment, from watching Mr. Deeds over the years, is that he is more politically astute than his “aw, shucks” persona might suggest. He has carefully studied Democratic governors who have accomplished the most — notably Mark R. Warner and Gerald L. Baliles — and understands how they mixed reaching out with playing tough. He’s better positioned to do both than either of his opponents.


Democratic voters may wonder: How can Mr. Deeds beat presumptive Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell, who beat Mr. Deeds in the attorney general’s race four years ago? The answer: Mr. Deeds lost by a scant 323 votes out of roughly 2 million cast despite being outspent 2 to 1. This is one of only two governor’s races slated for the fall, and whoever wins the primary will have plenty of cash. Virginia is still more purple than blue, and Mr. Deeds’s moderate platform would have the broadest appeal.

Our judgment, though, is based on who would make the best governor in the Warner-Kaine tradition, not who would be the strongest candidate. Like those Northern Virginia senators who have endorsed Mr. Deeds — […]– we believe that he understands Northern Virginia. We also believe that he has the character, experience and savvy to be a successful leader of the entire commonwealth.


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11 responses to “WaPo: Don’t Let Good Deeds Go Unrewarded

  1. Woot! Mr. Deeds goes to Richmond!

  2. jeb

    It’s nice to hear about a good guy once in awhile. If he beats McAullife, that will be a bonus.

    • he sounds good, jeb, but i have learned not to get too excited about any candidate. sooner or later, they’ll do something to piss you off.

  3. Forgive my ignorance, but if Terry McAuliffe is the same guy who used to be the bigwig on the Democratic National Committee, why wouldn’t he be the best choice?
    He seems like a pretty sharp guy to me, and a diehard Democrat to boot.
    Wouldn’t he be the safer choice?

    • karen,
      when terry was chairman of the dnc, he pissed off a lot of people. he withheld funds from a lot of dem candidates, because he didn’t think they could win. he was good at raising money, but not very good when it came to strategery (i can’t stop spelling and saying it that way). if i am remembering correctly, he didn’t do anything to support ned lamont against joe mcliebercain. i’m sure someone else will correct me if i’m wrong and with a better explanation as to why some are not very thrilled with terry.

      • Curious

        That and selling (renting) the Lincoln bedroom. The last thing people want is another DNC/DC insider. If McAuliffe is the nominee, he gets flat stomped in a state that has elected 4 Dems statewide in a row.

        • hello curious!
          welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

          thank you for expanding on my comment. i understand that he also has been exaggerating his business experience. his business expertise seems to be limited to investments, not any executive experience.

          are you from virginia?

  4. dems2004 here!

    See my blog for more Terry news, among other things. Go WordPress!


    • hi mark!
      welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

      i added your link so that clicking on your name now goes to your blog. my best friend lives in virginia, so my knowledge of politics up there is limited to what she tells me and what i read. nice to have your site as another resource.

      by the way, lovely pics over there! πŸ˜‰