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Taylor Marsh

Taylor Marsh

Posted: June 7, 2009 01:11 AM

My Blue Collar Husband and Terry McAuliffe


We're new to the D.C. area. So when we started paying attention to the Virginia governors race it was late in the game. But it didn't take long for my blue collar husband to take sides. I haven't, except that Brian Moran isn't an option for me. He's still fighting '08 primary fights against Terry McAuliffe because he backed Clinton. That turned us off from the start. So it's between Creigh Deeds and Terry McAuliffe. Well, not for my husband. There's only one choice for him. That's McAuliffe. I'll explain in a minute. For those of you not familiar with the race, here's where it stands:

For months, much of the attention in the race had centered on its most unexpected candidate: McAuliffe, the well-known confidant to President Bill Clinton who joined the race in January, after serving as chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed presidential campaign. With millions of dollars from his enormous national network of donors, he began a presidential-style campaign across Virginia, building what is now believed to be a massive grass-roots organization throughout Northern Virginia and in the African American communities of Hampton Roads and Richmond.


Moran, long the presumptive favorite for the nomination, struggled to adapt to McAuliffe's entry into the race and is now hoping voter loyalty in Northern Virginia will be his trump card. As a symbol of his slow but steady effort, he has held on to a tortoise saved from a Prince William highway, keeping it in his SUV.

But it has been the race's most unheralded candidate that has shown momentum in the final mad dash of campaigning. Deeds, the most conservative and least polished of the three, has been blitzing the Washington suburbs since recent polls showed him surging in an area where it was assumed he would have trouble connecting with voters. Even modest success there could help him cobble together a majority, given his strength elsewhere.

People must be a little worried, because a couple of posts have lately picked on Terry McAuliffe. One post a bit earlier took issue with something I'd written and even goes so far as to completely misrepresent a post I wrote in order to target McAuliffe. The post I wrote was about Moran targeting McAuliffe through Hillary. Believe it or not, this post takes out after McAuliffe for backing Clinton too.

What does that have to do with Virginia? As my husband looked for work, he wanted to know that too.

After having the same job since he was in his twenties, when we moved he took early retirement, which meant my husband was looking for work once we landed. Even as talented as he is it was daunting. He can build anything; give him two beams and you'll get yourself a shopping mall; he can also fix anything. He was offered a couple of jobs, then landed a really good one, but the hunt had an impact. That's when McAuliffe's ads started showing up. He also heard Creigh Deeds, coming to the judgment that he "sounds like a solid guy." But McAuliffe's ads had a bigger impact on him. What my husband heard from McAuliffe was a man who can widen his job options if he goes hunting again. He also heard enthusiasm and someone who he believes has the dynamic optimism to convince businesses to choose Virginia.

When I told him I hadn't decided whom to vote for, though neither of us will vote for Moran because of his negativity, he looked at me like I'd just insulted him. "How can you not vote for the guy?, meaning McAuliffe. "He's so optimistic. You just know he'll tell businesses they have to come to Virginia and they'll come." Of course, my husband doesn't know a thing about the progressive push against Terry McAuliffe, so when I told him he just laughed. After looking for work and seeing the job market after so long, he's looking for someone who can pitch big companies, get them to Virginia and help people like him have more choices. As far as he's concerned it's McAuliffe. "You've gotta vote for him," he now simply says.

I just don't know. With Moran hitting me wrong from the start, looking at Creigh Deeds, he seems solid, his record a good one. The Washington Post endorsement was impressive. But...

I'm just not convinced he can beat Bob McDonnell, who is slick. He's also got serious right-wing tendencies, and the guy he picked to run his campaign proves McDonnell's judgment stinks.

"One of the underlying concerns that many thoughtful Virginians have about McDonnell are his ties to the Christian right," Sabato said. "I can't tell you how many times senior people have asked, 'Who will Bob McDonnell appoint to the 4,000 appointments he gets?' 'Who will run the college boards of visitors and the state agencies?'


"The reasons these questions matter to the people asking them is they fear it will be the far right and the Christian conservatives," he said.

So, it gets down to who can beat McDonnell for me. Nothing else matters. I'm just not sure it's Creigh Deeds.

Taylor Marsh reports from Washington, D.C., and you can also follow her on Twitter, as well as through her podcasts, "TM-DC".