One of the best insights into the character of a candidate is their response to the question where they’re asked to say something good about their opponent. It’s not a terribly common question, but it pops up from time to time and presents a unique opportunity to see right through the carefully-crafted talking points candidates tend to focus on delivering. There’s not much opportunity for spin here, and right away their response tells you who they really are. Style Weekly posed this question to Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds, and the difference between the responses each gave are about as starkly different as one could possibly imagine.
Q: Can you name one good reason that someone should vote for your opponent?
DEEDS: [Long pause] You know, I can name you a thousand good reasons why they should vote for me. I’m the best-prepared person to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. … Bob is a guy that I’ve always gotten along with, but I get along with most people. I work hard to get along with people. I don’t agree with Bob on a great deal.
McDONNELL: He’s a good family man. He’s worked hard to represent his district well for 18 years. To me, he’s a good story of somebody living and accessing the American dream. You know, he tells the story about … first guy in his family to go to college with four $20 [bills] in his pocket and now he’s competing for the job held by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To me, that’s a great story. I think there’s a hundred reasons why I’d be a better governor than him, but for the way, and this is his own personal life story, the way he has told it — it obviously happened because of tremendous hard work, tremendous perseverance to be able to get to the level that he is at, and I think that’s very admirable.
McDonnell leading by between fifteen and seventeen points in the polls released this week isn’t an anomaly. He’s earned that lead.
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