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McDonnell v. Deeds: Character Counts

By Greg L | 30 October 2009 | Virginia Politics | 7 Comments

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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  1. Freedom said on 31 Oct 2009 at 5:51 am:
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    The difference between these two is absolutely amazing!!!

  2. park'd said on 31 Oct 2009 at 9:19 am:
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    Thank God this state is coming back to the conservatives. Libs have done enough damage to last for the next 50 years. With any luck He and Cooch will start to get tough on illegal aliens and help us recover from this destruction.

  3. Groveton said on 31 Oct 2009 at 10:56 am:
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    Deeds is a lousy candidate. Just like McCain was a lousy candidate last November. However, I think it’s a tremendous stretch to impugn the character of Creigh Deeds (or John McCain) based on their weakness in running a campaign. The quotes in this article convince me that Bob McDonnell is a better public speaker than Creigh Deeds. The quotes suggest to me that Bob McDonnell is smarter than Creigh Deeds. However, they do not (in any way) prove anything about either candidate’s character. The only character called into question is that of the article’s author who is trying to use a single, point in time quote to make a lifetime character assessment. I thought this type of inappropriate behavior was restricted to those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. You know, the liberals who would take a single word or phrase uttered by President Bush and declare that the word or phrase proved the president to be stupid, lazy, dishonest, incompetent … well … lacking in character. C’Mon Greg L - you need to be better than this. This November is interesting. Next November is critical. Put a muzzle on the character talk. Focus on the candidates and the issues. Because I could live with Deeds as Governor but I can’t live with Gerry Connolly as one of our US Representatives. Save your vitriol for that race.

    For the record - barring a Mecaca incident - I will be voting for Mr. McDonnell this Tuesday. This is the first election in a long, long time where I will probably vote all Republican. I say probably because I am still considering the AG race.

  4. Captain Willard said on 31 Oct 2009 at 1:09 pm:
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    I made it to the Democrat soiree last night at City Grille. Lots of wide bodies bending over to shake hands and putting their bountiful backsides into people’s faces. One greeting I overheard, “Why it’s been so long since I’ve seen you I been through two weaves.” Lots of polyester sans-a-belts on the old guys with Depends bulges showing through. Cell phones going off as the candidates tried to speak. The best thing there was Camera Lady. A blond 20 something with legs to die for and a smile that reminded me of Mozart chamber music in three quarter time. And then there were two goons with black t-shirst on and orange lettering looking like about as comfortable as my Doberman passing a peach pit.

    The starkest difference I noticed between this affair and any Republican event I’ve been to was the lack of starting the meeting with the Pledge of Alliegence. Nope, no patriotism whatsoever, just right into the partisan cheerleading. Colgan comparing this election to the Truman/Dewey upset. Right. You were there, weren’t you Chuck? When’s this guy going to take his ill-gotten gains and move to Nicaragua?

    All in all in was a pretty sorry assemblage of humanity. John Steinbach was actually the most normal looking person there (next to me, but I was trying to be inconspicuous). The despair was palpable. But then again, the Democrat Party has always been the Party of the Depressed.

  5. Black Saint said on 2 Nov 2009 at 8:16 am:
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    If Republicans want a future and American citizens a future then we better all get back to the Values that made this Nation great to our Constitution & the Rule of Law. Politicians had better start working for the Citizens of this Nation instead of putting self first, Lobbyist second, and party third! That means talking the talk and walking the walk not saying or promising everything during the election and going everything else after they get elected. That means working for the vast majority of Citizens not fringe groups, special interest, or illegal aliens & Citizens of other countries put Citizens and the future of this Nation first and foremost always!

  6. Kevin C. said on 2 Nov 2009 at 2:52 pm:
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    Black Saint said: “…not saying or promising everything during the election and going everything else after they get elected.”

    Yo’ mean like da current PREZ?

    Word on the street is, they might put his face on the THREE DOLLAR BILL!

    Won’t dat be DOPE?

  7. Kevin C. said on 2 Nov 2009 at 2:57 pm:
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    Captain Willard said: “…Colgan comparing this election to the Truman/Dewey upset. Right. You were there, weren’t you Chuck? When’s this guy going to take his ill-gotten gains and move to Nicaragua?”

    Have you heard the NEWEST Irish prayer/toast?

    “Here’s hoping Colgan Air doesn’t FLY OVER YOUR HOUSE!”

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