From: Gary L. Bauer
Heartbreak In Virginia
Heading into yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia, the media were promising a blowout. Virtually all the polls predicted a liberal landslide. Three October polls found Democrat Terry McAuliffe leading by double digits. One even had McAuliffe up by 17 points.
Instead, the results turned out to be a thin, heartbreaking defeat for conservatives. The race for Attorney General is too close to call, but at last check Republican Mark Obenshain was leading by more than 1,000 votes.
But a loss is still a loss. The final total was:
- Democrat Terry McAuliffe 48%
- Republican Ken Cuccinelli 45%
- Libertarian Robert Sarvis 7%.
Don’t Believe The Spin
Here is the “conventional wisdom” about the results that you will hear from Big Media, liberals and some Republicans: The Tea Party movement is dead. Abortion and values issues are killers. Republicans need to move to the center.
Here is the reality of the race:
- Ken Cuccinelli was outspent 2-to-1. Michael Bloomberg, Planned Parenthood and even a liberal billionaire who wants to make climate change a major issue all jumped in against Cuccinelli with major negative ad campaigns.
- The business wing of the Republican establishment abandoned Cuccinelli. The Chamber of Commerce spent $1 million in 2009 to help elect Republican Bob McDonnell. It spent nothing to help Cuccinelli. Many traditional GOP donors in Richmond’s business community sat it out.
- A “conservative” third party candidate was in the race. That libertarian spoiler got on the ballot thanks to a billionaire Obama supporter from Texas.
- The incumbent Republican governor was crippled by a financial scandal and may still face charges. As a result, he was unable to be an effective surrogate or fundraiser for Cuccinelli.
- Due to the heavy concentration of contract defense workers and federal employees in Virginia, the government shutdown probably hurt Cuccinelli.
Yet in spite of all that, Cuccinelli lost by only 55,000 votes out of two million cast.
Look at it another way: One year ago Obama won Virginia 51% to 47%. A year later, an Obama clone ran against one conservative candidate and one candidate masquerading as a conservative, and the result was 48% for the liberal and 52% for the conservatives. That is a significant swing in a state we were told could no longer be won by a conservative.
Christie’s Big Victory
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won a historic landslide last night. Whether Christie is one of your favorites or not, he is clearly a force to be reckoned with in the Republican Party.
He is not as moderate as some think. He is pro-life (exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother). He vetoed legislation allowing same-sex “marriages.” He has repeatedly vetoed taxpayer-funding of Planned Parenthood. But he is not as conservative as he will suggest he is in the next three years.
The lesson of Chris Christie’s success is not that conservatives need to water down their positions. Rather his lesson is about style.
Christie is a confident candidate. He doesn’t shy away from a good fight. He clearly enjoys the rough and tumble atmosphere of the political arena.
But maybe the best lesson of all can be seen in this clip from his victory speech last night. About five minutes into the clip, Christie says:
- “And while we may not always agree, we show up everywhere. We just don’t show up in the places that vote for us a lot, we show up in the places that vote for us a little. We don’t just show up in the places where we’re comfortable, we show up in the places where we’re uncomfortable. Because when you lead, you need to be there. You need to show up, you need to listen and then you need to act.”
Often the professional consultants try to convince conservative candidates to be liberal-lite. Perhaps they should try presenting conservative ideas as the better way. Conservatives should, as Christie suggests, take their ideas to everyone, including minority communities being destroyed by failed, big government policies.
The lesson is not to water down the conservative message, and don’t just take the conservative message to conservative parts of a state or district. It won’t always be fun. It will be raucous. But the political process would be better served by campaigns that engage as many voters as possible.
By the way, one of the biggest knocks against Christie is that he is not always a team player. Conservatives are buzzing today about the report that Christie, who had a mammoth lead in the polls, repeatedly refused requests to come to Virginia to campaign for Ken Cuccinelli.
His refusal to help if it’s true, will only add to Christie’s problems with conservative primary voters if he runs for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is facing accusations that he repeatedly plagiarized material in his columns and speeches. Paul initially denied the allegations, saying, “I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting ”
But the evidence was compelling and Paul conceded that mistakes were made in his office. The New York Times compared a September 14th column by Dan Stewart for The Week and a September 20th column by Senator Paul written for theWashington Times. The New York Times reports:
- “That article, written by Dan Stewart
included this sentence: ‘America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.’
- “On Sept. 20, Mr. Paul wrote this: ‘America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.'”
Paul’s weekly column in the Washington Times has been cancelled by a mutual agreement between the senator and the newspaper. Other news outlets said they found comments from Paul’s speeches that appeared to be lifted almost verbatim from Wikipedia and Focus on the Family’s magazine.
Yesterday in an interview with CNN, Paul said, “Ultimately, I’m the boss, and things go out under my name, so it is my fault. I never had intentionally presented anyone’s ideas as my own.” A spokesman for the senator added that going forward “a new approval process implemented by Sen. Paul will ensure proper citation and accountability in all collaborative works.”
But no matter how often the senator apologies, the left won’t drop it.
In contrast, the White House can use the IRS to intimidate and punish political opponents. It can abuse journalists. It can use the NSA for questionable intelligence gathering on American citizens. It can abandon Americans in Benghazi. It can lie repeatedly about Obamacare. And the left did not see plagiarism as an impediment to serving as Vice President of the United States.
We mentioned the purge of top military officers in recent a report and I continue to get emails about this issue. More and more knowledgeable people, including retired Major General Paul Vallely (former deputy Commanding General of the Pacific Command), are pointing to one of the lowest profile but most powerful individuals in the Obama White House — Valerie Jarrett.
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