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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: It's all how you spin it

Editor’s Notebook: It’s all how you spin it

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I wonder if, back in the day when Li’l Scotty really was Li’l Scotty, if he could have pulled off this scene with his parents:

“Hey, mom and dad, here’s my report card. You’ll see that 40 percent of my grades were A’s and B’s.”

Now, Mama and Papa McCaffrey weren’t the kind to wallop their children (although I’m sure the thought crossed their minds), but once they figured out what I was saying was that 60 percent of my report card was LOWER than A’s or B’s, they would have been none too happy.


A new poll of Virginians finds that 40 percent of us believe our local school systems are doing an A or B job at educating the impressionable, recently-locked-down minds of the rising generation.

The survey, released late last week, was conducted by the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at University of Mary Washington, Virginia’s public schools, which showed that 26 percent gave their school systems a C and 16 percent gave them a D or F.

(Let’s see: 40 + 26 + 16 = 82, if my Fairfax County Public Schools math training still holds, although I did have to use my fingers and my toes to come up with it. I presume the remaining 18 percent were undecided.)

Those numbers don’t actually seem all that off the mark to me. What did seem off the mark, however, was that the body that released it seemed to view them as a victory of sorts, when in fact it seems to be more mediocre than anything else.

After all, would a student who got 40 percent A’s and B’s, 26 percent C’s and 16 percent D’s and F’s during a high-school career stand a shot at getting into the University of Mary Washington? I think not.

MAYBE HE WAS THINKING OF RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, TOO: There’s a lot of chatter among the politico-pundit class of Virginia, such as it is, about what the true motivations are for Gov. Youngkin traveling around the country in support of Republican candidates, some of whom don’t pass the smell test of those who cling to power in the aforementioned Virginia Republican politico-punditocracy.

But it’s always been the case that Old Dominion politicians would be out there hitting the hustings at campaign season.

Consider this item from an edition of the Northern Virginia Sun, back this coming week in 1964.

The paper reported that U.S. Rep. Joel Broyhill (R-10th), shortly would be out in California and Ohio in an effort to stump for GOP candidates.

Was gonna be a rough year for Republicans at the polls — presidential nominee Barry Goldwater picked up parts of the South and a few other random states but otherwise took the party down the toidee that Election Day.

(Broyhill had no problem winning re-election; he wouldn’t be taken out until Watergate allowed Democrat Joe Fisher to knock him off in 1974.)

Being elsewhere in the run-up to an election may draw brickbats from the hometown crowd. But it never hurts to make friends and have some people owing you political favors, I’m sure Broyhill felt (and Youngkin feels).

– Scott McCaffrey

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