In general, a politician – whether of the male, female or still-undecided variety – probably would rather spend more time with a sports reporter than with a news reporter, for a host of reasons.
So it was no surprise, perhaps, that Gov. Northam gave our own Dave Facinoli all the time in the world last week in answering questions about His Excellency’s own youth-baseball career back in the day.
The governor was in Vienna Thursday night to throw out the first pitch at the state Little League tournament. Dave tells me our physician-governor had good form – you could tell he had played the game in his youth – but his pitch was somewhat out of the strike zone. Just to keep everyone on his/her toes, I suppose.
After clearing it with a somewhat cranky press person and the governor’s amenable security detail, Dave wandered over and chatted up the governor as local TV-news crews stewed while awaiting their turn. Score one for us ink-stained wretches.
You can like the governor’s performance in office or dislike it, but you can’t say he isn’t amiable. In a folksy way – unlike, say Terry McAuliffe’s equally open to everyone but decidedly more caffeinated personality – Northam, too, definitely comes across, in a retail setting, as a people-person.
(Although, as the old joke goes, the most important attribute to be an effective politician is sincerity; once you learn to fake that, you’ve got it made …)
YEP, THEY MADE A MISTAKE: We have full coverage [CLICK HERE to read all about it], but to cut to the chase, let me be the judge/jury/executioner of the tempest that bubbled up late last week in advance of President Biden’s arrival in Arlington for a campaign stop with the aforementioned Terry McAuliffe.
County Republicans pounced on an Arlington government release that gave the logistics of the event so people could avoid traffic congestion (so far, so good …) but then went a step further an provided a hyperlink to a group promoting the event, one that happened to be connected to the McAuliffe campaign.
Republicans (and others) howled it was a blatant political move by the Arlington government, as all those who clicked on that link for information suddenly became fodder for future pro-McAuliffe outreach in what could be a close election.
Hustled out to answer my questions on the issue, County Board Chairman Matt de Ferranti gave it the ol’ college try. He said that the county government had received inquiries from the public about the event, so including the link was a way to assist the public.
Behind the scenes, and not for attribution, a couple of my go-to local Democratic leaders acknowledged that linking to a campaign was an idea not particularly well thought through by staff. (Nobody’s suggesting County Board members had anything to do with it.)
On the political-sin-o-meter, I’d give the county government a not insubstantial 4.25 on a scale of 1-to-10 on this one. Not the end of the world, but, and let me use my snide Paul Lynde impersonation here: “tacky, tacky, tacky.”
– Scott McCaffrey