We had an editorial some weeks back noting that, if only former President Donald Trump would hold his tongue and refrain from sending out incendiary messages about the looming Virginia gubernatorial race, the state GOP might stand a decent chance of winning back some of the suburban voters who abandoned the party in the era of Trump.
You expected him to follow that sane and sensible advice? We didn’t. And he didn’t.
“Terry McAuliffe was a failed and unpopular governor, whose only claim to fame was his relationship with Crooked Hillary Clinton – how did that work out?” the former president opined in a mass e-mail last week. “I knew McAuliffe well. He accepted large campaign contributions from me, said only great things and would do whatever I wanted, until I ran for office. He was a political HACK!”
Surely Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin and those around him cringe at these types of things. To win, Youngkin needs to hold onto Trump voters while building back some of the pre-Trump Republican base and also reaching out to independents and Democrats disaffected by the recent swings of the political pendulum. And rantings from Trump do not help the cause of building a wide coalition.
Even Trump supporters have said it, sometimes again and again, about the 45th president: “What is wrong with this guy? Why does he need to constantly make it about ‘him’ even when it causes his purported allies difficulties?” Ah, sweet mysteries of life …
Seems unlikely anybody, even the most rabid partisan, would be willing to wager his/her house in a bet over which side is going to win in Virginia in November. At this point, it’s a toss-up and probably will be until we see Youngkin and McAuliffe go toe to toe. But as the editorial of a few weeks ago says, every time Trump opens his mouth or taps on his keyboard, Virginia Republicans lose votes.
OUR PROGNOSTICATIONS: ALWAYS FEARLESS, SOMETIMES IN ERROR: Here’s one from the history column, back this week in 1984 as Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale was rolling out his selection of Geraldine Ferraro as the first major-party vice-presidential selection.
The Northern Virginia Sun was out with a column suggesting that the selection of Ferraro would not only help Mondale’s chances nationally, it also would assist Democrat Edythe Harrison as she attempted to unseat single-term U.S. Sen. John Warner.
Our predecessors at the Sun Prognostication Desk went 0-for-2 on that one 😊.
- Scott McCaffrey