45.5 F
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: We'll call him 'U.S. Rep. Little Mary Sunshine'

Editor’s Notebook: We’ll call him ‘U.S. Rep. Little Mary Sunshine’

Must Read

An intra-Democratic campaign forum between incumbent Don Beyer and challenger Victoria Virasingh on Saturday provided no particular fireworks, but did have some telling moments.

Two struck me as most interesting.

Numero Uno, challenger Virasingh is sticking with her plan of not directly and only seldom even indirectly criticizing Beyer. There might have been a couple of moments at the debate where she threw a little shade, as the cool kids might put it, but one had to listen really hard to the words and even then couldn’t be sure.

(Kindly Uncle Scotty for years has advised challengers in primaries that they’d better come up with some reasons to oust the incumbent to even have a semblance of a chance. But let’s not kid ourselves: Virasingh is enthusiastic, pleasant and fits the progressive mold of Northern Virginia’s Democratic bubble, but she will not be winning this race. One wonders if she can top 30 percent, which I’d consider a very commendable result for her.)


Numero Dos on the notable moments of the debate hit parade was the Pollyanna-ish (or maybe Shirley Temple-ish, to borrow someone who, like Beyer, had been a U.S. ambassador) response by the incumbent to a question about what Democrats needed to do between now and November to avoid a shellacking for the party that some in the punditocracy see edging ever closer.

Beyer was Little Mary Sunshine, suggesting Americans actually were rolling along just fine.

“Things are way, way better than they were in virtually every respect” compared to before Joe Biden came into office, he said. “There’s an incredible story to be told.”

Ummmmm, well, maybe that’s the way it is here in the swampish 8th District, but nobody expects the 8th District to be a bellwether in November, so Beyer can get away with that arguably way out of touch viewpoint. One has to believe that Democratic candidates in more swing-y districts are not out on the hustings telling their constituents that things are great, because they’d be heckled out of the room if they tried it.

Anyway, we’ll have some coverage coming up. The breakfast event was sponsored by several affinity-group caucuses (“cauci”?) of the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Sorry not to be there in person (mmmmm, Busboys & Poets pancakes!), but I was able to check in with the livestream.

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE OUR SAN DIEGO ADVENTURE! News came last week (via my old stomping grounds, the Martinsburg Journal newspaper) that Patrick Murphy, who for a decade up to 2019 served as superintendent of Arlington’s public schools, was retiring after three years of service as schools chief in Berkeley County, W.Va.

Best of luck to him as he heads off, although it does remind me that I’m to Arlington leaders what J. Edgar Hoover was to presidents: I sit here, watch ’em come and watch ’em go, graying along the way.

It was in February of 2015 or 2016 (too bizzay to look it up) that I traveled out to a school-superintendent convention in San Diego, where Murphy was in the running for national superintendent of the year.

I schlepped cross-country for two reasons: One, I had never been to San Diego and, minus the somewhat aggressive panhandlers who call it home, it sure was a nice getaway from dreary D.C. winter, and two, I thought SOMEBODY ought to be there. Members of the Arlington School Board, who by that point were kinda tepid on Murphy, seemed to hold no interest in celebrating his achievement, let alone traveling 2,500 miles to be on hand, so it fell to me to represent the community and chronicle the event.

Murphy remained a bridesmaid, not the bride, when the national winner was announced, but I did watch the shebang at the San Diego Convention Center and briefly checked in with him there in between playing tourist and knocking out some coverage for the crowd back home.

  • Scott McCaffrey
- Advertisement -

Latest News

New School Board member receives liaison assignments

New Arlington School Board member Bethany Sutton has her assignments. School Board members on Feb. 2 are expected to approve...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This