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Thursday, March 23, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Youngkin better up his game, pronto

Editor’s Notebook: Youngkin better up his game, pronto

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Let’s face it: The television and social-media advertising of both candidates for Virginia governor leaves much to be desired.

But in this case, that’s an advantage for Terry McAuliffe, because he’s the known quantity. For Republican Glenn Youngkin, the question is: When are you going to get your messaging in gear?

Yes, it’s pre-Labor Day, but due to the new voting rules people will start casting ballots in just a few short weeks. Youngkin needs to capture some of them before they vote reflexively for McAuliffe, because those votes cast in late September can’t be taken back in October or the first few days of November if the people casting them change their minds.


Memo to Youngkin from me: I don’t care about your back-story, even if that’s what the consultants are telling you to tout. I want you to look directly into the camera and (let me type this slowly so everyone gets it) tell … me … exactly … what … you … plan … to … do … as … governor.

So far, we’re not seeing much of that.

Virginians deserve a competitive race, but it’s concerning that the “political outsider” (as he likes to call himself) Youngkin so far is failing in basic messaging strategy. One wonders if that is going to be the case all the way through November.

If so, McAuliffe wins in a walk. The public may not looooooove McAuliffe (it has been more a platonic business arrangement than a romance), but at least they (more or less) know who he is.

PUTTING MY VALUES WHERE MY (LOUD) MOUTH IS: An organization that shall remain nameless (because this is merely an observation on my part, not a criticism) sent over an invitation to attend an upcoming, with an R.S.V.P. card (electronic-style) attached.

The invitation included the notation that all attendees should expect to be asked to produce proof of vaccination before admittance.

Regular readers know my view of these “show us your papers” requirements that are bubbling up – I have typed the words “East Germany” more in the last couple of weeks than I have in a lifetime, since that is what it all reminds me of. (And this is coming from someone long fully vaccinated; no anti-vaxxer am I.)

I declined the invitation and will not be attending the event, based on principle. (Although we all know my principles are malleable.) And I will, at the appropriate time, quietly mention to organizers why I politely turned them down.

Because at the end of the day, we’re definitely moving on a slippery slope. And while organizations can set the attendance rules for their events as they see fit, they also need to know that actions have consequences, if in this case merely that one loudmouth (yet still adorable …) press person won’t be in their company that day.

WHO SAYS PRINT IS DEAD? The Phillips family of Florida’s Panhandle area (love those white-sand beaches!), which years back owned the Sun Gazettes as well as, locally, the Journal Newspapers, last week entered into an agreement with Gannett to purchase a number of daily and weekly newspapers in Missouri and Arkansas, adding to their media holdings in those states.

The family-owned firm has been on a bit of a newspaper-acquisition streak of late, and if they’re buying, that means there is still revenue to be had in the world of local news, despite what the naysayers may say.

– Scott McCaffrey

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