It's hard to explain when a politician from one part of the political spectrum endorses someone from another part. But that's exactly what's happening later today, as liberal Demcrat Leslie Byrne endorses conservative Democrat Creigh Deeds for governor. Byrne's endorsement of Deeds - who has voted (among other things) "to designate English as the official language of Virginia, to make illegal immigrants ineligible for state or local benefits, and against a bill to allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates," as well as "to void contracts between members of the same sex that would have provided rights associated with marriage, such as hospital visits, and...against adding sexual orientation to a list of hate crime categories" - is hard to explain. My guess is that Leslie Byrne not only disagrees with Creigh Deeds on all those issues, but that she disagrees strongly (not to mention on environmental issues, such as Creigh's strong support for "clean coal" and even for "mountaintop removal" coal mining!).
So what's up with this surprise endorsement? The only thing I can think of is that Leslie simply likes Creigh Deeds (he is a very likable guy) and feels loyal to him, having run on the same "TLC" (Tim, Leslie, Creigh) ticket in 2005. Other than that...I dunno, maybe Leslie's friendship with Chap Petersen, who supports Creigh Deeds, comes into play here? A slap at Brian Moran, who has run as the born-again "liberal" in this race, as well as some of the people who support Brian Moran? Again, it's hard for me to explain this one, especially with only 13 days left to go and with Deeds trailing Terry by 14 points in the polls. Any other ideas? Other than that, I'm stumped.
P.S. This endorsement comes after another one that made perfect sense - Leslie announcing her support for Mike Signer, who is clearly the more progressive candidate in the race for LG. Now that one I can understand!