Deeds Campaign: "Our phones are ringing off the hook"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Is this deja vu all over again or what? Last spring, the Deeds campaign was widely assumed to be dead in the water. That is, until the surprise Washington Post endorsement of the Senator from Bath County caused a surge of attention and money to flow into the campaign. Now, it looks like history may be repeating itself, with a front-page, above-the-fold Washington Post story that completely demolished Bob McDonnell's laughable - but somewhat effective - attempt to rebrand himself from Pat Robertson Republican to Moderate Fairfax/Hampton Roads Soccer Dad (or whatever). The result? Check this out:
...Is there interest in the story? Judging by the media list who listened in to the call, which included everyone from CNN to Amy Walter of Hotline, absolutely.

"Our phones are ringing off the hook," Elleithee said. "Our e-mail box is filing up. People are wanting to know how they can get more engaged in the race. People are coming up to the campaign office and our canvassers and the candidate and asking how they can help because the stakes are too high."
The Post's Roz Helderman adds, "As the story spreads through the viral world of the Internet, we still have radio silence today from the McDonnell campaign." My guess is they're all huddled together trying to figure out whether: a) McDonnell should disown his Dominionist/theocratic thesis (e.g., by claiming it was sooooo long ago in a galaxy far, far away) thereby looking like a Mitt Romney-esque political opportunist/flip-flopper; or b) McDonnell should stand by his Dominionist/theocratic thesis, thereby looking like a lunatic; or c) McDonnell should do what all good Republicans do at times like this - attack, while simultaneously claiming to be the innocent "victim" of Democratic meanies, and also while simultaneously screaming "THEY'RE RELIGIOUS BIGOTS" or other such hysterical drivel! My guess is that they'll go with "c".

Meanwhile, as the McDonnell campaign figures out what to do with their not-at-all-"moderate" candidate, the Deeds campaign phones will continue "ringing off the hook," as Virginians of all political stripes stand horrified by the far-out-of-the-mainstream belief system (and political agenda) that Bob McDonnell's thesis (and subsequent behavior as a Virginia legislator) so richly reveals.

UPDATE: See Talking Points Memo for more coverage, including Mo Elleithee's comment that McDonnell's paper "served as a blueprint for governing" and also that "most Virginians would agree, that agenda is outside of the mainstream."

UPDATE #2: Also see the Richmond Times Dispatch for another good quote by Mo Elleithee, that the revelations about Bob McDonnell's theocratic thesis is "something that really has the potential to change the dynamics of this race."