With Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds’ polls growing increasingly bad, while Republican candidate Bob McDonnell leads by double-digits, the White House has decided it is now time to trash Deeds and distance itself from the potential loss.
The story from the Washington Post, of all places. Keep in mind, the WaPo has endorsed Deeds twice so they too are trying to explain why Deeds is losing since they’ll never admit they’ve become increasingly powerless with endorsements.
Sensing that victory in the race for Virginia governor is slipping away, Democrats at the national level are laying the groundwork to blame a loss in a key swing state on a weak candidate who ran a poor campaign that failed to fully embrace President Obama until days before the election.
Senior administration officials have expressed frustration with how Democrat R. Creigh Deeds has handled his campaign for governor, refusing early offers of strategic advice and failing to reach out to several key constituencies that helped Obama win Virginia in 2008, they say.
Democratic strategists said that over the summer, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) offered Deeds advice on winning a statewide election. Among other things, Kaine, who is also chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told Deeds that he should lay out more of his own vision and stop attacking Republican Robert F. McDonnell so ferociously. But Deeds did not embrace the advice, according to a national Democratic strategist.
A senior administration official said Deeds badly erred on several fronts, including not doing a better job of coordinating with the White House. “I understood in the beginning why there was some reluctance to run all around the state with Barack Obama,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the race. “You don’t do that in Virginia. But when you consider the African American turnout that they need, and then when you consider as well they’ve got a huge problem with surge voters, younger voters, we were just a natural for them.”
A second administration official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Obama, Kaine and others had drawn a road map to victory in Virginia. Deeds chose another path.”
A loss for Deeds in Virginia — which for the first time in decades supported the Democratic presidential candidate in last year’s race — would likely be seen as a sign that Obama’s popularity is weakening in critical areas of the country. But the unusual preelection criticism could be an attempt to shield Obama from that narrative by ensuring that Deeds is blamed personally for the loss, particularly given the state’s three-decade pattern of backing candidates from the party out of power in the White House.
Deeds advisers insist the notion that he has distanced himself from Obama isn’t true. “We’ve enjoyed a tremendous relationship with the White House,” said Mo Elleithee, a campaign spokesman. “The campaign has worked very closely with them and the DNC and the [Democratic Governors Association] from the very beginning. They have given us just about everything the campaign asked for.”
This is rather amazing to see this happening before the election on November 3rd, in a couple weeks. Basically what they’re saying here is that Obama has nothing to do with Deeds’ campaign and if he loses, it proves nothing about Obama or the unpopular, anti-capitalist policies he supports.
The bottom line here, not good news for poor Creigh Deeds, he just can’t catch a break. The ulterior message from the White House has to be that if you don’t follow their line to the “T,” expect to be tossed under the Obama express for your transgressions against the administration.