See how the Democratic gubernatorial candidates run. First, Creigh Deeds, who came within a whisker of beating Bob McDonnell for AG in 2005 is pinning his hopes on his experience as a way to solve the intractable transportation problem:
“I’ve been in Richmond for 17 years,” said Deeds, who served in the House of Delegates before the Senate. “I know the process inside and out. I’m confident that I could come up with a plan and strategy that would work.”
The point, Creigh, is to have the plan before you get elected. Coming up with one after you've changed the drapes at the Governor's Mansion isn't an option. But that experience, including that messy ethics stuff, ought to serve him...or get him served.
Then there's Brian Moran, the non-crazy brother of Congressman Jim Moran. What's his plan for the future? Why, to wrap himself in the WarnerKaine mantle, of course:
“It is essential that we continue to make progress that was started under Mark Warner and Tim Kaine,” Moran said. “I’ve been in the room and helped influence those decisions.”
I was in the gallery at Augusta when Tiger Woods won his first Masters. Can I take credit for helping to influence his victory? Seems so.
And what of Terry?
“I would bring a big approach,” he said. “I would bring a sales approach. I would be the state’s chief salesman to convince businesses to come to Virginia.”
He thinks he's Monty Hall and Virginia is just a bigger version of "Let's Make a Deal."
I wonder if that means Carol Merrill will be Secretary of the Commonwealth?
And against all of this, there's Bob McDonnell:
McDonnell, 54, a Virginia Beach native who calls himself a “solid conservative,” said he plans to focus on transportation, low taxes, affordable college tuition and health care.“We intend to run a campaign based on issues and ideas,” McDonnell said. “We need to present a clear picture of what the Republican Party stands for — common sense ideas for things that people care about.”
Things people care about, eh?
The budget fight will probably trump all short-term considerations. However, if Bob and any of the Democrats want some ideas...here are a few:
*Implement school choice (tax credits are the best way to go and they can save the state considerable funds)
*Increase budget transparency to put spending in context.
*Tax reform -- sunsetting new taxes, fees and increases in existing taxes would be an excellent start to helping the GOP regain its credibility on the issue.
*Make the eminent domain reforms of 2007 permanent through a constitutional amendment and placing the transportation trust fund off limits to prying legislative hands.
Sensible, conservative, broadly-based. Can't get much closer to things people care about than their kids' education, their homes and their money.
(Cross-posted at Tertium Quids)