It’s a tale as old as time: Politician, down on his luck, shacks up with a nice, unassuming little municipality. This city—cute, but not super-flashy or anything—nurtures and consoles said politician in his time of need, letting him know that he’s still an awesome elected official, no matter what those nasty newspapers and know-nothing chattering classes might be saying about him.
Fine, be that way! If you love Northern Virginia so much, Mr. Gubernatorial Nominee, why don’t you marry it!
And then what happens? The guy gets one tiny taste of success, and poof! Just like that he up and leaves, abandoning his adorable adopted home for some sprawling, ugly, vote-rich hussy upstate.
Yes, we’re looking at you, Creigh Deeds! Don’t think that we haven’t noticed that, barely a week after your (surprisingly convincing) upset victory in the Dem gubernatorial primary, you cavalierly announced that you would be moving your campaign headquarters from Charlottesville to some strip-mall-laden location in Northern Virginia. Maybe even (shudder) Alexandria!
Well fine, be that way. But don’t come crying to us if those fickle, exurban Hummer-drivers start treatin’ you bad. Sure, you can talk to the Washington Post all you want about being “strategically positioned to take advantage of the resources there,” but believe us when we say that Virginia voters know a carpetbagger when they see one — just look what they did to Terry McAuliffe!
And don’t think that Republican nominee Bob McDonnell isn’t going to fight you tooth and nail for every NoVa vote he can get. He did, after all, grow up in Fairfax—plus, he’s been giving every indication that he intends to run as a milquetoast, middle-of-the-road technocrat in the Mark Warner mold. (Hell, he even got a passel of prominent Republicans who previously worked for Warner to join a group called “Virginians for McDonnell”—a blatant rip-off of the toothy one’s 2001 “Virginians for Mark Warner” effort.)
Of course, McDonnell—a committed social conservative and proud graduate of Regent University—still has a few obstacles to overcome on his road to centrist nirvana. Although he’s done a good job so far in painting himself as a common-sense moderate, his long history of 700 Club appearances and unapologetically right-of-center actions as attorney general (like his support of a group of dissident Episcopalians who split with the church following the consecration of an openly gay bishop) will be hard to obscure. Plus, he has to run on the same ticket as current AG nominee Ken “Lock-n-Load” Cuccinelli, the state senator best known for trying to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding and proposing a law that would allow employers to fire workers who don’t learn English.
So good luck and godspeed, Mr. Deeds! You just go ahead and pack your bags—we promise not to make a fuss. No, really, don’t even look back. We’ll just find some other dejected, long-shot candidate to fill the aching hole in our political heart.
Hey, has anyone seen Virgil Goode recently?