Virginia Republicans look to 2009…and beyond

Virginia Republicans look to 2009…and beyond

If there’s one thing that we love about Virginia’s odd-year election cycle, it’s that it stretches the already interminable political season into near-perpetuity, insuring that not a year goes by without a healthy dose of campaign shenanigans for us to laugh at, lacerate and lampoon to our snarky heart’s content.

Simply red? The state GOP is hell-bent on turning the state back around, and Virgil Goode could be a key player in its strategy.

Case in point? The current 24-month political smorgasbord that encompasses all sorts of local, statewide and national elections, from the Commonwealth’s House of Delegates and gubernatorial contests this November to the U.S. House face-offs in 2010. (Sadly, we don’t get another U.S. Senate match until 2012, but since it should feature the cantankerous incumbent Jim Webb, we can promise that it’ll be a good ’un!)

What’s that you say? You’d like a break from the non-stop barrage of inter-party sniping, obnoxious attack ads and irresolvable budget battles? Well, too bad, Chico! As the Birthplace of Presidents, it is Virginia’s solemn duty to make sure that someone, somewhere, is always involved in the messy business of running for office. If you don’t like it, you can always move to a state where they only hold elections every two years, hardly anyone votes, and the winners invariably quit or are forced to resign before term’s end—you know, like Alaska!

Anyway, the other great thing about the Old Dominion’s never-ending vote-a-thon is that it produces all sorts of weird statistics that aren’t possible in those boring, even-year-election states. Like, did you know that, ever since 1977, Virginia’s Governorship has always been won by the party that lost the previous year’s presidential election?

Well, we’ll tell you who does know that—the Virginia GOP, that’s who. And, now that they have a well-funded, bland-yet-amiable candidate in Bob McDonnell, party leaders are hoping that a decisive victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds will kick off a Republican resurgence across the Commonwealth.

In fact, not only is the Republican Party of Virginia already vowing to expand its razor-thin six-seat Delegate majority this year (by, for example, mounting challenges to 15 of Fairfax County’s 17 House seats), but is already making noises about picking off a few Democrats on the national level in 2010.

Top on their hit list, of course, is U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, the giant-slayer who squeaked past long-term incumbent Virgil Goode by a mere 727 votes. Assisted by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has promised to run ads slamming Perriello’s voting record, the RPV is dead-set on repainting the Fifth District a vibrant shade of red.

And then? Well, with the GOP elephant on the rampage, perhaps ex-Senator George Allen (who has, after all, just announced plans to publish a book titled The Triumph of Character) will somehow overcome his career-ending “Macaca” moment and best Senator Webb in a knock-down-drag-out rematch in 2012.

Still not enough for you? Well, don’t count out Virginia’s ambitious Congressman Eric Cantor, who has just signaled his presidential ambitions by starting a Political Action Committee called “Every Republican Is Crucial.” (ERIC, get it?)

That’s right: Governor McDonnell, Representative Goode, Senator Allen and President Cantor. Hmm… maybe a move to Alaska is warranted, after all.