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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reaction to the Ben Tribbett Endorsement of McAuliffe

Ben Tribbett endorsed Terry McAuliffe today in a surprisingly well written post. I say surprising because Ben can often be inflammatory and hyperbolic - and even that is an understatement. It wouldn't be an exageration to say that Ben likes to stir things up and see where they settle when he's done.

But today he laid out a thoughtful and well reasoned argument for why he is supporting McAuliffe. He discusses his reasons for choosing Terry over Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran in a way that displays his candidate's positive attributes without disparaging his opponents. Indeed, Ben discusses the weak points of the Moran campaign and explains why he didn't go with Creigh. He manages to be frank without being unduly nasty. Ben should write like this more often because it's so effective at persuading readers.

Right after Ben's endorsement, Terry McAuliffe also sent out this video of himself with Ben.



Although I think Ben did an excellent job on his candidate's behalf, it's that candidate whom I still can't support. I wrote a comment on NLS that pretty much sums up my feelings about the matter:
Ben, overall, I think yours is a well reasoned and thoughtful endorsement that will benefit your candidate. Kudos for saying it so well!

Right now, I am staying with Brian Moran, but I echo a lot of the sentiments of John 12:17.

I know Brian personally and know that he will be a good, hardworking, and dedicated governor. Unfortunately, his campaign suffered from a lack of clear message and went far too harsh. I am deeply sorry that it did because all that accomplished was to obscure his real talents and ability.

I also agree with Barry Bonds' doc, though, about your trying to link McAuliffe to Webb. No two men could be more different in every way.

I realize that McAuliffe has enjoyed the support of most of the former Webb supporters. But the actual candidates and their campaigns are as alike as apples and oranges.

Webb had no money and ran a shoe string operation, staffed and supported by a genuine grassroots, where McAuliffe spent lavishly and created a splash by sheer dint of his oversized personality. And his impressive crowds everywhere have mostly been paid staffers.

Where Webb was almost dour, McAuliffe's personality is bubbly, outsized, and larger than life. In a million years, Webb would never call himself, nor would anybody else call him a "huckster." If you did, Webb would possibly deck you. He definitely would scowl at you and consider it an insult. Terry, on the other hand, proclaimed it proudly about himself.

It's that huckster part that sticks in my craw. I think he could be a good governor and possibly is the most electable at this point. But I still don't want a huckster, with his special interest money and all his deals that always benefitted him, made him richer, and somehow managed to make his partners all the poorer for investing with him.

I guess I will stick with a fighter who remembers the taste of powdered milk from his childhood over a huckster. Even if he ran a less than perfect campaign.
The more I think about it, those words could probably serve as my endorsement of Brian Moran, although I will write a separate post to reiterate it.

I have criticized Brian's less than perfect campaign, but I still think he is the best man for the job. The irony is that after seeing the video of Ben with McAuliffe, I think I'd vote for Ben before McAuliffe in a primary. Ben at least comes off as sincere.

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