|Some tough questions:
McAuliffe was asked by one of the panelists if he regretted making and even more importantly honoring his pledge not to campaign negatively against his competition, particularly when the voting records of Deeds and Moran provides plenty of opportunity to show why they are less suitable to be the next Governor of Virginia, and history actually shows that what they are stating today is not consistent with how they voted in the past.
McAuliffe responded that he stood by his principles and will win on his merits, more than on the others lacking credibility. He had no regrets about his pledge voluntarily made on the strength of his principles. He said he was dedicated to making a difference and he believed he is best qualified to generate new jobs and pull Virginia out of the recession. The fact that he enjoys endorsements from successful Governors is validation that he has what it takes to make Virginia prosperous and successful. McAuliffe said that polls are snap-shots and he did not believe in knee-jerk reactions to indicative polls. He continued that his achievements as Chairman of a Federally Chartered Bank, and as CEO of a failed real estate company on the verge of bankruptcy that he took over, turned around and gave Shareholders incredible value is testimony to his ability to rise from near collapse and build a strong organization. He spoke about his tenure as Chairman of the DNC, when he for the first time had the DNC financially strong, without debt, with a brand new office building and a strong database of voters.
In this context, it is interesting to watch the recent FOX interview:
Deeds came through very well well on the call. Clarity was there, he was calm and very relaxed. He was asked questions by the panelists, and also by listeners calling in. I do not understand why the other candidates did not have listeners calling in. One of the questions that Deeds was asked related to his voting in favor of allowing concealed guns in bars, and of his endorsement by the NRA - the only Virginia Democrat to be endorsed by the NRA since 1989 as per literature circulated by the Moran campaign. Deeds did not have a very convincing response and just stated that the present laws do not prohibit carrying of any visible guns into bars and therefore carrying concealed guns was not that big a deal. He may be right, except that when you see some one touting a gun, even a drunk in a bar would be more cautious today. And the staff in the Bar would have an opportunity to preempt violence. Deeds was also asked about the relevance of the Washington Post endorsement.
Here is the recent FOX interview of Deeds:
Moran came late on the show. One of his staff did a build up and answered a few questions. Whether by intent, or circumstances, Moran came on the show about 5 minutes later and explained that he had to leave a Women for Moran fundraiser. Moran was asked about his recent attacks on Deeds, since previously he had spent all his resources just attacking McAuliffe. He was also asked about Washington Post endorsing Deeds instead of Moran, who was the expected beneficiary. It appeared that the implication was that since Deeds was endorsed by the Washington Post, he suddenly became a more credible candidate and so had to be attacked by Moran. It appeared that the pattern of negative campaigning was Moran's approach and strategy.
Here is the recent FOX interview of Moran:
At the end of the show, it appeared that McAuliffe had the strongest plan for making Virginia successful. The panelists opined that while all three were good candidates, McAuliffe had the widest reach around the country and globally, to bring new investments to Virginia to generate new jobs. The panelists agreed that for anything to happen from outside the State, McAuliffe was the strongest candidate. The legislative and Virginia state administrative experience that Moran and Deeds claim was not unique and did not appear to be a great value add.
All candidates opined that this was a close race and everything would depend on voter turn out. Every one spoke about their GOTV plans and programs, and the efforts they are making to be elected the next Governor of Virginia.
McAuliffe has the strongest and most credible plan to make a difference once elected the Governor of Virginia. He outlined a strategy at the start of his campaign, and has stuck to it building support one voter at a time, one area at a time.
June 5th morning, Terry received the endorsement of Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana. As a popular two-term Governor, Governor Schweitzer knows that Terry has the right experience to get Virginia's economy moving again.
Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post wrote that the endorsement "sends a message that not only does Schweitzer think McAuliffe will win next Tuesday's primary (otherwise, why fly in from Montana to stand with a potential loser) but also that McAuliffe represents the best chance for Democrats to keep the seat in the fall election."
Deeds appeared very confident that if he won the Primary, the DNC and President Obama would make it their job to help him win the General Elections - since this would be a test of Obama's success as well, implying that a vote against a Democratic Governor of Virginia would imply Obama losing support! It is very surprising that he stated this on NPR, as this is not encouraging. Surprisingly the panelists did not ask Deeds whom he expected to help him once elected the Governor of Virginia, since both the DNC and Obama would then lose interest in him as they have to focus on the 38 other states where Governors are going to be elected in 2010. Deeds stated that he has always been the underdog and when he last ran against McDonnell, he had $3 million against McDonnell having $6 million. He clearly lacks innovative thinking so critical to the success and growth of Virginia. He appears to ignore that Virginia voters are not interested in getting him (or any one else) elected as Governor, but they are interested in a Governor who will make a difference in their lives.
On June 2nd, Public Policy Polling showed the race was a dead heat. On June 3rd, Survey USA gave Terry a significant, 6-point lead over Creigh Deeds, and a 9-point lead over Brian Moran.
Here is McAuliffe's most recent message:
In over 30 years of working in 4 continents and 10 countries, if there is one thing that I have learned, it is what makes a difference. The one thing critical for success is prioritizing. There's no time to be all things to all people. You need to know what you want to do, and have a plan to get it done. That's exactly what McAuliffe brings to the table. Clarity of thought and action, a focus on what makes a difference and a plan to get things moving is what will determine the future of Virginia.
June 3rd night, voters across the Commonwealth tuned in to see a joint-candidate forum sponsored by YouTube, Politico, Google and ABC. And as with all of the joint-appearances, McAuliffe once again demonstrated why he is the candidate with the focus, discipline, and resolve to bring well-paying jobs to the Commonwealth of Virginia. No moment from the forum was more telling than when James from Arlington asked the three candidates the one thing they'd like to be remembered for after serving as governor for four years. Here is the response that makes it clear who is the best qualified candidate to be the the next Governor of Virginia. McAuliffe answered in one line and the moderator had to provoke him to speak more, and McAuliffe repeated his one line. Moran spoke for a LONG time and made a campaign speech. Deeds spoke for less time than Moran, a lot more than McAuliffe, and was just as ineffective as Moran. Here is the video that is SO revealing of who is most effective:
Please vote for McAuliffe on Tuesday, to be the next Governor of Virginia. I will.