June 3, 2007
With barely one week to go in the primary campaign, increasing attention is being paid by many commentators to the "horse race" aspect. For example, "SWAC Girl" began a recent post by asking "What are Hanger's polling numbers?" She was trying to downplay the significance of the endorsement of Emmett Hanger by Delegate Steve Landes and the lack of endorsements [of her candidate Scott Sayre by Republican] elected officials, possibly worried about the effect this may have on voters. I say, chill out: "Que sera, sera." [!]
That being said, let's get this straight: Emmett Hanger does not consult public opinion polls every time he makes a decision. He never has, and he never will. Some people say that show's he's "out of touch" with his constituents; I call it leadership. In that regard, it's well worth reading the statement he made when he announced his candidacy for reelection on April 25:
True and effective leadership, in my opinion, should be capable and willing to be visionary, recognize problems, and develop long term strategies to resolve those problems. Therein is the problem. Modern politics fosters "leaders" that in essence are followers. In order to be successful in modern politics you must convince people that your ideas are exactly what your constituents already believe to be the solution. In essence you must follow their lead.
That must change. You should never support someone to represent you that doesn't represent your basic viewpoints, but on the other hand you should not support them just because they have taken a poll and are telling you exactly what they know you want to hear.
I am prepared to continue providing leadership in the General Assembly, not only for the Republican Party, but for all of the citizens of the Commonwealth. I am prepared to confront the challenging issues of our day and attempt to forge consensus on how to address them. There is much work to do, but much of the foundation has been laid over the past several years to allow us to build an even better and stronger Virginia.
The contrast with the solicitous approach of Scott Sayre could not be starker.
Evidently, their 14-to-2 blogospheric preponderance (formerly 15-to-1) in the battle to unseat Sen. Hanger wasn't enough, so the bloggers4sayre have recruited
three four more bloggers "to help in the conservative battle in the blogosphere." It's funny how the self-proclaimed "Davids" seem to think they need more reinforcements to stand up against us "Goliaths."
Fred Thompson was the featured speaker at the Republican Party of Virginia's annual Commonwealth Gala dinner in Richmond last night, and he declared that the Republicans were about to rebound and hit the "comeback trail," with him in the lead. I certainly hope so; the party is in danger of cracking up over immigration, the war, and other vital issues. Whether or not he has much of substance to offer, he possesses the stylistic "mojo" of a winner. Thompson filed preliminary papers for a possible presidential run last week, and assuming the money starts flowing in as everyone expects, he will probably declare his candidacy later this month. Possible problem: When I saw the photo of Thompson with his wife Jeri in the Washington Post, I assumed it was his daughter.
In Saturday's News Leader, Al Dahler urged voters to vote to uphold fiscal responsibility, the meaning of which is obvious to all but a few hard-core ideologues, but he doesn't name the candidates.
CORRECTION: On Tuesday I cited an earlier op-ed piece by Mr. Dahler and referred to him as a "'progressive' (leftist)." After contacting him, I learned that he used to be a member of the Wyoming Republican State Central Committee, and that he does not consider himself a leftist. My apologies for the major-league goof; at least I acknowledged multiple meanings of "progressive" in my blog post.
This is a potential bombshell news item, but it somehow escaped my notice last week: Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO), of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has released the entire text of Valerie Plame's February 12, 2002 memo (only excerpts had been released previously), and it indicates that she did suggest that her husband Joe Wilson would be a good person to make a fact-finding trip to Niger, even before Vice President Dick Cheney was involved. This contradicts her testimony before Congress. See nationalreview.com ; hat tip to Junkyard Blog.