Ken Blackwell

But this year, Virginians’ attention is focused on a still anemic economy, on a health care takeover that has a majority of Americans deeply concerned, and on cap and trade (some call it “cap and tax”) legislation that threatens to cut into some key Virginia industries. Bob McDonnell’s focus on jobs, transportation, education, and taxes seems closer to Virginians’ real concerns and closer, frankly, to the earth, than Creigh Deeds’ airborne assault campaign.

McDonnell did not get flustered when Deeds launched blistering attack ads. Nor did he wilt under the harsh glare of the Post’s attention. He has been well-served by his calm, thoughtful, and sincere manner.

The Post’s coverage seems almost to concede the Virginia race. It quotes unnamed White House officials saying they see “almost no way” for Deeds to come from behind to pull out a win. Their effort now seems to be to isolate this defeat, if defeat it becomes, and maintain that any candidate who fully embraces the Obama administration’s ambitious plans will do just fine. What else could they say?

McDonnell, meanwhile, has gone out of his way to appeal to last fall’s Obama voters, many of whom are clearly having second thoughts about the mountain range of debt already run up by congressional Democrats. Sheila Johnson, a leading black businesswoman, is featured in a McDonnell TV spot. She’s a Democrat for McDonnell, she says.

Another key defection from the Deeds campaign is L. Douglas Wilder. Wilder, the first black Governor of Virginia, is widely respected in Democratic circles. Wilder has not endorsed McDonnell, but he has very publicly refused to endorse Creigh Deeds. His statement explaining his reasons laid out stinging criticisms of the Democrats’ struggling candidate.

Conservatives should not slack their efforts in Virginia, or in any of the other key races--New Jersey’s governorship or New York’s 23rd congressional district. Abraham Lincoln spoke for us when he dismissed Union General Joe Hooker’s bragging. “May God have mercy on General Lee, for I shall have none,” Hooker said days before the battle of Chancellorsville. Hooker went on to a humiliating defeat there. Lincoln saw it coming, saying of Hooker’s boastful talk: “The hen is is the wisest of birds; she only cackles after she has laid the egg.”

Now is no time for cackling. It’s the time for hard work.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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