Creigh Deeds hasn’t actually lost yet, but the White House doesn’t want to wait for that to happen before setting up a neon light that screams: “Not Obama’s Fault!” The Obami go running to explain to the Washington Post what a political disaster the Deeds’s campaign has been:
Sensing that victory in the race for Virginia governor is slipping away, Democrats at the national level are laying the groundwork to blame a loss in a key swing state on a weak candidate who ran a poor campaign that failed to fully embrace President Obama until days before the election. …
A senior administration official said Deeds badly erred on several fronts, including not doing a better job of coordinating with the White House. “I understood in the beginning why there was some reluctance to run all around the state with Barack Obama,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the race. “You don’t do that in Virginia. But when you consider the African American turnout that they need, and then when you consider as well they’ve got a huge problem with surge voters, younger voters, we were just a natural for them.”
Another White House spinner says that Deeds didn’t follow the example set out by Barack Obama and Tim Kaine. Others moan that Deeds didn’t embrace Obama closely enough. But how could he? Obama’s approval in polling is in the low-40s, and his real strength is among African Americans and young people, two groups unlikely to turn out for the election. Deeds, while no stellar candidate, was probably wise to run as a centrist Democrat, and that’s hard to do while embracing a president who has lurched sharply to the Left.
One key tidbit for anti-card-check forces: it seems that Deeds’s support of Big Labor was a major stumbling block for a key figure, Sheila Johnson, a major Democratic donor in past years and a prominent African-American businesswoman, who ultimately backed Republican Bob McDonnell, a strong opponent of card-check legislation.
The Obami will try to fob off the defeat, when it comes, onto Deeds. But Deeds ran in a far less favorable environment than Obama did last year. Obama ran against George W. Bush. Deeds had to run with Obama in the White House. Turns out that’s an uphill battle for Democrats in swing states.