A million and one thoughts from last night...
OK, so it wasn't unanimous but it sure was decisive. The joke about it being an early night turned out to be prescient (or at least a wildly lucky call).
Tim Kaine's win proves that Virginia loves Mark Warner. There will be analysis and hand-wringing ad nauseum about whether this was a referendum on George Bush but none of us will ever know that for sure. Even when we know it we don't know it. AOL News framed much of its story about the Virginia and New Jersey Democratic wins in that context and even included a poll asking — ahem — readers from all over the world if the results in Virginia and New Jersey were a referendum on Bush's policies. A whopping 71 percent (at the time I saw it) said yes they were. Yet a paragraph just below about voter surveys in New Jersey read:
"Most voters said President Bush was not a factor in their choices
Tuesday, according to the survey conducted Tuesday by the AP and its polling
partner, Ipsos. The survey was based on interviews with 1,280 adults
throughout New Jersey who said they voted in the governor's election."
So who knows? It's a better guess that this was a referendum on Mark Warner, whose star now catapults into the stratosphere of Democratic politics. Kaine's victory, believe it or not, is not completely unlike George Bush's: Both asked the question "Should we change horses?" Both times voters decided to stay with the horse but for distinctly different reasons. Last year, voters were wary of the horse but were afraid to change in midstream. This time voters just thought it was a damn good horse.
Jerry Kilgore simply could not convince us the horse was no good. A few words on Kilgore. His concession speech was perhaps the most gracious and humble I have ever heard. I'm kicking myself for not taking notes but if someone can come up with the poetry verse he cited, about meeting triumph and defeat in the same way, I'd appreciate it. It was lovely and he was sincere and gracious in his congratulations of Tim Kaine and his family and staff. If only we had seen that Jerry Kilgore throughout the race, people might have gotten a better sense of who he is. I suspect he listened to political experts and gurus a little too closely when they said he'd have to go for the jugular with all that negativity. He should have just been himself. It might have served him better.
Meanwhile, I wish Kaine and Warner and their supporters had played it a little more humbly. I can understand spiking the ball in the end zone and a little dance maybe but it was almost like T.O. pulling the marker out of his sock. It wasn't over the top, really, but having just heard Kilgore it seemed a little bit like a thumb in the eye for Warner to go on about how we proved this and we proved that. Say thank you and shut up. Also, very low class for Kaine's supporters to start booing when Kaine tried to congratulate Kilgore.
On to smaller things. There's a new sheriff in town! Oh, I can see the headlines now with all their Toy Story references — The Buzz on Woody, Woody's Roundup, A Bullseye for Woody ...
I have to say I am a bit surprised. I really thought that Michelle Mitchell had one more rub of that lamp left. Really, that had to be the only way she has been reelected twice with embarrassment after embarrassment and scandal after scandal. Good riddance, sheriff. Don't let the saloon doors hit you in the MissBuns on your way out.
As for you, Brad Marrs — I'm sure it was my eagle eye of your strangely italicized yard signs that cost you the 44 votes. Sorry, dude.