Today was a stunning fall afternoon. Sharon had the older children and I was in charge of my three year old Ida Grace. (Is it “babysitting” when you watch your own kid?)
In the afternoon, I took Ida by the house of FCDC chair, Sue Langley, in Vienna for a reception with U.S. Senator Mark Warner. It was a gathering of the Democratic “Old Guard” in Fairfax County, a group that knew Mark as Doug Wilder’s campaign manager in 1989 and then supported him when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1996.
Ida is not a political person. Instead, she feel asleep on the couch in Sue’s basement, which meant I was free to introduce Mark to the familiar masses.
I recollected Mark as a candidate in ’96 and the state party chair in ’91-92, when I was law student at UVA volunteering on local races. Even then Mark was building a network all across the Commonwealth. In introducing him today, I had to ask — why do you even want to be involved with this dysfunctional Federal government?
Mark’s response was the right one. We need a Federal government that works. That represents the people who pay taxes. That is free from the predictable posturing, tub-thumping and general time-wasting that has overtaken both the Left and Right wings of our Federal congress. (Insert “Ebola” reference here).
It’s been a strange campaign cycle. I have yet to see Mark’s opponent at a single community event, either in Richmond or Nothern Virginia. It has been a shadow candidacy. I doubt that anyone would recognize him if he walked naked down Maple Avenue at the annual Halloween Parade. He is a cipher.
(BTW I actually listened to his alternative to Obamacare explained a couple weeks ago at the Small Business Summit and it was literally incomprehensible. Does anyone think that issuing a 100 million new tax credits will create jobs for anyone except CPA’s?)
And yet there is a genuine discontent out there. I know it. Mark knows it. The Obama wave from years ago is in the history books.
Any election that is won this cycle by a Democrat must be done on personal connections and smart campaigning. That’s where Mark is best. Even then, he’ll do well to pull a decent margin (say 8 points) against a relative nobody.
In the meantime, it’s back on the doors for the last couple weekends.