Skip to comments.The Lesson of Bob McDonnell
Posted on 11/06/2009 11:34:21 AM PST by GonzoII
The Lesson of Bob McDonnell
by Charlie Spiering
A week before the election, Virginia candidate for governor Bob McDonnell was asked in a radio interview if he would veto state funding for Planned Parenthood.
We shouldn't be doing that (funding Planned Parenthood) in Virginia, answered ODonnell. That's common sense I think, and that will be part of what we get done.
Pro-choice activists were furious and quick to condemn his remarks. To them it was one more reason why McDonnell was out of step and out of touch with voters. But McDonnell, with his common sense approach to politics, proved that you can still stand for life, family, and marriage and win elections.
Tuesday night he swept the state with a 17 point victory over his opponent Creigh Deeds. Pundits were stunned. After all, one year ago, Barack Obama won the state of Virginia by six points.
McDonnell, a Catholic, was raised in a military family and went to Notre Dame University prior to his service as a medical supply officer in the army. He then attended the predominately evangelical Regent University, where he earned a masters in public policy and a law degree.
Pundits have long lectured that political figures such as McDonnell will fail, pointing out that social issues are divisive, distracting and nearly irrelevant in todays moderate political debate.
After the election of President Barack Obama, several op-eds and articles declared the end of the culture wars.
But for McDonnells opponent, Creigh Deeds, the culture wars were far from over. Honing in on McDonnell's master thesis that championed social issues, Deeds tried to paint McDonnell as a dangerous radical with a religious cultural agenda. After all, Deeds noted, McDonnell supported over 30 bills limiting abortion in Virginia.
After years of Republicans highlighting social issues to score political points with voters, it was the Democrat that was bringing up divisive talking points. By painting McDonnell as a religious crusader, he hoped to gain the support of women voters who demanded abortion rights and frighten moderates.
According the exit polls, only 22 percent of voters said McDonnell's controversial thesis made them less likely to vote for him, while 65 percent of voters said it had no effect on their vote.
McDonnell didnt focus on the abortion issue during the campaign, and he didn't have to, thanks to the work of his opponent. Virginia voters who were concerned about pro-life issues had only to look at his record to know that he was their candidate.
By the end of the campaign, many pundits lamenting the supposed divisiveness of conservative social issues had to admit that Deeds tactics were in the same vein.
The results of the Virginia election prove to skeptics that a politician can have a record of promoting pro-life, pro-family legislation and still get elected in a modern political era.
The culture wars continue in America, but there are signs of which side is emerging the stronger. The victory of same-sex marriage opponents in Maine makes their state the 31st in the country to reject same-sex marriage a perfect record whenever the issue is put to a public vote. In addition, recent polls show a majority of American voters now identifying themselves as pro-life in the case of Gallup, this is a significant, first-time shift since the polling group began asking the question nearly 15 years ago.
Did Virginia vote for McDonnell solely because of his pro-life stance? No. But Virginia voters rejected Deeds leftist pro-abortion attacks and voted for a candidate who is staunchly pro-life.
Perhaps in future elections more Americans will be willing to do the same.
I hope to see PP funding gone, and funding for abstinence back.
And he got out of there with his Faith intact?
Bob McDonnell ran a positive, Pro-McDonnell (rather than anti-Deeds) campaign that focused on his record and his agenda.
Better, he did not let the chattering freaks in the Democrat Party and the Washington comPost distract him.
By an almost unprecedented landslide.
Let those who have ears, hear.
That's it, stay focused on what your about without flinching. It's easy if you're convinced about your principles.
Now will McDonnell actually keep his word, or will he take the path so often chosen by suddenly becoming a RINO? I guess we’ll find out.
And if they'd asked ME, I'd have said MORE likely.
I think it is state by state. IIRC Calif has had a majority support for abortion. Don’t remember any recent polls. Maybe states in New Endland.
or even England
Cal is weird (as usual). We elect a lot of liberals, but often vote conservative on initiatives.