Roanoke Times: Cuccinelli, McAuliffe campaigns need to offer voters more
A little more than three months before Virginia’s gubernatorial election between Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Terry McAuliffe (D) that’s attracting national attention, both campaigns already are embroiled in a so-called “rapid response” drill that make James Carville and Mary Matalin look downright pedestrian.
The latter two strategists, now married, famously sparred during the 1992 presidential campaign in which Carville backed the ultimate winner, Bill Clinton, and Matalin backed the incumbent, George H.W. Bush. They more or less pioneered the modern-day rapid-response methods but that was before the rise of the Internet, e-mails and social media.
But both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe's campaigns already are embroiled in a so-called “rapid response” drill that make James Carville and Mary Matalin look downright pedestrian.
These days, any utterance, any development even remotely related to the campaign immediately is, as folk singer Arlo Guthrie once put it, “. . . inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected.”
All of which brings us to Wednesday's lead non-partisan editorial in the Roanoke Times that focused on a convoluted spat between the candidates about whether U.S. 58 truly is a four-lane highway stretching from Martinsville to Hampton Roads. Cuccinelli insisted it already is. McAuliffe quickly pointed out that it’s not. And so on and so forth.
Wrote the Roanoke Times: “. . . We can only hope that most Virginians were too busy with their summer Sunday to pay any attention to this squabble. And we can only hope that by the time the summer ends, Cuccinelli and McAuliffe will offer voters something more than attacks and gimmicks.
“Here’s how they can start. Instead of wasting time with snarky videos and scripted statements of indignation from surrogates, maybe both candidates should spend a week traveling U.S. 58 to see it for themselves. Along the way, they could take the time to talk with voters and shed some light on exactly what they would do as governor to improve economic conditions in the hardest-hit areas of the corridor.
“The voters of Southwest and Southside Virginia deserve more in this election than silly web videos and overwrought press releases. Either Cuccinelli or McAuliffe will be Virginia’s next governor. It’s about time for them to run campaigns worthy of the title.”