Nevermind, Sept. 15, 2005

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

This is kind of a follow-up to yesterday's post about the governor of Virginia.

I mentioned how Warner is going to be a tough act to follow and that I've been impressed by neither Kilgore or Kaine. Apparently, I'm not alone.

The dynamic duo debated earlier this week at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. Washington Pos metro columnist Marc Fisher had this to say about the encounter today:

Email newsletter signup

"This week’s debate before the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce inspired no one. Kilgore, easily rattled by totally predictable questions, resorted again and again to the same handful of attacks on his opponent, the lieutenant governor: Kaine loves to raise taxes, &uot;always has, always will&uot;; Kaine got a grade of C-plus from some magazine for his work as mayor of Richmond. Or was it a C-minus? Three times, Kilgore said one of those grades, twice the other. But who’s counting?

"Kaine, for his part, slammed the state’s former attorney general as someone who would criminalize abortion and starve schools and colleges.

"This is the best talent the great state of Virginia can come up with?

"Many in the packed crowd at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner wondered why there was no one with the smarts of Mark Warner or the spine of George Allen on stage…

"Kaine riffs repeatedly about how his opponent is all about unfunded plans, while he is about results, whatever that means. (On taxes, Kaine skirts but never quite crosses the Mondale Line, named for the last major presidential candidate who dared suggest higher taxes so government could pay its way.)

"These guys are so prepackaged that you want to inspect to see whether they’re still in shrink wrap. No matter what questions came their way in the debate, the candidates stuck to taxes and personality. Kilgore, you’ll be pleased to know, is &uot;a leader.&uot; Kaine, who, as we’ve seen, is about &uot;results,&uot; could barely go a minute without lunging for Warner’s coattails (&uot;Mark and I . . . ,&uot; &uot;Mark Warner and I . . . ,&uot; &uot;the Warner-Kaine administration . . .&uot;).

"They simply have no time for the issues that keep Virginians awake at night. Ask about evacuation plans in the event of a disaster or terrorist attack, and they ignore the question. &uot;I’ll be that leader,&uot; Kilgore said. Kaine somehow took the question as occasion to express support for extending Metrorail to Dulles Airport.

"The importance of state government stares us in the face with every ghastly report from Hurricane Katrina’s back yard. But ask these guys about poverty, and you get generalities about transportation infrastructure…

"Katrina, 9/11, the war in Iraq, strained schools, skyrocketing college costs, rising gang violence, frightening gas prices — if the candidates for governor address these issues, it is largely to promise &uot;results&uot; and forswear taxes.

"Oh, and Kilgore would have the state kill more criminals to take care of the gang problem.

"Kaine, meanwhile, is &uot;against the death penalty, but I will uphold the laws of Virginia.&uot; And Kilgore is &uot;for a culture of life,&uot; but won’t say whether he’d sign a bill outlawing abortion.

"What men of conviction. Mr. Jefferson averts his eyes."

I wrote in yesterday's print edition about how important this election for governor is and how people need to put aside politics and "put Virginia first." On second thought, nevermind. These guys aren't going to do that.