Now, get to work

Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If you’ve got a home telephone, there’s a good chance you heard from Gov. Tim Kaine during the past couple of weeks. Or maybe Mike Huckabee or even Sarah Palin called you at dinnertime.

The so-called robo-calls were just part of the madness of a hard-fought gubernatorial campaign that was highlighted by a spate of television-based mudslinging and attracted the interest of politicos from around the nation. Virginia, it was said, could be a bellwether of President Barack Obama’s political support after nearly a year in office.

Next year’s midterm elections will tell the story of that support, but politics — and more importantly the business of governing the commonwealth of Virginia — must go on in the interim.

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With nasty little exchanges in state races from the gubernatorial level all the way down to the House of Delegates, it’s hard sometimes to imagine that the folks who end up in Richmond are able to set aside their differences and hurt feelings and then sit up straight and do the people’s business. In fact, Virginia’s General Assembly is proof of the mixed results that elected officials have in moving beyond the ugliness of their campaigns.

This year, however, with issues on the table that are of towering significance to Virginia — transportation, the economy, unemployment and the like — citizens can hope that their leaders are big enough to set aside the pettiness and get to work. Nobody should sacrifice their core principles on the altar of conviviality, but voters will expect their representatives to be more than just obstructions to progress.

Virginia voters want their state government to participate in finding solutions to the problems that plague the state. Now that the election is over, it’s time for those who will be headed to Richmond in January to begin figuring out how they will work together to provide those solutions.