The White House Turns Its Back On Deeds

Promoted from diaries. – Moe Lane.

First, it was a “we’ll see” about whether the President would do any more campaigning for Creigh Deeds. Today, it’s no way:

The White House is stepping back from lending its heft to a bellwether gubernatorial race in Virginia, party strategists say, seeking to conserve its political capital and avoid close association with a candidate who might lose.

And it gets even better. Or worse, if you’re Mr. Deeds:

In Virginia, a race with no incumbents, Mr. Deeds trails Republican Bob McDonnell by an average of 7.3 percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

Past White House efforts to assist Mr. Deeds haven’t worked too well. His opponent has tried to link Mr. Deeds with the president’s environmental and pro-union stances in a state that mostly runs conservative.

So has the president become as much of a lodestone as Bill Clinton used to be? Perhaps to some degree.

But it is interesting that the President is willing to expend (and lose) political capital on the Olympics rather than use any of it to support a fellow Democrat running for governor in the state right next door.

Then again, Deeds recognizes that any help coming from across the Potomac may be deadly:

“Frankly, a lot of what’s going on in Washington has made it very tough,” Deeds said in a “Battleground Virginia” interview sponsored by ABC 7/WJLA-TV, POLITICO, Google and YouTube. “We had a very tough August because people were just uncomfortable with the spending; they were uncomfortable with a lot of what was going on, a lot of the noise that was coming out of Washington, D.C.”

The noise, yes. But let’s not forget about the policies, either.  And the polls show that independents — who determine the winners in Virginia’s statewide races — are flocking to Bob McDonnell. Why?  As political analyst Charlie Cook noted,  “Obama still has a reservoir of good will with Indies, but they hate Congress something awful.”

So long as that remains so, Creigh “the canary in the coalmine” Deeds will continue to struggle.