Here’s how turned off Virginians have become to the two major candidates for governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli: Two of the state's most influential papers refused to endorse either.
The state's political giant, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, found nobody worth voting for in the gubernatorial race led by McAuliffe, the former Democratic Party boss and chief fundraiser who has never been elected to anything.
“Our choice for governor in 2013: none of the above,” said the state’s political journal in a shocking editorial. “The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision,” said the paper.
The editors reasoned that voters get the government they ask for, and the policies they saw in both candidates aren’t ones they endorse.
“Elections make voters complicit in the government they receive. If we would not urge a family member to vote this way or that, then we have no business recommending Cuccinelli, McAuliffe or [Independent Robert] Sarvis to our readers.
“Virginians of a poetical bent understand why Abelard and Heloise retreated to ‘the deep solitudes and awful cells, where heavn’ly-pensive contemplation dwells.’ We have had enough,” groaned the Times-Dispatch.
The Charlottesville Daily-Progress took it a step further. That paper endorsed outgoing Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was pushed aside by Virginia conservatives in a nominating convention that gave the GOP gubernatorial slot to Cuccinelli.
“His politics are centrist, his style is common-sense, his experience is invaluable, and one of his goals for the commonwealth is to reinstate good-government practices in lieu of the hyper-partisan gamesmanship that has, sadly, afflicted this election and much of Virginia politics in the past few years,” said the paper.
The editors added: “The odds of a write-in candidate winning the governorship are extraordinarily high. But what are our alternatives? Stay home from the polls? Or hold our noses and vote for one of the deeply flawed major-party candidates? Better — better by far — to cast a vote, with a clear conscience, for a positive option with a positive message.”
This week they even gave readers a detailed explanation on how to handle write-ins.Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.