Friday, October 14, 2005

WaPo, Kaine Campaign Wailing Like They Just Stepped Into a Bear Trap

In politics, there is no more sure sign that your strategy is working than when your opponent and his supporters experience an uncontrolled outbreak of apoplexy when you exploit one of their greatest vulnerabilities. Over in the Old Dominion, the army on the march is the Jerry Kilgore gubernatorial campaign, the target is Tim Kaine, and the exploited weakness is Kaine's staunch opposition to the death penalty.

In just over 3 1/2 weeks, Virginians will go to the polls to elect their 70th Governor. The Republican nominee is Jerry Kilgore, a proud conservative. The Democratic nominee is Tim Kaine, an across-the-board liberal in search of the same camouflage Mark Warner used in 2001. Kilgore supports individuals' right to keep and bear arms and has earned an A rating and the endorsement of the NRA; Kaine does not and has earned an F rating from the NRA. Kilgore supports the death penalty; Kaine does not but also wants Virginians to believe his deeply held religious views against the death penalty will not lead to him emptying Death Row a la George Ryan (the disgraced former Illinois governor who spared every Death Row inmate during his final days in office in 2003). Kilgore wants to cut taxes; Kaine has raised taxes in every office he's ever held. Kilgore believes marriage should remain between a man and a woman and is against marriage counterfeits such as civil unions or domestic partnerships; in 2001, Kaine endorsed civil unions.

Every political observer with a room temperature or higher IQ knew that Kilgore would eventually unleash the heavy artillery against Kaine's death penalty opposition. That finally came this week, with 2 superb TV ads by the Kilgore campaign, "Stanley" and "Kelly." After a day or two of bushwhacked silence, the Kaine campaign and the liberal media establishment (lead by the Washington Post) have been squealing like they just stepped into a bear trap.

And has the screaming been loud? The liberals are absolutely furious Kilgore would seek to inform Virginians of the fact Kaine has repeatedly answered the death penalty question virtually the same way Michael Dukakis did in the 1988 debate when Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis if he would support the death penalty if someone raped and murdered Mrs. Dukakis and Mr. Dukakis answered with an unemotional "No." In fact, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Kaine "suggested he would not favor sending even Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Idi Amin to the gallows." The transcript of the actual questions and answers is reprinted here.

The Kaine campaign is now in the midst of a very painful, agonizing defeat they know is coming on November 8. Kilgore's slight lead in the polls before the newest ads will grow and Kaine will be lucky to win over 40% of the vote or carry a single county to the west of I-95.

Chad Dotson, Commonwealth's Attorney of Wise County, has a longer take on this at Commonwealth Conservative.