Want some wood?
The Post says what all of us have already been thinking about this situation, that Kilgore is simply afraid of debate because Kaine is a former trial lawyer and a nifty debater that Kilgore can’t handle. At an AP event in 2003, Kilgore became visibly frustrated by Kaine’s snappy dialogue and criticism. In 2004, at the same event, Kilgore learned from his mistakes and performed better. So, like the presidential election of 2000, Kilgore could very well benefit from low expectations. If Kilgore’s strategy is to portray himself as a down-home folksy boy and Kaine as the second-coming of John Kerry, then a modest, on-message performance at a debate could provide a stark contrast to an aggressive, know-it-all Kaine. On that count, the former Lieutenant Governor must be careful. The Post also invokes Ross Perot in examining the impact of Independent (Republican) Russ Potts. Firebrand Potts could steal the show, and like Perot siphoning votes from George H.W. Bush in 1992, or like Nader to Gore in 2002, such a performance would likely be to the detriment to Kilgore.
Also note: Former governor Jim Gilmore (above) doesn’t think either candidate has a chance at passing their homeowner tax platforms once elected. Master of the car tax ploy, the Republican Gilmore knows a thing or two about pushing through voter-friendly legislation (though neither of the homeowner tax relief plans have the simple, basic ring of “No Car Tax”). But unlike the car tax, notes Gilmore, the homeowner tax plan would require not only a victory in the state legislature, but also an amendment to the state constitution. Not an easy task. Says Gilmore: “Republicans in the Senate aren’t likely to pass an amendment to enact this kind of tax relief. Neither are Democrats. They’re both going to be pretty solid.” Legislators learned their lesson from these kinds of tax relief a few years ago when … oh yeah … Gilmore eliminated the car tax and destroyed the state budget. At least it made for a nice bumper sticker.
No Larry Sabato quotes today. Sorry.