Bob McDonnell’s resounding election victory as Virginia’s next Governor is due to the convergence of two prevailing positive forces. One force was Bob McDonnell, his family and his campaign team, coordinated with a superb Republican Party of Virginia effort, running on clear, constructive, common sense conservative ideas, solutions and principles to improve the lives of Virginians. The second force was the uprising of energized voters against the agenda of the central planners in the White House and Congress.
McDonnell led the way with solid ticketmates Bill Bolling (reelected Lt. Governor) and Ken Cuccinelli (elected Attorney General). And Republicans increased their numbers in the House of Delegates by at least five seats, winning seats from Virginia Beach, to the coalfields, to Northern Virginia. This is the most comprehensive victory for Republicans in the history of the oldest legislative body in Western Hemisphere that has been holding elections since 1619 (a year before the Pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock).
Voters correctly discerned that Bob McDonnell is a person of character and intelligence, and his record of past performance in elected office gave him credibility. He advanced a detailed, focused agenda for economic and job growth through lower taxes, less regulations on small business, and protecting our “right to work” laws. McDonnell vowed to make Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast through utilization of our abundant coal, new nuclear and extracting oil and gas off our coast. He also advocated important, empowering education policies for students in our schools and colleges, as well as vitally needed, creative transportation solutions.
My wife Susan and I have been with McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli at dozens of campaign and fundraising events during this year. We also headlined events for over thirty candidates for Delegate. At these events across the Commonwealth, one could see that the candidates were supported by dedicated volunteers and fueled by a groundswell of support from united Republicans and a substantial majority of pivotal independent voters. It was clear that the political winds had dramatically shifted in our favor in just the past five months.
Then, there is the second strong, prevailing wind that funneled into the Virginia campaigns.
The issues being debated in Washington – causes for the summer of rightful discontent at town hall meeting, rallies and tea parties – resonated in the Virginia contests. The Republican candidates were unambiguously opposed to government taking over our health care choices, against the job killing, skyrocketing electricity bills that would result from the unilateral economic disarmament of the “cap and tax” scheme, and against doing away with private ballots in unionization efforts.
I heard the concerns of Virginians who travelled through pouring rain last week to the Southwest Virginia Community College for a town hall meeting on “Cap and Trade”. The folks who turned out see this proposal as a direct attack on tens of thousands coal-related jobs – whether miners, equipment manufacturers or suppliers, or workers with our railroads and ports. All understood that restricting and taxing our energy would cause higher electricity, food and fuel bills while having no impact on global temperatures. People were indignant when alerted that our American sovereignty may be sacrificed to the United Nations bureaucracy at the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. In Democratic-voting coal counties, young challenger and Republican Will Morefield, running against Cap and Trade, upset an incumbent Democrat in far Southwest Virginia.
On an Americas for Prosperity-sponsored “Hands off my Health Care” bus tour of Virginia, I saw thousands of people worried and “scared” about the taxing, rationing and government takeover of our health care decisions and the resulting lower quality of care sign petitions at rallies in cities and small towns. Dr. Tom Garrett running against the federal health care intrusion, with the substantial help of Liberty University students, upset a well-respected incumbent Delegate in Lynchburg
There is understandable resentment on the part of all us citizens — the owners of the government — when we see billions of dollars given to failing companies that squander money on lavish events and unearned bonuses. Americans are dismayed, disgusted and stirred in a patriotic sense of urgency to save our country. And yet — in the face of a dire economic climate, a truly crucial moment in our history — Washington is creating a nightmare scenario with unprecedented tripling deficits that will cause steep inflation of the dollar and potential sharp tax increases to pay the burgeoning debt when Treasury interest rates are increased to attract American and foreign purchasers of government bonds.
Back in September at a fundraiser for the Statewide ticket at Tom and Randall Phillips’ home, I said to HUMAN EVENTS reporter Michelle Oddis that the political leaders in Washington seem “as clueless as a hog looking at a Timex watch.” Well, Bob McDonnell channeled into action these concerns of people riled about the wrong direction of the America we know and love. Barbara Comstock, an attendee at that fundraiser, in an expensive campaign, impressively prevailed over a popular Democrat incumbent in Northern Virginia.
Thus, on behalf of all Americans, Virginians have just sent a message to the disconnected folks in Washington that we want and deserve disciplined, responsible, honest, accountable and smarter government that reins in the profligate spending and dangerous debt that is diminishing the opportunity for our children to achieve the American Dream. Bob McDonnell gave Republicans a lesson on how to attract independent voters by advancing positive ideas in contrast to the Washington Democrats’ agenda.
Virginians and Americans want real job opportunities, not dependency or new ways for a bankrupt government to spend our money.
Virginians sent a message for American energy policies that cleanly, creatively utilize our job-producing, affordable and plentiful coal resources and allow us to safely explore for oil and gas off our coast. We do not want to continue to be vulnerable to hostile dictators, oligarchs and cartels.
Virginians want to protect secret ballots in unionization votes. And, like all Americans, Virginians desire personal, affordable, portable health care options, not more government controls, mandates, taxes and mountains of debt.
It is heartening and motivating to people throughout our nation that Virginians have proudly sent a message to the sanctimonious social engineers in Congress, the White House, and the U.N. The message is that Virginians have risen up for the enduring ideals and principles of liberty and sovereignty for the people of our land opportunity for all. When the election results came in on the night of November 3, 2009, it was resounding and clear decision: Virginians stood strong for Freedom!