June 10th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
5 years ago

Virginia Democrats promise to be unified in November

Less than 24 hours after his win, Deeds sent out a fundraising e-mail pleading bluntly for donations: 'We need to catch up,' the e-mail said.
Less than 24 hours after his win, Deeds sent out a fundraising e-mail pleading bluntly for donations: 'We need to catch up,' the e-mail said.

RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) – The three Democrats who battled, at times bitterly, for their party's gubernatorial nomination came together in Richmond on Wednesday and promised to be unified against Republican Bob McDonnell come November.

"We are a stronger party and I am a stronger candidate because of this primary process," said Creigh Deeds, the folksy state Senator who sailed to the nomination last night, buoyed by an unexpectedly large turnout from voters in the Washington suburbs. "We're all better because of it."

Gathered before a fleet of television cameras and accompanied by Virginia's current governor, Tim Kaine, each Democrat promised to do whatever it takes to get Deeds elected this fall. He would be the third consecutive Democrat elected to the governorship if his campaign succeeds.

Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, who finished second in Tuesday's primary, sounded a lot like the man who stood steadfastly alongside Hillary Clinton in 2008 during the long and bruising presidential primary fight against Obama.


"A good competitive primary is good for the Democratic party," McAuliffe said. "It brings people together."

Former House delegate Brian Moran, who came in third in the balloting, said that because of the spirited primary, "Creigh Deeds is now an invincible Democratic nominee."

"The long primary didn't hurt President Obama in 2008," Kaine said.

All four Democrats recited a mantra that has become familiar to watchers of Virginia politics in recent years. Deeds, they argued, will keep Virginia moving forward in the tradition of Kaine and former governor Mark Warner, while McDonnell offers "a social and economic agenda" that will "take us back."

McDonnell, however, had the benefit is laying back and raising money while the Democrats hammered each other for more than six months. Consequently, Deeds has burned through most of his campaign war chest, while McDonnell is sitting on millions of dollars given to him by the Republican Governors Association and the Republican National Committee.

Less than 24 hours after his win, Deeds sent out a fundraising e-mail pleading bluntly for donations: "We need to catch up," the e-mail said.

Kaine pledged that in his role as DNC chairman, he will ensure Deeds has the money he needs to win, but would not offer a timeline as to when those resources will be committed. He also said President Obama and Vice President Biden will campaign for Deeds this year. Obama called Deeds on Wednesday to congratulate him on Tuesday's primary win.

Deeds said "it's a huge advantage to this campaign that the chairman of the DNC has an office on the third floor of the state capitol just up the street."

After the event, McAuliffe – who had never run for a statewide position until this year – would not rule out a future run for office. He said his immediate concern was helping Deeds get elected, but he added: "I will never shut the doors on anything."

"If I can help move the ball forward and help people, I'm always going to do that," McAuliffe said.


Filed under: Virginia
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We're unified already. Deeds has already been endorsed by both of his opponents. We just don't want another republican in the Governor's mansion. The Gilmore days are done!

    STAY BLUE VA

    June 10, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Former Democrat - Fool Me Once

    Why is one person expected to "speak" for the whole GOP. Isn't diversity the goal, meaning there are many ideas and thoughts? Trying to sum the GOP up into one "speaker" is no more useless than trying to do it to any other political party.

    Does Barack Hussein Obama speak for all Democrats?

    June 10, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. J.P.

    The writing is on the wall.

    - California voting down referenda on tax-increasing budget "fixes"
    - Europeans voting conservatives into EP in droves
    - Rep takeover of NY state legislature
    - Corzine polling so far behind his Rep challenger they have to pipe him in oxygen
    - Latest polls show voters trust Reps over Dems in 6 of 10 categories, including the economy (by 6 pts) and taxes

    Virginia will be red.
    2010 will make 1994 appear mild.
    2012 will make 1984 look tame.

    Enjoy your days in the sun Dems, because this little circus is coming to an end November 2010. And even Democrats' precious little mainstream media public relations team won't help them.

    June 10, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. claire

    I just hated Terry mcwhatever during the primaries last year. It is good he is finished and should learn what is to loose!

    June 10, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. vinny

    I don't want a party that calls my President names and control the media.....
    As long as sarah palin is running around after 7months of losing national election, I will vote democrat!

    June 10, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Jimmy the Greek

    In November – when unemployment surpasses 10% nationally and in Virginia.... I think VOTERS will be unified in voting OUT tax-and-spend Democrats.

    June 10, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. TM

    Poll: Obama Leads Big GOP Names For 2012
    By Eric Kleefeld – May 21, 2009, 1:28PM
    A new national survey from Public Policy Polling (D) finds President Obama leading several potential 2012 opponents by substantial margins.

    The numbers: Obama leads Newt Gingrich 53%-36%; he's ahead of Mike Huckabee 52%-39%; he leads Sarah Palin 56%-37%; and he beats Mitt Romney 53%-35%.

    Obama's approval rating is 55% in this poll, to a disapproval of 38%. By contrast, Gingrich's favorable rating is only 30% against 47% unfavorable; Huckabee's is 44%-32%; Palin's is 42%-50%; and Romney's rating is 40%-36%.

    Of course, it's only May 2009, and Iowa Republicans presumably won't be voting until January 2012. So take this all with a heap of salt.

    June 10, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Deeds is a Virginia Democrat. If you look at Warner and Kaine, both are Democrats, but they are moderates not liberals. Moran and Terry Mac would have been fodder for the GOP cannons in November. I tend to be more liberal than my friends to the South, but regardless, we are still in the same party. Mr. Deeds is the GOP's worst nightmare. He has the support of liberals in the north and can split the rest of the state. That equals a Democratic cakewalk.

    June 10, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. richie

    If the economy has recovered by 2012, I could see Obama getting around 60%.

    June 10, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. DR.

    By 2011 the REAL economy will be on the upswing, as in the job market getting the boost it needs with more and more job creation. I don't see 2012 as a very good year for Repubs, maybe in the Senate but O has some very large coattails

    June 10, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Robert

    Congradulation Virginia in voting in Deeds. We need the best men and women to turn this "Titanic" around. The hijacked Republican party bet that "Hillary" had won the Democratic party for President, just as they bet on Terry to win. When the Republican's get from under "Sarah"s dress, they might be able to see "Reality"...........and breath a little easier.

    June 10, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. mike

    I'm for Obama. The Fox Republicans have nothing!

    2012 come soon enough!

    June 10, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. credente

    Wow, 35% of the country would vote for Gingrich right now and 40% of us actually like Sarah Palin!!

    This poll does show how polarized the country is still. Perhaps maintaining this is why the Repukes have chosen to stir the pot violently instead of even marginally cooperating.

    June 10, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  14. Marilyn, Powell Ohio

    Maybe Huckabee should be the leader of the GOP since he "just loves Rush Limbaugh"...............what a joke they are and to Former Democrat Fool Me Once: Good riddance, go join the military and help us out in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    June 10, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Obama Victim

    good luck Dems..............I guess the change that has been promised is about here.................Virginia statehouse goes Republican................White House soon to follow............

    1 and gone

    June 10, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. maripil

    Democrats are more fiscally responsible than the republicans. Republicans have now earned the name of the "PARTY OF NO!!!!"

    More power to the DEMOCRATS!

    June 10, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. The Unshrub

    Those who predict the demise of the Democrats because a republican or two are ahead in governorships are a little premature. But again, that is all they have going for them. Oh well, maybe in 2016.

    June 10, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Luke Brown

    McDonnell = Virginia's Bridge to the 18th century

    June 10, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Scooter

    As a moderate republican I went to the polls yesteday and voted for Deeds. He is a moderate like Mark Warner and Jim Webb. I can live with him or McDonnell in the fall (though I'll still vote for Bob), but no way I could stomach that Hillary henchman! It's issues people, not politics! It we had more moderates in power from both parties we'd all be better off...not liberal nut jobs like Pelosi, Reed, and Obama...

    June 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. P. Y.

    Congratulations Virginia ! Good job in electing the best man for the job.

    June 10, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Deb

    The main focus of the democratic party should be keeping the "Party of NO" as far away as possible so that President Obama can do his work.

    June 10, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Registered Voter

    It seems that Dems have already declared victory, but beware! Viriginia hates liberal dems as much as it hates extreme repubs.

    June 10, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Lori believes the GOP's rhetoric is breeding White Supermacists

    Go Deeds! Go Deeds! Unified Democrats. I love it!

    June 10, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    Nothing like "change" to the Carter policies of tax and spend to put the republicans back in power. No matter what the demwits say, Obama is a disaster already. In one thing we can be sure, no president in history has been as ignorant of his responsiblities as has Oblama.

    June 10, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Peter

    After looking into the Democratic candidates from Virginia...*This Governor's race could be a picture of the 2010 elections and Virginia in 2012* I have to say that Deeds was the most qualified of the three. Deeds has a very good chance against McDonnell, so did Moran. McAuliffe was by far not ready to be governor, and the people of Virginia proved that. Good luck Mr. Deeds, you can easily reunite the party.

    June 10, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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