After decades as a political consultant, actually have one on the line next Tuesday, I’ve learned that a good political campaign not only beats the opposition on message and logistics, but destroys the opponent’s will to fight. The key is to give them, in the end game, a consistent cascade of bad news. Make sure every day they wake up to problems. After a while it gets to them and saps their fighting spirit.
They start making small mistakes. Their candidate gets easily angry. Fun leaves the campaign to be replaced by desperation and resentment, as staffers send out resumes and have mentally already moved on from the death march. That’s what has apparently happened to the McAuliffe campaign in Virginia. He’s losing it. The downward spiral is evident. Advantage, Youngkin.
Danville isn't McAuliffe Country, but that is not, um, good. https://t.co/Ogc5Iedstu
— Doug Heye (@DougHeye) October 27, 2021
FNC: “As the Virginia gubernatorial election draws closer, the campaign for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe appears to be growing more nervous.
On Sunday, Axios spoke with McAuliffe regarding his campaign and noted that his attitude ‘has taken on an air of tension — bordering on panic.’ For instance, his staff informed Axios their planned 20-minute interview, which the campaign requested following Axios’ interview with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, ‘was being limited to five minutes.’ Furthermore, Axios described McAuliffe as agitated when asked about his campaign’s efforts to tie his Republican opponent, to former President Trump.”
“I’m not tying — he’s tying himself. He said, ‘I’m honored to receive his endorsement, so much of the reason why I’m running is because of Donald Trump.’ I’m not tying him; he is,” McAuliffe said. Wow. That made no sense.
Then a reporter nailed him on his recent remarks against parents. His spin was desperate. “So are you saying parents shouldn’t have a voice in their kids’ education?” the reporter asked.
“I was talking about what we need to do, bringing people together. We have the state boards, we have the board of education and we have the local school boards who are all involved in this process. But the issue is how do we deliver a world class education,” McAuliffe explained. Pathetic. Then McAuliffe just walks out.
“You should have asked better questions early on. You should have asked questions your viewers care about,” McAuliffe huffed as he left. Not firing with all cylinders, Terry.
Then he claimed, after he walked out on press, that Youngkin was dodging the media. Obsessing on your opponent this late in the campaign is bad. You should have switched to a positive mode by now.
“Anytime, anywhere you want, you want to do a 24/7 special, I’ll do it,” McAuliffe said on WJLA on Wednesday. “He’s been invited on – I think I’ve done six, 10 shows in the last week. Every single show says the same thing at the end. ‘We invited Glenn Youngkin, he refuses’ – You are running for governor! He’s got to quit hiding. He wouldn’t debate me for months. I mean, it is just insane. You are running for governor. How can you not answer tough questions?”
Except that Youngkin did two debates with McAuliffe and won both. Youngkin, as opposed to McAuliffe, spoke with WJLA for a full twenty minutes and has also spoken with Axios. McAuliffe is gasping for air. No matter. Youngkin is ready to pull him into the boat.