As voters go to the polls in Virginia today, the major buzz among pundits involves George W. Bush’s last-minute appearance for Jerry Kilgore in Richmond last night, which represents a bit of a gamble for both men.Steve Ginsberg and Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post win the prize for the most delicious and malicious framing of a candidate quote in the entire campaign, in this morning’s WaPo account of the Richmond festivities:
The president “is very popular in Virginia. And he’s coming off a successful South American trip,” Kilgore said of Bush’s overseas visit, which drew violent protests.
Funny as it is, this is a serious point. Can W., who’s stumbled through the last several months like a sleepwalker, actually work some turnout magic for ol’ Jerry? Is the late-breaking happiness among conservative activists in Washington over Bush’s surrender to them on the SCOTUS nomination communicable to actual voters?Beats me, but Bush’s decision to zoom into Richmond directly from the dispiriting chaos of his Latin American trip guarantees that the results, whatever they are, will be viewed as in part a reflection of this red state’s attitude towards the man who’s won its electoral votes twice.