I guess I gave the Daily Progress too much credit when I speculated that they’d endorse former governor Mark Warner for Senate—today they endorsed Jim Gilmore. Warner has become the darling of Virginia Republicans, largely because of his solid business credentials, his centrism, and the work he did to balance the state budget. The former Republican governor, on the other hand, is on track to earn perhaps 20% of the vote in Charlottesville, maybe upwards of 30% of the vote in Albemarle, and he might top 35% statewide.
The Daily Progress has a rich history of chuckle-worthy endorsements, occasionally having to bend over backwards to endorse Republicans who are totally ill-suited for the job. When Kenneth Jackson—a Republican with no political experience or even really work history—was running for City Council, the Progress endorsed him, despite that he’d been convicted of attacking people with knives on three separate occasions over the course of a decade. They asked: “What other candidate has seen the law enforcement system, the court system, the social services system from the perspective of somebody in trouble?” The paper endorsed Bush in 2000, reasonably enough, citing seven reasons why they supported him—he would unite the Republican and Democratic parties, he’d hold his staff to the highest of standards, he’d create jobs, etc. But even though President Bush failed to accomplish a single of those things, they they endorsed him again in 2004.
So, whom do you endorse for House (Republican Virgil Goode vs. Democrat Tom Perriello), Senate (Republican Jim Gilmore vs. Democrat Mark Warner vs. Libertarian Bill Redpath), or the presidency (Libertarian Bob Barr vs. Republican John McCain vs. Independent Ralph Nader vs. Democrat Barack Obama) and, more important, why?