The trap of Lambert's endorsement
As I recall it, Lambert was opposed to the strong-mayor to be elected by a citywide vote concept that carried Richmond three years ago by an overwhelming margin.
In that stance he stood with Sen. Henry Marsh and broke with Mayor Doug Wilder, the man who spearheaded the change in Richmond’s City Charter, and who then went on to be elected mayor in the next year. Wilder carried all nine districts in Richmond. Thus, it should be noted that Lambert’s influence over voters in Richmond is not at all what it once was.
The Webb camp should shrug off this endorsement of Allen for that reason and one more, which is even more important. The worst possible thing that Webb’s supporters could do is start trashing Benny Lambert. If Raising Kaine and its blogging team get suckered onto going ballistic on Lambert, calling him names and ridiculing him, that tactic will surely blow up in their faces.
Allen’s camp will grab that stuff and put it in front of black voters statewide, to drive a permanent wedge between Webb and those Democrats.
Let’s face it many black voters are not sure about Webb, as it is. Webb has a lot work to do in that area, already. If his camp gets blamed for disrespecting Lambert, simply because he hasn’t done what they want, Webb’s task of energizing that significant part of the Democratic base may become impossible.
Does the Netroots playbook allow for restraint, when it’s called for? We’ll see.