Sunday, October 22, 2006

Of kissing Wilder's ring

Still no word from Richmond’s mercurial mayor, L. Douglas Wilder (pictured right), about his preference in Virginia’s hotly contested senatorial race. While the Republican incumbent, Sen. George Allen, managed to wheedle an endorsement out of one prominent black Richmond pol, Benny Lambert, it’s hard to imagine what Allen could do to convince Wilder to follow suit.

So, if Wilder is eventually going to endorse the Democrat, Jim Webb, what’s the point of waiting?

Well, the answer isn’t pretty, but it comes as no surprise to those who have followed his career that the sometime Democrat, Doug Wilder, is waiting until the last minute, hoping to play all the angles.

Yet, the most frustrating part of this little grandstanding melodrama is that since it’s a close race, if candidate Webb isn’t willing to bend low enough to kiss Mayor Wilder’s familiar ring, Hizzoner just might not mind announcing that this year he is endorsing no candidate in the most important contest in Virginia.

Update: It says here that such a petty move, which could have a far-reaching effect on the makeup of Congress and the entire country’s prospects, would do more to diminish the former governor’s already waning stature.
Photo: SLANT

7 comments:

Bill Garnett said...

For lack of a nail a shoe was lost, for lack of a shoe a horse was lost, for lack of a horse a battle was lost – and with that a war was lost.

So does Wilder’s endorsement make or break the war – I don’t think so.

When will we – we the people – get sick and tired of retail politicians, and self-serving elected officials? Virginia is not so much red (for heaven’s sake we elected Wilder) or blue – we are moving rapidly towards purple. And it is this moderate middle, where we look to our common values and common good, where we will come together as a nation and begin to deal with the problems that have been building up, with no real progress towards solution, for the last six years.

The Allen/Webb race has gone from a christening party for Allen’s 2008 presidential bid, to a neck and neck horse race. And Jim Webb does actually represent a refreshing new approach – he is real, he is bright, he has a broad and deep background, and he is not anything like George Allen. Webb might actually be someone Virginia can again be proud of.

Virginia deserves better than what we’ve seen recently – and the problems surely require better.

Insider said...

It's not his ring that Wilder wants kissed...

GeekFunk said...

What non-sense. I'm referring to the comments by Bill and insider, not Wilder. Doug Wilder is being Doug Wilder. I remember that Wilder did the same thing to Chuck Robb and Mark Waner. He does it intentionally for maximum political influence. As election day approaches, Wilder's endorsement becomes more and more important. Candidates should know that. Wilder got nearly 80% of the vote for mayor of Richmond. Every Democrat running for state-wide office should seek Wilder's endorsement, and for very good political reasons. It is always humorous to read silly stuff from people like Bill and insiders criticizing Wilder for these kinds of antics. Yet, Wilder is a very big dog in Virginia politics, and all candidates running for state-wide office must recognize that fact and treat Wilder accordingly. Webb would be wise to postrate himself before Wilder and seek Wilder's exuberant praise and endorsement. After all, who's more important in Virginia politics, Jim Webb or Doug Wilder?

Bill Garnett said...

“Webb would be wise to postrate (sic) himself before Wilder” – humm, well GeekFunk, I suggest that this is the type of self-serving politicking that I, and many Virginians, find more than tiresome – we find it not useful to the process of bringing the best people to public life.

If you are suggesting that this is the reality of politics – then you are stating the obvious. And the current reality of politics is largely what is preventing us, as Americans and Virginians, from facing up to and solving our growing list of problems that threaten our future.

F.T. Rea said...

Bill Garnett,

When you say, "...I suggest that this is the type of self-serving politicking that I, and many Virginians, find more than tiresome – we find it not useful to the process of bringing the best people to public life," I couldn’t agree more.


GeekFunk,

You write about raw power: "...Yet, Wilder is a very big dog in Virginia politics, and all candidates running for state-wide office must recognize that fact and treat Wilder accordingly. Webb would be wise to postrate [sic] himself before Wilder and seek Wilder's exuberant praise and endorsement. After all, who’s more important in Virginia politics, Jim Webb or Doug Wilder?"

You don’t seem all that interested in what is done with that power. While Wilder’s look-at-me games are not new that hardly means he is serving his constituents’ best interests with such antics.

Moreover, Mayor Wilder’s landslide election two years ago is old news. Ask people over in the soggy Battery Park neighborhood what they think about how he has delivered.

In fact, many who supported Wilder’s proposal for a strong mayor, and then his run for that office, have grown more than a little weary of his constant bickering with everyone in sight over power.

As far as who is more important in Virginia politics goes, it depends on whether you’re talking about the past, the present, or the future.

thegools said...

The present is all that matters.

Bill Garnett said...

"The present is all that matters." -- thegools

Care to elucidate? Not sure what context this is meant to be in.

We are stewards of the future, and of the freedoms that have been so hard won.