You’ve heard the adage, attributed to Woody Allen and often misquoted as 90 percent of life is showing up. Regardless of the numbers, the point remains the same — to be successful you at least need to be present.
Apparently no one decided to remind Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam and the rest of his left-wing ticket.
In a scathing editorial over the weekend from the Roanoke Times, Northam was slammed for his decision to skip the Buena Vista Labor Day Parade. This is a perennial event that has been, for many years, a must-go for political candidates. Northam skipped:
From the cold logic of political mathematics, this makes sense. Democrats will find a lot more votes in Hampton than in Buena Vista. That’s always been true, but is especially true now that Buena Vista, like many other communities in rural Virginia, has voted increasingly Republican over the past decade. (Buena Vista last went Democratic in a governor’s race in 2005.)
Still, this seems sad — the diminishment of a local tradition. If only one party is speaking in the park, it’s not really a community event any more; it’s just another partisan event.
It’s also a missed opportunity for Democrats, in spite of the math that counts about 30 times more voters in Hampton than Buena Vista. Rightly or wrongly, this sends yet another signal that Democrats don’t really care about anything outside the urban crescent.
Northam and company will spend plenty of time in Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and the greater Richmond area between now and November. They won’t be spending much time in Virginia’s western half, because they’ve essentially given up on it.
It still seems silly to me that Northam and company are abandoning rural Virginia. After all, the remaining Democrats in Virginia’s 5th, 6th, and 9th Congressional Districts helped Hillary Clinton carry the Commonwealth. She won Virginia by roughly 212,000 votes. In the 5th, she received 154,665 votes. In the 6th, she received 120,596 votes. In the 9th, she tacked on another 86,463 votes. Without rural Democrats, she loses.
Alas, Northam and company know that their recent race to the left to placate urban elites won’t play well, even with the few remaining partisan diehards beyond the suburbs.
It’s a sad sign of how little Northam believes his party can appeal to rural voters, that he’s willing to throw in the towel and not show up.