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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deeds, the Confederate Flag and the Sportsman Show

I opened up my email this morning and found a story in the Red State Morning Briefing that just should not be a part of a statewide campaign in 2009. It all began when Ben Tribbett's left leaning Not Larry Sabato blog posted a photo of the Sportsmen for McDonnell booth at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show. The angle of the photo shows a Confederate Flag and Tribbett posted the flag was part of the McDonnell booth.

The Washington Post's Anita Kumar reported on the Post's Virginia Politics blog that Creigh Deeds' campaign manager sent out this Tweet:

BREAKING NEWS: MCDONNELL HAS CONFEDERATE FLAG POSTED IN HIS BOOTH AT GUN SHOW IN RICHMOND

First, I think it shows a bit of tone deafness on the part of the Deeds campaign to call the largest and oldest outdoor show in the Commonwealth a "gun show." It's not a gun show and no guns are for sale at the show. It is a collection of over 300 vendors that include hunting clubs, sporting goods retailers, hunting outfitters, conservation groups, and more, where hunters and sportsmen gather to purchase supplies or hunting trips for the upcoming season.

I agree with RedState:

The real story here and the one the Washington Post did not report is that Bob McDonnell showed up at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show and Creigh Deeds did not.

I was at the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show on Saturday and Sunday. It was packed to the point you could barely walk the aisles. Deeds missed an excellent opportunity to reach out to over 20,000 sportsmen and women. I don't recall even seeing a booth. Both Tim Kaine and Mark Warner had a campaign booth at the show when they ran for Governor and Warner had a booth last year when he ran for the U.S. Senate.

Deeds needs to wake up the people running his campaign to the fact that sportsmen are not to be taken for granted. Or, maybe Deeds has determined that to reach out to Northern Virginia's more liberal voters he needs to leave his rural past behind. Either way, he puts his hopes for advancing to the Governor's Mansion in jeopardy.

Hat tip to Red State and Anita Kumar.

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