Kilgore unveils “Hitler” ad.

Scott Howell has put together a new ad for Republican Jerry Kilgore, and it looks like the Kilgore campaign is getting their money’s worth.

Howell Ad Screenshot

It’s actually a series of three ads. Each of them exploit somebody’s death for political gain. At least two of them depend on the viewer’s lack of knowledge of the legal process and fail to presents some basic facts of the topic at hand, as Martin Johnson points out on SouthNow.

But none of that matters. The average voter watching an ad in which Lt. Governor Tim Kaine is all but accused of murder, complete with harshly-lit black and white stills with photos of the deceased loved ones, their mind is made up. Kaine might be right, and Kilgore might be a sick son of a bitch for running these ads, but, with these ads, Kilgore wins and Kaine loses.

(Incidentally, attorneys should have a shiver run down their spine at the idea that their former clients’ actions can be brought to reflect upon them.)

Now, you’d think that the Kaine campaign would have anticipated these ads. I did, and what do I know? But their response ad sucks. It’s worse than useless — it’s a waste of money.

Once the Kilgore campaign runs an ad like this, there’s clearly no longer any need to abide by any basic concepts of fair play, truth, or kindness. So stop it.

The Kilgore campaign has demonstrated their understanding of how to win, which is by keeping Kilgore as far out of the public eye as possible. Kilgore’s face and voice appear only for the briefest bit of time, in order to satisfy legal requirements. They’ve likewise demonstrated that they understand that Tim Kaine’s greatest weakness is his position on the death penalty. They’ve combined these two elements into a single ad, which is, cinematographically- and politically-speaking, excellent.

So what can the Kaine campaign do?

  1. Stop describing Tim Kaine as “Roman Catholic.” I don’t want to hear that phrase again. He’s “Christian.” He has a “Christian opposition to the death penalty.” He needs to quote scripture and talk about the role that Christ plays in his own life. In short, he needs to witness.
  2. Rebuttal: Jerry Kilgore is anti-Christian. There are two things that should drive this point home:
    1. A press conference ASAP that features just one black preacher. (No Catholics. No Episcopalians. Baptist. Southern Baptist.) I want a preacher to weep, wail, and testify about growing up under Jim Crow, about growing up under oppression, about how the United States is a Christian nation, Virginia is a Christian state, and yet she is being attacked for the crime of being a Christian by none other than “that Kilgore character.” There must be tears. There must be fear that, under Kilgore, Virginia will become an anti-Christian state.
    2. A sixty second commercial featuring a black preacher, dressed to the nines. Purple suit, cane, white hat. I want him to preach full-out, with sweat flying, eyes closed, voice warbling and breaking into song when possible. I want him to preach about Christ, forgiveness, religious freedoms, and mention just once, at the end, while looking straight into the camera, wide-eyed, that “this Kilgore character” thinks that a Christian isn’t fit to lead Virginia and then spit in disgust. It should look like Errol Morris made it.

    Painting Kilgore as anti-Christian can be extremely powerful. If Kilgore has mentioned religion in his race, I haven’t heard it. But I expect most people who will be voting in this race know that Kaine was a missionary in Honduras. (Kaine:missionary in Honduras::Edwards:son of a mill worker)

  3. Change the topic as soon as possible. Tim Kaine can’t win the death penalty debate. It requires too much education of the public. Talk about something else. Potential response ads include:
    1. A two-minute-long ad in the style of Oprah’s guest-introduction biographical videos, with the interview subject being one of the many children who were tortured at the Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center. Tears, sense of helplessness/hopelessness, story about the federal probe into Beaumont and the Secretary of Public Safety obstructing that probe for political reasons. The money shot is the revelation that Kilgore was that Secretary of Public Safety, and the subject asking, directly to Kilgore, “Why did you let them hurt me? Why?”
    2. A three-minute long ad, in black and white, featuring one of these right-wing loonies that we’ve all found ourselves sitting next to at dinner parties every so often, the ones that are so crazy you wonder how they manage to have an otherwise normal life. Sit him down in front of a camera for a couple of hours, gain his confidence, and get him to talk about how much he hates gays, blacks, Jews and Catholics, how he thinks that President Bush is a part of the Illuminati and bringing about the New World Order. At some point, get him to say that he plans to vote for Kilgore. Edit cleverly. Air once.
    3. A series of balls-out ads attacking Kilgore’s sexuality and manhood. This is, obviously, Kilgore’s single biggest weak point — and it’s completely fair game now. Show a series of clips of Kilgore talking, walking, and being interviewed, edited for the most embarrassing bits. (Think John Kerry throwing a football or going goose-hunting.) Accuse him of being a weak little sissy boy who couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag; somebody who can’t keep Virginians safe. Present Tim Kaine as a virile, manly leader who impregnates women with his mere glance; show him chopping wood, taking a swig out of a bottle of Bud, and roping a calf. In short, make Kilgore a laughingstock.

This campaign is now a knife fight. The last man standing wins. Tim Kaine can lose with dignity, or he can win fighting. I advocate the latter.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

71 replies on “Kilgore unveils “Hitler” ad.”

  1. I’ll recant here an exchange with Lowell at RaisingKaine.com on this…

    eileen Says:
    I saw Kilgore’s anti-Kaine and his stand on the death penalty ad this morning in the Hampton Roads area. It is completely repulsive in how twisted it is. It is so disgusting that I think it is going to blow up in Kilgore’s face. People are just not that ignorant.

    Lowell Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 8:27 pm
    Eileen: I hope you’re right that this ad will “blow up in Kilgore’s face,” but I fear you’re wrong about that. That’s why I urge the Kaine campaign to roll out their heavy ammo at this point, while there’s still time. If not, Scott “Black Hands” Howell will win again, and we Virginians will all lose — big time.

    eileen Says:
    October 11th, 2005 at 9:04 pm
    Definitely! Kaine needs to pull out the stops now. These horrible Kilgore ads have to be countered! Shouldn’t be hard either, IMHO. Play up the hypocrisy of Kilgore’s idea of the “culture of life”. Speak to our American values (constitutional right to representation) with words like… “Virginia executes the most, second to Texas. I want a Governor who takes the death penalty seriously, and doesn’t prostitute the killing of a human being for political gain.” I’m sure Kaine’s people could write something brilliant.

    We can’t lose, Lowell. Kilgore is a monster.

  2. So, your response to a perceived lie is to lie about Kilgore’s stance about Christians? I’m sorry, but that is hypocrisy and goes beyond negative politics. I also expect that, if Kaine’s campaign were so daft to respond in such a fashion, that they would be smacked down by the Kilgore campaign with such force that there would remain no hope for Tim Kaine.

    I can tell you are intelligent Waldo, but you are quite vengeful and a bit brash at times. Why not use that motivation to think of ideas that use the truth and prove this “dishonesty” you feel is coming from the Kilgore campaign?

  3. Waldo — I’ve only rarely heard Tim Kaine refer to himself as Catholic. He pointedly does call himself Christian. That always struck me as a fellow Catholic as unnatural in that you’d rarely if ever hear a Catholic call themselves Christian, they tend to say “I’m Catholic” as if to proudly point out that they aren’t Protestant. I kinda liked Tim’s response but your idea is also good to take.

    Rather sick — going after Tim Kaine’s faith….

  4. So here’s my take

    He needs to make the call to the higher nature of the American people. If he’s ever going to be the advocate for the death penalty that he says he is, now is his flashpoint moment.

    “When faced with great evil, we can seek justice or we can seek vengence. My lord and savior Jesus Christ teaches forgivess, teaches justice, and so do I believe. When we condemn violent criminals to death, we go beyond justice, which can never truly be fulfilled in these cases, and we pursue vengence, the realm of which belongs only to the lord god almighty. The human spirit is greater than this, the American people are greater than this. The death penalty has no place in America.”

    He could do that, but I don’t think he will. He’d better do something.

    I really hope the Kaineies are reading you right now, Waldo. This is serious.

  5. So, your response to a perceived lie is to lie about Kilgore’s stance about Christians? I’m sorry, but that is hypocrisy and goes beyond negative politics.

    Yeah, I suck. But a) I don’t think think it’s a lie and b) if it is, it doesn’t matter to me. Once the word “Hitler” is uttered, anything goes.

  6. Waldo, did I ever tell you that you’re a genius? Well, now’s as good a time as any to start. :)

    Seriously, Waldo predicted that this would happen back in December 2004! At the time, he said:

    Howell is a media hit-man. Kilgore has hired the lowest of the low, demonstrating his willingness to lie and cheat, if that’s what necessary to win. Working with Howell is shameful.

    That said, it’s the state of things. Tim Kaine’s campaign had best have some bad-ass staff — some seriously creative people with wide-ranging experience, ready to strike back at a moment’s notice, and not take any guff from Kilgore. If I worked on Kaine’s campaign, I’d go pre-emptive. Don’t wait for the Howell-backed hate-based campaigning — adopt the Bush Doctrine and start dropping metaphorical daisy-cutters. Or play nice and lose.

    And now, unfortunately, Waldo’s prophecy has come true. “Play nice and lose.”

  7. You are spot-on about your advice, given the lows that the Kilgore campaign has sunk to. As a fairly non-partisan voter, I tried to go into this race with an open mind, but every time that Kilgore gained my confidence on one area, he shattered it in two others — this advertisement being the latest example.

    While I’m also a firm opponent of the death penalty and would love to hear him espouse what Josh suggests, it is tactical suicide. Once you explain, you lose. If I were running the Kaine campaign, I would go for tactic 3-c and play hard ball. The biggest liability in the Kilgore camp is that voters will get to know more about Kilgore. Kaine would be doing all Virginians a favor to acquaint the public with the man who has so deftly hid from them.

  8. Yeah, we know you far Lefties never “exploit somebody’s death for political gain.” Do the words “Columbine,” “Matthew Shepard,” or “James Byrd” ring a bell? How ’bout Jesse and the blood-stained shirt?

    And not all Christians oppose the death penalty. Christianity is not monolithic, like the Catholic Church is (remember the Reformation?). Kaine justifies his opposition based upon his Catholic faith. I credit him for it. But it’s certainly fair to observe that, because of his “personal views” he: (a) either is a hypocrite who won’t use the power of his office to put them into practice, rendering him a mere cipher to the public will; or (b) he can’t be trusted with that power and his protestations to the contrary. It’s truly tragic that Kaine doesn’t think that the guilty should pay the penalty, but won’t lift a finger to stop it, but also thinks that the innocent should suffer death, and also won’t lift a finger to stop it if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

    And you indulge your fantasies about so-called “these right-wing loonies that we’ve all found ourselves sitting next to at dinner parties every so often.” Maybe you have, but I’ve never met someone like that. Well, ‘cept maybe a few people in Prince Edward County in college, every one of whom was a Democrat. Oh, yeah, and the drunken professor (also a Democrat) the night before graduation at good ole H-SC, who sugguested that the black classmate who won a Rhodes Scholarship had gotten it simply because he was black.

    The one thing that you say that I agree with is that it is illegitimate to attack an attorney for representing a death-row inmate. However, my recollection about the ad is that it attacks Kaine for his over the top comments, not for the mere fact that he served an important role in the justice system.

    And Waldo, I realize that the Hitler reference (you know: quoting Kaine) upsets you. There’s that old, illegitimate Conservative tactic again: using a candidate’s own words against him. Oh, foresooth!

  9. And you indulge your fantasies about so-called “these right-wing loonies that we’ve all found ourselves sitting next to at dinner parties every so often.” Maybe you have, but I’ve never met someone like that.

    Don’t take it personally, James — the fact that their political position is far to the right is incidental. They’re just insane. If you’ve ever been to a city council meeting, you’ve seen the people who get up and have to be dragged back to their seat. They’re inevitably angry about something crazy that has nothing to do with the council. Sometimes these guys are way left, but I find that, more often, their paranoia gives them a fear of government, so they end up being way to the right, laboring under the illusion that there are many Republicans left who support smaller government.

  10. Vile.
    Kilgore is following the same path so well taught by the Rovians marketing of 2000 and 2004.
    Evil.
    Kilgore must fight back. We have already seen how the belief that the public will be too smart not to see thru such filth has ended up.
    The sad truth is that the majority of people are STUPID. They think that it couldn’t be on TV if it wasn’t true. They couldn’t put it in the paper if it weren’t true. STUPID! As if there is some mighty censor in the sky fighting for truth and honesty. Well I guess there is and Kilgore and his ilk will answer then but in the meantime – People are STUPID.

    You have to put it in terms they understand, plain and simple or plain and stupid.

    Mr. Kaine,
    You don’t have to lie just say it simple and honest – “Kilgore is evil and anti-christian, his lies and tactics are despicable. Say it loud and clear and often. Don’t sit back silently and expect people to know better, because they don’t. A simple explanation that christian belief does not support death penalty. That full punishment for capital type crimes will be fully applied and will be enforced. Being against the death penalty does not equal weakness or pardon. That you fully support strict sentencing laws and their enforcement. Jesus has taught us the values we are to follow.”
    Do not wait this one out – you can stand firm with dignity and OUTRAGE at the evil spewed by that wimpy little man and his imbecilic following.

  11. James, I’d sure like to hear the Kaine-Hitler quote. Or did the Kilgore camp lie about that, then say Kaine can’t be trusted in the same breath?

    Oh the irony is too painful!

  12. “I challenged Mr. Kilgore to a fair fight in this campaign and he wouldn’t accept that challenge. He takes the coward’s way out with these low-down dirty attack ads. Virginians expect better than that from our leaders.”

  13. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall recieve mercy. Mathew 5:7 if memory serves.

    I wonder what happens to the not-so-merciful?

    Christ really went out of his way on this one, so how anybody can call themselves a Christian and believe in the death penalty is beyond me. He says in Matthew that though it was written though shall not kill, to even be angry with you brother (even if your brother really deserves your anger) is to risk judgement! In my reading, that logic would not favor executing your brother.

  14. How about this one:

    “I don’t support the death penalty, and i don’t support biting the heads off of puppies. Do you really want a Governor that supports biting the heads off of innocent puppies?”

  15. ATA’s comment elsewhere on Waldo’s blog works for this discussion, too.

    ATA Says:

    Good Christ, I can’t believe that I’m watching a bunch of Democrats have this same discussion for the zillionth time. Republicans run nasty campaigns, period. They cheat and lie. We know that Kilgore was going to lie his way through this race when he hired the dude from the Swift Boat group last Spring. Every time you act so surprised and yet never learn and never really react.

    For the love of God just go for the goddamn throat every time. Don’t seethe and wait and shout threats about how you’re going to attack and then never really do it in any organized way. The trouble with Democrats is that you’re constantly trying to win by talking about issues and solutions. Go for the goddamn throat. Rip out his jugular with your teeth, crush the windpipe between your jaws and crap down his throat. Figuratively speaking, of course. Call him a faggot or a sissy or whatever is going to make his kids cry and his wife furious. Tell everyone he’s ‘not a real man.’ People will shake their heads at it but they won’t vote for the weak little sissy. Be goddamn ruthless already.

    Enough talk. Just disembowel your sissy opposition already.

  16. Waldo, I agree 100%. One thing though… Jerry Kilgore didn’t bring up Hitler in this campaign. Tim brought that one up, and on himself.

  17. Shrug. Given how much fuss Chad et al made over Justice Roberts saying that he’d recuse himself from cases where the law differed from Catholic teaching (i.e. no fuss at all) I’ll put this down as another one of his “principled stands” on an issue of partisan interest. Cha-ching!

  18. From another discussion on this topic. Worth consideration:

    Kaine is in good shape. It’s Kilgore who’s shitting his pants right now. Kilgore is now, and has been for months, making a complete fucking ass out of himself; and the electorate, at least the ones watching, know it.

    The ONLY thing Kilgore is hoping for is that his Republican base is oblivious to the campaign and they will vote for him just because he has an ‘R’ next to his name. Since he’s been too afraid to even let his electorate hear him talk, he hasn’t been able to reach out them (I would say, at all) like a normal person running for governor would be.

    In any other year I would say relying on an ‘R’ next to your name would be an workable winning strategy for a Virginia Republican. But not this year. Not here. Not with Bush. Not with where gas prices are. Not with the 77% popularity of Warner. Not with all the scandal. And not with Iraq.

    No, Kilgore lost all the undecideds a long time ago, and has probably lost a good portion of the republican-lite’s who arent that politically minded as well. I guarantee you, most of those non-political types of Virginians are upset with everything Republicans have wrought on our nation, and are self-re-classifying themselves as “independants” right now. The only sure thing Kilgore’s got left are the kool-aid gang of hard core Republicans. And too bad for Kilgore, he’s going to lose about 10% of those assholes to the other wingnut, Potts.

    Kaine will be fine. We’ll see another poll or two in this last month showing him ahead. He will fight back in the ads, while still managing to look positive. Kaine will finish strong, and he will win.

  19. Let’s see, how about Jeff Shapiro?

    On Capital Punishment:
    With a Wink, Kaine Walks A Fine Line

    September 25, 2005

    By Jeff Schapiro
    Richmond Times-Dispatch

    ****

    KAINE, WHO opposes the death penalty because of his Catholic faith but vows not to block executions, suggested he would not favor sending even Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or Idi Amin to the gallows.

    ****

    Not a quotation, but there’s a source. Pravda on the Potomac … er, the Washington Post, apparently found it credible. Here’s what it’ll say tomorrow, while trashing Kilgore

    Speaking to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Mr. Kaine was asked whether Hitler or other genocidal murderers deserved the death penalty. His response was nuanced — perhaps lethally so for a politician. “God grants life and God should take it away,” he said — except possibly in cases of self-defense. But when pressed, he added that Hitler, among others, might have deserved to be executed: “Of course they may for doing something heinous, they don’t deserve to live in civilized society, they may deserve the death penalty.”

  20. Well, Waldo, they’re no more or less “insane” that the idiots on the Mall protesting against Iraq a few weeks ago. My recollection is that they were lionized over at Raising Kaine. Not here, if I recall correctly. But why should I take it personally? After all, you’re creating a fantasy straw man and associating him with all who support Kilgore. I don’t associate you with the aforementioned “idiots on the Mall” in the absence of your choice to associate yourself with them; I would appreciate the same courtesy.

    As for the rest of you who would like to beat Christians over the head for support for the death penalty, the hypocrisy is delicious. You criticize Christians taking political action opposing abortion because of their faith, and then criticize them for supporting the death penalty, AND telling them what controlling Christian teaching is on the subject. I’m no theologian, and I seriously doubt that the commentators here selectively quoting Scripture to their own advantage don’t like it when Bob Marshall accurately quotes it to his.

  21. Tactically, a few things—

    First, the response ad you cite and link is not the response ad. That ad ran last summer after some much milder attacks on rural radio, etc. It has not run since that buy. If this was the response, it would already be playing on your friendly television as the stations already have the tape of it. It’s not rolling; it’s not the response. And knowing the media fairly well, Kaine would have been tipped about Kilgore’s attack (which started today) and by day’s end they could have directed their media buy to shift the old ad into rotation. You might want to correct this assertion Waldo.

    Second, the timing of this ad indicates a couple of things. As noted elsewhere, Kilgore’s campaign never claimed to win the debate in their initial spin. After examining the post-debate accounts by MSM that called the debate no better than a draw for Kilgore and several mentions that Kaine won, the Kilgore campaign must have sensed it was time to unload a big gun. Additionally, you can be certain that both campaigns of the only competitive race in the nation have rolling track polls now–especially following the one and only debate–clearly Kilgore found two things–he was slipping with three kinds of voters–rural, undecided, and self described conservative– and a lack of enthusiasm from his base. If I were in their shoes, I’d go ahead and fire my best shot this early as well.

    Third, you can be assured that Kaine’s staff knew this was coming. If you have seen any of their rapid response stuff from the last debate on their blog–their research department knows everytime Kilgore sneezed on a salad bar, and everytime Kaine has said something even obliquely damaging to his race. One evidence was the quick turnaround with the ad you cited from last summer. I’d say give it at least 24-36 hours and then start looking for the response ad…which leads me to four…

    Fourth, the mere logistics of getting tape of a response ad to all every station in every market would take at least a day to get to every market in VA. If you add in cuts and edits and perhaps additional taping to specifically address these charges, it could push the time out to anywhere between 24 and 48 hours before the tape is at the station and popped into rotation. It’s just the way modern paid media works.

    Fifth, Kaine was quick to slot the ad saying Kilgore had a sugardaddy into rotation (probably already in the can before this and moved up in rotation (after being tipped off by a friendly in some tv station) today. Additionally, the Kaine people have answered every attack, but there has always been some lag time. The response will be considerably less than the four weeks Kerry allowed the Swift Boat attacks, and less than 4 days, in my estimation.

    Sixth, you mention Kaine going to “Christian” rather than “Roman Catholic.” In the ad you cite, Kaine begins, “As a Christian missionary…” The ad ran last June.

    Okay that’s tactical. Strategery…

    This will fire up the base of both sides as long as Kaine responds quickly (count on it, given past performance) and given the general sense of Republicans drifting away from the tops of their party, starting with Bush and magnified in Kilgore. Even non-activist conservatives bring up Kilgore’s “sissy” and/or “effeminate” appearance, speech, et al. The fact that Kilgore drops a bomb like these ads, unprovoked, to fire up his base and voters that would normally be any Republican candidate’s, is an indication that his campaign has realized that they’re behind and slipping. Unanswered, they could well turn the race. However, given the Kaine campaign’s quick retorts earlier in the year and lately (see gas tax response ad), I’d suppose these will get lost in a slew of counter fire and the ultimate effect will be a general disgust by voters driving down turnout, firing up the base, and between the air war an extra 2-3 points for Potts as a protest against both (Potts ends with 6-8%).

    On the response suggestions you have, I’d say you’re onto something with painting Kilgore as anti-Christian, but it simply won’t fly–too much explanation, too much time for an ad (JoeBob and Mrs. JoeBob and Malcolm and Caroline will click it to the game or Desperate Housewives or The Price Is Right or -fill in the blank-). Kilgore has most likely never said or done anything so damning in this vein.

    The right-wing nut bag suggestion–way too long, marketing 101. Yeah, I’ve seen them at BBQs and in bars (I don’t make many dinner parties…), but too much and as much as they bore me, you can be sure any voter would click in the first five seconds.

    The Kilgore as a mansy-pansy has merit, as even Repubs are saying the same thing, but a few things—one is you risk some base, calling a gay man gay isn’t nearly as effective as people whispering among themselves that he is gay (the conspiratorial whispers among his base must be devastating), and, ultimately, I just doubt Kaine would go that far over the top.

    Finally, the change the subject idea I think is the best–an ad that says “While Jerry Kilgore was charged with keeping Virginia prisoners in jail X number of murderers escaped…”–is there a Horton among those escapees? A good blend of the two would be a revamped version of the internet ad that discusses the 300% increase in escapes from Virginia prisons under Kilgore’s watch—it underscores Kilgore’s mansy-pansy in a visual, audible, and mental way (“Just the other day, we went through an entire day without an escape. It was a positive day for the Department of Corrections,” said a “curious” looking Kilgore…)

    Basically, Kilgore is accusing Kaine of not wanting to apply the death penalty, but Kilgore could not keep murders from escaping to our neighborhoods and homes when charged with the task. Letting murderers and felons escape from prison under his watch seems at least as damaging, if not more, than simply representing someone on an appeal. It all reinforces the “weak” image of Kilgore while Kaine spent his formative years with a father whose trade was shaping steel with his hands.

    In any event, we know this is a wedge issue attack, and it will be very effective with his base and many others. Still, it is not biggest issue affecting poeple. What remains to be seen is if there is an effective and vigorous response by Kaine and whose base it fires up more (no/weak/ineffective response is a Kilgore advantage; strong response is a win for Kaine with base and swing voters–it really is a disgusting attack with only the barest hints of truth in it. But, hey, Scott Howell, you strike again, right? Black hands, swift boats, cartoons, and all else; you’re good at what you do these days, hat tip on such a dishonorable, dishonest, and despicable, yet effective hit job. Course, that’s why they pay you the big bucks…

  22. Where in scripture does Christ advocate for the death penalty, James? I am a Christian, and don’t throw out scripture just to win political debates. Christ was against man’s taking the lives of other men in any context. There can be no equivocation on that point.

  23. After all, you’re creating a fantasy straw man and associating him with all who support Kilgore.

    Now you’re getting it. That’s the goal of the ad — create a fantasy straw man and associate him with all who support Kilgore. Perhaps I should have stated that more explicitly.

  24. My recollection is that they were lionized over at Raising Kaine.

    James: Show me where the International ANSWER wackos running that march were “lionized” over at Raising Kaine. I personally can’t stand that organization (in part because I believe it’s virulently anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic), almost as much as I can’t stand the far right wing. Raising Kaine was handing out “Defeat Bush in 2005” flyers at the Mall because there were over 100,000 people there, most of whom were mainstream Democrats (yeah, yeah, I know, ALL Democrats are “socialists” in your book) protesting a war which the VAST MAJORITY of Americans oppose. Now what were you saying again? Oh yeah, how Scott Howell is a fine, upstanding human being and Hitler ads are perfectly acceptable, or something along those lines…

  25. the idiots on the Mall protesting against Iraq a few weeks ago

    So James, I take it you just LOOOOVE this Iraq War, huh? You think we should stay there forever? Nearly, 2,000 dead Americans aren’t enough for you? Oh, and please remind me: where are those Weapons of Mass Deception…er, Destruction? And what ever happened to “Mission Accomplished?” Oh yeah, I forgot Saddam was Hitler too. Which brings me to my last question: what the heck is it with you guys and your Hitler obsession anyway? I mean, who ISN’T Hitler or a Hitler appeaser these days — except for that great war hero (of Alabama, that is), George W. Bush, of course…

  26. James — Bob Marshall isn’t using scripture correctly if he still supports the death penalty. Church teachings *still* hold that the death penalty is wrong. He’s no better than the other cafeteria Catholics who pick and choose what church laws to support. Ditto for Jeannie Marie Devoltes Davis.

  27. John Allen Muhammad was a victim of a vast right wing conspiracy and was railroaded onto Virginia’s death row by a juggernaut led by non other than Jerry Kilgore.

    If elected Governor, I would hope that Tim Kaine would seriously consider clemency for Mr. Muhammad, who is clearly did not pull the trigger in these crimes and should not forfeit his life as punishment since he has children.

    Larry D. in Falls Church

  28. Dear God, please allow Candidate Kaine to put the Waldo plan into effect.

    And please let Mr. Kaine showcase people like Larry D. in all of his ads.

    :-)

  29. Secretly i think Republicans want Kaine to go negative. They hate that Kilgore feels the need to be negative since he has nothing else to say. If Kaine is negative too, that validates Kilgore in their mind.

  30. Dear God, please spare us from I.Publius and his ilk posting dopey messages and signing them “Larry D. in Falls Church” and trying to make anybody think that they’re really posted by Kaine supporters.

  31. One of the fascinating stats that Levitt points out in Freakonomics is that the probability of dying on death row is actually less than the probability of dying on the street for a drug dealer. In effect that means it’s *safer* being on death row than out on the streets as a drug dealer.

  32. Always go for the throat. Be ruthless, cunning and relentless. This is the simple formula for winning almost any election.

    I find it sad and pathetic when good people fail to realize or act on this. They acknowledge that it’s a winning approach, but can’t stand the sight of blood. Too bad. Survival of the meanest, toughest SOB is how things really work in nature. The only way that this is ever turned on it’s head is when a meaner, tougher SOB is nobly protecting the weak and giving them an edge. At the end of the day, this is the basic principle that allows socially enlightened nations to exist. The Knight Templar on one scale or another is the true fount of justice.

    The unfortunate truth is that the best we can really hope for in the world and in politics is to have the toughest, meanest SOBs on the side of all that is good and righteous. Tim Kaine better get a lot tougher and meaner real quick if the righteous of Virginia are going to have a chance.

  33. James- I’m so baffled by your post. The first thing you said isn’t a quote at all! You’ve fallen in a Fox news style trap! The word “suggested” shows the person didn’t say it at all, the writer made an assumption that you quickly proved was incorrect.

    Your second comment “quoted” Kaine saying “may deserve the death penalty.”

    Man in Black: “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”
    Vizzini: “Wait till I get going!”

  34. I just now watched the footage of the day with no escapes announcement. Why is this stuck on some website and not on primetime? Whether or not Kilgore was really a bad secretary for public safety I have no idea but he looks gay as hell and sounds ridiculous. I agree with everyone here that the gloves need to come off. I’m thinking of an ad that goes something like this: “Kilgore calls Tim Kaine weak on crime because of his public service as court appointed attorney – Let’s start with the basics Jerry: keeping criminals in jail” And then cut to footage of mustachioed kilgore. Call him weak, cowardly – everything short of openly asserting he’s gay.

    Another idea – as a former intern for a public defender’s office, I am no stranger to they type of simple-minded humbug Kilgore is currently dealing in. Whenever someone accused me of “defending murderes and rapists” I could usually stop them in their tracks by bringing up the Constitution. It worked every time – like a stun gun for right wingers. If I was on the Kaine team I’d be pushing for an ad where Tim looks straight at the camera and says something like “As a court appointed attorney I stuck up for the constitution of the united states and I’m proud of it”. Something like that.

    All the chest-beating on the conservative blogs is starting to annoy me. I’m ready to see Kaine hit back.

  35. “Where in scripture does Christ advocate for the death penalty?”
    Did Christ uphold the Torah? Did the Torah prescribe the death penalty under particular circumstances?

  36. Right on Jack! Kilgore’s a quivering coward. Tim needs to kick him in the nuts and leave him whimpering for his pretty-boy entorage to get him some perrier before nappy time.

  37. Man in Black: “Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.”
    Vizzini: “Wait till I get going!”

    Under the little-known “Princess Bride” clause in the Rules of Debating, Steve automatically wins. ;)

  38. Here’s an idea for a simple ad. Get a copy of last Sunday’s debate when Sabato asked the candidates to make a pledge to do 51% positive ads. Then have Kilgore ramble out his BS answer and end with Sabato saying: “So that’s a NO”.

  39. Secretly i think Republicans want Kaine to go negative. They hate that Kilgore feels the need to be negative since he has nothing else to say. If Kaine is negative too, that validates Kilgore in their mind.

    This seems more and more likely, but maybe not for the reasons you say. In the poll data, Kilgore’s negatives are really as high as humanly possible. I don’t think there’s been a more universally disliked candidate for public office since um… GWB. Since he’s already a hated, divisional little grub, there’s no reason not to send him down into the dirt to see if there’s some nice, nasty, putrescence to smear all over Tim Kaine.

    Tim Kaine’s positives are much much higher than Kilgore’s, even though he’s not as well known. So in many ways this is a way to expand negative awareness of Tim Kaine. It can only increase Tim Kaine’s negatives if the first impression people get of Kaine is negative.

    We already know that interest in this election in the rural areas (Kilgore’s base) is very low. This red meat stuff will help the GOTV effort. We also know that the Kilgore supporters were getting pretty depressed from watching Kilgore’s 8-point lead disappear, watching Kilgore get whipped like heavy cream in three debates, and from the gut wretching realization that Jerry W. Kilgore is a whinking prancing, preening nancyboy.

    This is Tim Kaine’s make or break. Kilgore’s offered him a golden opportunity to take the ball to the endzone. Straight negativity may not work, simply because Kilgore’s as hated as is reasonably possible. How can Tim Kaine simultaneously leverage the new awareness this will generate for his candidacy, AND turn the negatives to positives?

    oh… Waldo has some suggestions (see above ^). p.s. waldo really does deserve a raise.

  40. Steve,

    That’s not aggressive enough at this point. That’s the level of what Kaine should have been doing a month ago. The level of rhetorical violence has already been ratcheted up past that point by Kilgore. You don’t win a street fight by pulling punches. If your opponent hits below the belt, kick him in the balls. If he pulls out a knife, you pull out a gun. This is the only way to win against an opponent who isn’t willing to fight like a gentleman. Be absolutely ruthless.

    Your idea doesn’t pass the ‘cry’ test. Could a given attack ad make the opponent’s mother cry? If yes, go with it. If not, come up with something harsher. Shoot straight and speak the ugly truth.

  41. The level of rhetorical violence has already been ratcheted up past that point by Kilgore.

    Sorry guys, but the holier-than-thou [crybaby]”He started going negative at us first!”[/crybaby] whine doesn’t stand up to the facts this time around.

    Kaine airs two new attacks on Kilgore, day after pledge

    And regarding your ad idea, Steve… Kaine can’t do that. If you’ll recall, he reluctantly kept his word (only after Sabato called him out) and agreed to the debate rules, which included a no-use agreement.

  42. Listen, if there’s tape in that debate that Kaine finds it useful to show – show it! I don’t care about debate rules. I don’t care about girlie-man “no-use” agreements. Kick him in the balls.

    Let Jerry Kilgore sue Tim Kaine. I’m sure the public will give a rat’s ass about some stupid legal mumbo-jumbo involving small print on contracts. Oh, and when Jerry wants to serve the summons, he can have it delivered to the Governor’s mansion.

  43. Just heard on NPR’s Virginia Politics Hour moderated by Kojo Nnamdi (in NoVA at 88.5 FM, will replay tonight at 8 pm): A caller who identified himself as a ‘soft Republican from Northern Virginia’ said that the Kilgore ‘Hitler’ ad made him want to switch his vote from Kilgore to Kaine. He found it ‘despicable.’ One of the panelists on the show agreed that this could backfire. Keep an eye out for backlash … you read it here first!

  44. You don’t win a street fight by pulling punches. If your opponent hits below the belt, kick him in the balls. If he pulls out a knife, you pull out a gun. This is the only way to win against an opponent who isn’t willing to fight like a gentleman. Be absolutely ruthless.

    That’s crazy. There are hundred million solutions to every problem. To say the only way to win a fight is to have a bigger gun is insane. Everybody dies.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m not suggesting it won’t work. It will work. Negative advertising is effective. But please don’t believe it’s the only answer.

    Think about this… Kilgore has THE BEST negative political advertiser working for him. That’s the equivalent of kicking Mike Tyson in the balls when he punches you. Will it work? Maybe, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to do it.

  45. Also think about this… The RNC felt out of all the candidates running in the country, Kilgore needed the best negative political advertiser. That is SO sad.

  46. Steve,

    If Mike Tyson punches you then you have 2 real choices. Shoot him or run away. Well, choice #3 would be to stand there and get killed. There are not a ‘hundred million solutions to every problem.’ That kind of limp ‘there must be another way’ crap is what loses fights and elections. Real life is not a Care Bears movie or an after school PSA. This fight is what it is and it’s happening right now. Guys who stop in the middle of a fight to question whether there might be some way to avoid bloodshed (as you are doing right now) get the crap beaten out of them. Guys who get brutal and hit their opponent even more ruthlessly win. As do those people for whom the winner is fighting. That is how the real world works.

    Everyone doesn’t die in the ‘bigger gun’ scenario. Just the guy with the smaller gun or the poorer aim. Or the guy who didn’t bring a weapon at all. Thus has it ever been. The best that you can hope for is is a champion who shoots straight and knows when to pull the trigger. You can’t turn a street fight into a pillow fight once it’s already started.

    Finding peaceful, friendly solutions to these kinds of situations is all well and good. But not when you’ve signed up to be a warrior, which is what Tim Kaine did. Go play Ghandi on your own time for your own stakes. The Democratic party nominated Tim Kaine to be our hidalgo, not our messiah.

  47. Waldo, if Kaine didn’t want “Tim Kaine wouldn’t give Hitler the death penalty” as part of this campaign, then he shouldn’t have brought it up. Y’all seem to conveniently forget that.

    Kaine is a lawyer, and he knows how this works. If one party enters something into evidence, either as an exhibit or from a witness, then it’s fair game for everybody — even if the other side wasn’t allowed to bring it in initially.

    Seriously — the more Tim Kaine reacts to Kilgore’s attacks on this issue, the deeper he’s digging his hole. He needs to just ignore it and change the subject ASAP.

  48. Waldo, if Kaine didn’t want “Tim Kaine wouldn’t give Hitler the death penalty” as part of this campaign, then he shouldn’t have brought it up. Y’all seem to conveniently forget that.

    Show me where Tim Kaine was the first to mention Adolf Hitler. Show me where the man uttered that name.

    I won’t pretend to wait, because you can’t produce it.

  49. Picture this great Kaine ad:

    Tim Kaine admits to the camera in close up that Kilgore has been questioning his (Kaine’s) stance on both guns and the death penalty. Have Tim explain that he was brought up to believe that actions speak stronger than words, and explain that next he will demonstrate his feelings on both issues…

    Camera pans back. Kaine is at a gun range with a big hang gun in his hand, he dons ear protection.

    Camera swings to the target – a photo graph of Kilgore. Blam! Blam! Blam! Target shreds…

    OK – so it’s just a fantasy… but what fun the campaign would be!

    They could sell the targets with Jerry’s face on them to raise money for the ads themselves! ;-)

  50. Scott, there is a problem with your suggested statement by Kaine:
    “Have Tim explain that he was brought up to believe that actions speak stronger than words”

    In this case, Tim’s words are that he opposes the death penalty, but he promises in his actions to carry out the executions.

    And regarding Hitler, he didn’t say Hitler. But when you are answering a reporter’s question, and he says Hitler, and asks if there is ANYBODY you would execute, and you say no, it is safe to say that you just told the world that you would not execute Hitler for his crimes.

    Anti-Death-Penalty people get this question all the time, and as a smart lawyer and world-class debater Tim should have known how to answer it. But in fact he does, because Tim Kaine is OPPOSED to the Death Penalty, and if he had his way and Hitler was up for criminal charges, Tim Kaine would NOT support the death penalty for Hitler. He would only support the death penalty for Hitler if he needed to do so to get elected.

    It’s the hard cases that show how much you care about your principles. It sunk Dukakis, who should have said “I’d rip the guys head off with my bare hands, but that’s why we have a government to punish, rather than lynch mobs”.

    Kaine took a case as a lawyer for free to try to keep a convicted killer from being executed (as per his sentence). Kaine was doing what lawyers do, except he wasn’t hired, he did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. He was trying to follow his principles, his convictions, by getting an execution stopped using everything the law provided to him.

    But now, as Governor, he has promised that if that same defendant showed up to be executed, he would pull the switch. Kaine probably would have argued for the governor to commute the sentence of his client — but as governor he would ignore such a plea from the guy’s lawyer, even though he thinks commuting the sentence woudl be the right thing to do.

  51. Charles, I have very little problem with Tim Kaine’s alleged opposition to the death penalty. However, I have HUGE concerns about the corruption of the Republican party, the dishonest and criminal behavior of Kilgore’s State Attorney General’s office, and the lies and deception of the Scott Howell attack ads for several campaigns.

    We all take a long, multi-faceted look at our very limited choices for any office (limited by crappy pluralistic voting, I must point out). We basically only have three choices now: Tim Kaine – who I am voting for because he has a damned good record on education, transportation, moderate taxes, and a concern for the wel being of the people of Virginia (so I disagree with him on a few smaller issues – like not making voting rights and election reform is number one priority); Jerry Kilgore – a known crook, who’s campaign is paid for by the evil empire builders, and who lies and misdrects with every negative attack ad; and Russ Potts, who I always felt was too small a government man (we already pay negligible taxes, dammit!), but who is sounding more and more reasonable every week.

    I am not so concerned about a couple of people sentenced to death row staying in prison for their lives instead – it simply costs us more money.

    I am more concerned with the number of convicts who were allowed out by (then) attorney general Kilgore.

  52. Waldo, Chris and others are right. Check out the Times Dispatch interview. It’s not surprising that some reporters at the RTD, not only throwing hypotheticals and anachronistic impossibilities, but but also carrying water for (enabling) would lead to this.

    Clearly, one of the reporters brought it up. Check here: http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767488641&path=%21news%21politics&s=1045855935264

    And here.
    http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767495789&path=%21news%21politics&s=1045855935264

  53. “A press conference ASAP that features just one black preacher. A sixty second commercial featuring a black preacher, dressed to the nines. Purple suit, cane, white hat. I want him to preach full-out, with sweat flying, eyes closed, voice warbling and breaking into song when possible.”

    I’ve always heard that Democrats don’t truly care about African-Americans…they just want to use them for political gain. This is the first time I’ve seen it in print!

  54. Read above closely and you’ll realize that Democrats also don’t truly care about Catholics, children tortured in prison, or Oprah. We also just want to use them for political gain.

    This is to be contrasted with Republicans, who only use straight, white middle-class family members of murder victims for political gain.

    I’d like to think that we Democrats are more inclusive in this regard.

  55. Kaine’s response does suck, but the makings for a decent response are there in the commercial. The problem is that Kaine is on the offensive at the end of the commercial and comes across looking like he did something wrong and is trying to weasel his way out of it.

    If Kaine’s response had started with his “I will enforce the death penalty because that’s the law” and then ended with “Kilgore can’t be trusted, his ads are misleading, he’s not trust worthy” it would have had a much better effect. Instead Kaine looks like a big pussy and I’m afraid he’ll lose.

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