It looks like Sen. Creigh Deeds did the right thing in skipping the Shad Planking, or so I gather from Anita Kumar’s article in today’s Post. Campaigning at the Shad Planking is like campaigning on blogs—the audience already has their minds made up, so in a tight race, any time or money spent is time or money wasted. Terry McAuliffe—the political equivalent of new money—rented a damned airplane, complete with banner in tow, and put up 25,000 signs for 20 miles along 460. The man’s ostentation knows no limitations, regardless of utility. To be fair, the man had probably never heard of the Shad Planking until about three weeks ago.
Anita Kumar makes the point that the declining attendance at the event is probably a sign of the declining power of the rural vote in Virginia elections, and I think that’s probably true. As one of those rural voters, that’s not a conclusion that it gives me any pleasure to draw. To the extent to which the Shad Planking is a rural event, though, one can appreciate further why Sen. Deeds didn’t show up—among Democrats, he owns that demographic.