Does the Biden Administration Have a Global Climate Change Plan?
Plus: The Youngkin ad lighting up the last week of the race.
🏒 FACEOFF 🏒
Greetings from a very windy Northern Virginia! I had hoped to do some afternoon BBQ, but that’s not in the cards. My grill cover has blown off and until a few minutes ago, our nanny and my twins were on a search and rescue mission. (It was in the neighbor’s backyard.)
But luckily, I can cook those things indoors if need be, thanks to my Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Electric Indoor Grill, brought to you by the sausage scientists in Charlie Sykes’s home of Wisconsin.
We’re getting to the final throes of the VA gubernatorial race. It is an important one, of course, because I live here. But I’m not as certain it is a harbinger of things to come with midterm elections the following year. A lot can happen in a year.
As of this writing, it looks like Glenn Youngkin has taken the lead. But I fear Youngkin might be playing too aggressive in the final days.
A few thoughts on this:
Youngkin has a new ad out with a “concerned parent.” But said concerned parent, not to diminish her concerns about a book that was taught years ago, comes from an atypical family.
The mom is Laura Murphy. She narrates: “When my son showed me his reading assignment, my heart sunk,” she says. We are told that the son had nightmares from what he had to read for school—implying that the son was a young child.
“It was some of the most explicit material you can imagine. I met with lawmakers. They couldn’t believe what I was showing them; their faces turned bright red with embarrassment.”
The ad does not disclose which book Mrs. Murphy’s son was forced to read. Political ads like these rarely get into the details. But that’s odd in this case. If something was obscene to the point where parents and even lawmakers felt compelled to act, why not say what it was?
Murphy’s son Blake “had nightmares after reading ‘Beloved’ for his senior-year Advanced Placement English class. ‘It’s about the content.’” That was 2013.
Eight years later, Blake is a lawyer and associate general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Blake’s younger brother Michael ran into issues about using $50k of student funding to bring President Trump’s large adult son to speak, and, like Trump, faced impeachment for it.
While McAuliffe screwed up initially with his dumbly worded response, Youngkin is perhaps responding in kind by overreacting and picking a very political family to serve as stand-ins for normal families, who don’t work for Republican bigwigs, who might be better messengers to bash Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe may have handed an issue ready made for ads to Youngkin in the final days of the campaign, but the handling of a turnover, still depends upon how the defense responds when the shoe is on the other foot.
Here’s how McAuliffe responded:
“In the final week of this race, Glenn Youngkin has doubled down on the same divisive culture wars that have fueled his campaign from the very beginning. Youngkin’s closing message of book banning and silencing esteemed Black authors is a racist dog whistle designed to gin up support from the most extreme elements of his party--mainly his top endorser and surrogate, Donald Trump."
“I have long said that Glenn Youngkin is using our schools and children as political pawns to advance his and Trump’s dangerous, out-of-touch and bigoted agenda here in Virginia. Doing so is disturbing, disgusting and disqualifying. Do not be deceived, this is yet another example of Glenn Youngkin’s full embrace of Donald Trump, and Virginians will reject both Youngkin and Trump at the polls next week.”
But will this turn into an ad? The omission of the Youngkin camp was crucial, and it seems neither camp wants to get into specifics. With a week go to, we’ll see.
Leading The Bulwark…
SHAY KHATIRI: Four recent reports from the administration suggest not.
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