Friday, November 7, 2008

Charlottesville 'Miracle'

Virgil Goode's (below) calling it the "Charlottesville Miracle" (even as he struggles to spell " ballot") and maybe he's closer to the truth than even he imagines. There aren't many people outside padded rooms who would have given Tom Perriello (above) the most remote possibility of upsetting Goode in the 5th District of Virginia only weeks ago, but today he holds a 745 vote lead and declared himself the victor--with good reason.

In a release, Goode sounded ironic: "With the vote counting process almost complete, it has become clear that there have been a number of reporting irregularities-including the misplacement of paper ballets (sic) and tape records from electronic machines and miscalculations in vote tallies." That comes on the heels of the discovery of some paper ballots in the Periello stronghold of Charlottesville.

Regardless, Goode will have the opportunity to challenge the count and demand a recount, but those things rarely work out for the challenger and, as Creigh Deeds--who finished second in the 2006 Virginia Attorney General race--can tell you, it's dang expensive. Goode's campaign was so expensive--which I doubt he anticipated--that additional spending could be problematic. This is without taking into account Goode's legendary parsimoniousness.

Fact is that this race may have been as exciting, as telling, and as indicative of a sea change in the body politic as anything since 1994, maybe longer than that. It is a come-from-behind, nail-biting classic where the ain't-got-no-chance underdog executed a brilliant, disciplined game plan, one mixed with humor, ideas and structure, and beat the entrenched, entitled incumbent. Better than a ball game, I'd say.

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