A LieberDem Tied to War Profiteer
In today’s Washington Post, Amy Gardner has called Fairfax County official Gerald Connolly an opponent of the Iraq War and “war profiteers”, even though his employer SAIC could be considered a profiteer.
And as Raising Kaine points out, this is not the first time the Washington Post has put a favorable spin on Connolly’s thus-far terrible campaign for Congress in northern Virginia.
Here’s my impression of the race to replace Tom Davis so far:
Leslie Byrne, the former congresswoman for this district, lost to Davis in the 1994 landslide. She wants it back after a stint in the state Senate and a close statewide race for Lieutenant Governor. She is a strong standard-fare liberal, a favorite of the netroots, and would probably fit in quite comfortably in the Progressive Caucus even though the district is at best only lean-Democrat.
Gerald Connolly would, at best, be a LiberDem. He claims he’s anti-war, but there’s been mixed messages. He’s a fan of corporations like his part-time employer SAIC, has thumbed his nose at the local party (even once threatened to leave the party over a personnel change), and put a lot of effort in winning a landslide in his race rather than putting the extra push into electing a few more legislative seats last year. You get the sense that he would be one the conservative side of the Dem caucus, even though his district doesn’t require it.
There are other Democrats running or still thinking about it, but they are at this stage also-rans. Bryne and Connolly are the main fighters in the primary.
On the Republican side, Keith Fimian is a leading candidate because he can self-fund, but otherwise the race is much, much quieter. It’s not clear the national party can or would put money into the DC media market to save this seat, although the district is hardly a lost cause.
In 2004, Bush beat Kerry in this district 50-49, after beating Gore 52-45. My guess is, all things being equal, Obama will win this district by maybe 4-6 points, maybe more, depending on how much an effort he makes in winning the state in November.
But honestly, I’m kinda glad I don’t live in that district (I live closer to DC, in the 8th district). If I did live there, I’d worry about Bryne being able to win here in the general, and I’d worry that Connolly would.