Goldman on Wilder: Don’t believe the hype
Much is being discussed today about Doug Wilder‘s resistance to jump behind Creigh Deeds campaign for Governor. While Wilder has gone to great lengths in interviews with both Politico and the Washington Post to suggest that he remains unconvinced that Deeds deserves his support, the man who may know him the best isn’t buying it.
Paul Goldman, the eccentric former top aide to Governor Wilder said that his former bosses’ dance is no different than the same endorsement act he has put on in previous races for Governor. He said that while Wilder will hint and flirt with the Republican Bob McDonnell, barring an unforeseen circumstance, he will eventually get behind his fellow democrat.
“Wilder has already telegraphed his final move,” Goldman told me today in a lengthy discussion about the cagey politician. “The pundits, professors and professionals in Virginia politics are blinded by their own financial/personal/other self-interests to be able to step back and look at Wilder’s dodging and weaving like a doctor looking his own x-rays: that is to say, you need to look at from the pure 100% science, keep your personal stuff out of it.”
Goldman said that by granting a few well placed interviews with high profile outlets, Wilder is able to drop hints and keep himself in the spotlight. A point proven by the media interest in today’s article by Politico and subsequent follow up by the Post. According to Goldman, Wilder can make people believe that he could potentially shock the world and endorse McDonnell, when in reality, he has no plans to.
“This is not about Bob McDonnell,” said Goldman. “There is simply no way Doug Wilder is going to put himself at odds with the President of the United States. By raising doubt about Deeds, he can show that he isn’t sold on him as a candidate, but will ultimately have to say that he is supporting him in deference to Barack Obama.”
Goldman said there is no way Wilder will allow Obama to come to Richmond in support of Creigh Deeds and miss an opportunity to stand on stage with the President. (Obama is schedule to come to McLean on Deeds’ behalf at the beginning of August. At this point there are no plans for him to come to Richmond.)
The person of course is a difficult spot is Creigh Deeds. The democratic nominee, who already earned a solid enough of endorsement from the President of the United States, that Mr. Obama is coming to Virginia on his behalf, can’t seem to even get Doug Wilder on the phone. Yet Deeds, or those close to him cannot speak ill of the still highly regarded former Governor. Spokesman Jared Leopold told me today that “Creigh is looking forward to sitting down with Governor Wilder. Creigh admires Governor Wilder’s groundbreaking achievements throughout his career,” said Leoplold. “But he recognizes that the Governor is an independent leader and will make up his own mind.
It is a scenario which could make loyal Democrats wonder why their overwhelmingly nominated candidate, needs to bother with the distraction of a man, no longer in office.