Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Flipping of Virginia’s Gubernatorial Race


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to give his take on Tuesday night’s Virginia election results and outlook on the Democrats’ future.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by the best Washington correspondent in the country, Washington Correspondent for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, always a pleasure.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael, of course, is in the studio.  We have a treat, by the way, for our listeners, Neil McCabe will be in the house tomorrow morning here as we broadcast from The Tennessee Star Report. You’ll be in studio and on Music Row. That will be a lot of fun.

McCabe: It’ll be like a morning zoo but politics.

Leahy: The morning zoo with politics. I think that’s a very good description. Speaking of zoos, there was a political race up in your neck of the woods last night. Glenn Youngkin has won 99 percent of the vote and he leads by 2.1 percent. What I noticed is that Terry McAuliffe has not conceded yet?

McCabe: What do you make of that? Well, the whole thing might be rigged. About a month ago, McAuliffe hired Mike Elias who formerly of Perkins Coie, which is really the House law firm for the Democratic Party. Perkins Coie. That was the law firm that produced or found Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Of course, they were hired by the Clinton campaign in 2016. And then they hired Fusion GPS. And then Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele. This was interesting because it sort of showed that McCauliffe looked at his inside numbers and he was concerned that something might go down. The critical thing for this race is that McAuliffe made a mistake in a debate in September where he said parents had no role in deciding what their children are taught in schools. And Youngkin ran with it. He exploited it, and McAuliffe doubled down.

Leahy: He did. The parents didn’t like it did they, Neil?

McCabe: (Chuckles) Then you see parents getting arrested in Loudon County. Even 20 years ago, Loudon County was a very conservative sort of rural place. But as the beltway bandits and all these contractors and government agencies have expanded, Loudon County is really kind of a Democratic stronghold.

Not as strong as Fairfax, but it’s pretty much a Democratic safe haven. Not last night. And when Louden County parents started flipping out and it was McAuliffe and the leftist and the media who are basically saying that the parents are the problem, it just made the parents angrier.

And this thing could have gone McAuliffe’s way. McAuliffe could have been cruising. But the fact that he doubled down and tripled down and then they kept talking about Trump.

And then the McAuliffe campaign actually sent out mailers to basically extoll the fact that Youngkin had been endorsed by Trump. And it was like, well, how’d that work out.

Leahy: Exactly. Crom Carmichael raises an interesting point about McAuliffe. Crom, you and I were talking off there about what McAuliffe will or won’t do going forward. Tell Neil what you said, and we’ll get Neal’s reaction to that in terms of McAuliffe’s next steps and what the impact of that will be.

Carmichael: You mean whether or not he’s going to try to overturn the election?

Leahy: Absolutely.

Carmichael: Neil, what are your thoughts on that? I mean, 2.1 percent?

Leahy: 99 percent plus is in.

Carmichael: And how many votes separate them?

Leahy: It’s about 91,000.

Carmichael: That’s a lot of votes. How can he challenge the election, or will he just simply not concede? And Youngkin will become the male white version of Stacey Abrams?

McCabe: Number one, usually you call for a recount when it’s like, one percent or less. In a New Jersey situation, I could see a recount. The other problem is that McAuliffe is going to have the same problem that Trump would have had or did have in Georgia, where the Republicans controlled Georgia.

So how could it be crooked? McAuliffe is going to say this crooked guy, Ralph Northam. And then the secretary of state, the attorney general, the whole state is run by the Democrats. It’s kind of an odd argument to make. I think he basically has to take his lumps.

He blew it when he announced his run for governor he said he was going to be the education governor. Education was his issue. Education is a very good issue for politicians like health care because it allows you to campaign for the women’s vote without talking about abortion because women care about health care and women care about education.

And so this is perfect for the Democrats, whose bread and butter right now is the white suburban women in Virginia and around the country. And education is like a number one issue for them. But it flipped on them and it flipped on them hard. And it was these white suburban women who became white suburban women scorned.

Leahy: Oh, I like that line. And that’s how they reacted to the Democratic Party. The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. Eastern last night. We are now at 8:24 a.m. Eastern. 7:24 central time. It’s been over 12 hours. Give me the over-under on the date at which Terry McAuliffe concedes.

McCabe: He’ll concede. Let’s see, today’s Wednesday. And if you put the over-under on Friday, would I take the over or the under? I would take the under. I think he concedes quickly.

Leahy: Really?

McCabe: I think people are going to put their hand on his shoulder and they’re going to say, Terry, it’s done.

Carmichael: In a debate, each candidate was asked if they would accept the results of the election, and they both said they would in the debate. Now it’s up to McAuliffe to keep his word, which he doesn’t have a history of.

McCabe: Well, no. But the thing is that the Democratic Party wants this thing over and done with. They need to cut bait.

Leahy: So what does the Democratic Party do now? I think you’re right. As a party, they need to go beyond Virginia, but they seem to be doubling down on their agenda in Washington. What do you think they will do next as a party?

McCabe: I think it just exasperates the smash and grab. And so it makes the progressives more desperate because this signals the red wave that’s coming in 2022 that people suspected. And now the progressives absolutely know that not only are they going to lose the House and possibly the Senate, but it might be a House and Senate that starts going the other way, passing conservative bills that they suspect Biden might just sign.

It’s not like Biden has demonstrated a lot of leadership for the progressive agenda over the last ten months. If I’m a progressive and I’m saying to myself, hold on, I’ve got to depend on Biden fighting back the Republicans in the last two years of his first term? No way.

Carmichael: Let’s just call it now the $1.75 trillion that Manchin has already put up and already packed it up and sent that away. What happens? Is that now dead?

McCabe: I think it’s not dead. They’ll pass something.

Carmichael: How are they going to get them? I’m looking at an article right now in The Washington Free Beacon that says that the Democrats from New Jersey and New York will not vote for a tax hike unless the SALT is restored.

Leahy: The SALT being. Explain the SALT.

Carmichael: Which is a giant tax cut for the billionaires and multi-millionaires in New Jersey.

Leahy: SALT is a state and local tax deduction that benefits the blue states. You got 30 seconds, Neil.

McCabe: They will cut a deal. SALT will not be part of the deal. They will get something done. We’re going to start fighting jet fumes right now because people need to get home for Thanksgiving. They need to get home for Christmas.

Leahy: Neil McCabe, our Washington Correspondent. You will be in the house tomorrow, and I look forward to seeing you here in Nashville. Thanks for joining us, Neil.

McCabe: Take care guys.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.



















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