Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category

Upbeat GOP Prospects for Battleground Virginia

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

Fred Barnes has an interesting piece in the new issue of Weekly Standard. The headline is “Off-Year Blues… But next year, Republicans might be singing a happier tune.” Here’s one nugget from the piece that caught my attention:

“The last Democrat to win Virginia was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Bush won the state in 2004 by 8 points. ‘The right Democratic candidate can win Virginia,’ Governor Tim Kaine said last week. ‘The wrong Democrat can’t.’ Kaine, a Democrat, has endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

Is Gov. Kaine correct? If Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, are they doomed to lose Virginia?

It’s an important question to consider following our party’s statehouse losses earlier this month. Democrats think what happened in the state elections are a sign of things to come. But in reality, it’s misplaced optimism by the other side to link the 2007 state elections to the 2008 presidential campaign.

This month’s state level elections were more of a house cleaning. Yes, we as a party need to cure what ills us in if we are to regain touch with Virginia voters. We need to reinvigorate the Republican brand in the Commonwealth. .

But I don’t see this being reflected in the presidential-level vote in Virginia. This was not an election based on national issues. And Hillary Clinton will not help Democrats here. Gov. Kaine is right – at least on this political matter.

I’ve been intrigued by some of the observations about the state of the Republican Party that appeared in the Virginia blogosphere after the state elections. Here are some postings that caught my eye:

Bearing Drift: “We’re in one of those change modes. It’s not an embracing of Democrat principles, because history also shows that once the voters get a taste of that, they prompt a Republican resurgence. People just want a shift, and today as long as it’s different, it’s alright.”

Bacon’s Rebellion: “The Rs have to convince voters that they’re both serious about fighting tax hikes and capable of addressing Virginia’s very real challenges. If what we hear from the Rs in 2008 is more politics of symbolism — flag burning amendments, prayer in schools, etc. — they will fail miserably. If they can advance an agenda that solves real problems and keeps spending/taxes in check, they can re-emerge as winners.”

As the finance chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, I’m keenly interested in what the blogosphere has to say about the direction of our party. I also remain both an optimist and a realist. That’s why I agree with the following blogger who smartly observed:

X Curmudgeon: “If you go to the Wikipedia entry for “United States Presidential Election–2008” you’ll already see Virginia listed as one of about 15 battleground states. With 13 electoral votes up for grabs, Virginia is worth the fight.”

Yes, Virginia is worth the fight. And we will win it.

Yes, Fred Malek Does Blog

Friday, October 19th, 2007

 

Earlier this week I wrote about the greening of the hotel industry, based on a Washington Post article on the makeover of The Bethesda Doubletree, the hotel owned by my company, Thayer Lodging Group.

That blog post earned a nice mention by Anne Schroeder of the Politico, who writes their Shenanigans column. Here’s what Anne wrote yesterday:

Fred Malek Blogs?

The man who has done everything under the sun in Washington — though possibly best known for his philanthropy, his leading role in returning baseball to D.C. and his advising top Republican officials and presidents — has gotten all Gen X-y on us, admitting Al Gore got to his staunch Republicanism.

And his views on air, too.

“Did Al Gore get to me? Sure — it proves even Democrats can get it right sometimes; and in my view, Mr. Gore earned his Nobel for drawing attention not only to global warming but to the environment overall,” Fred Malek writes about his new goal of hopefully becoming the leader of going green within the hotel industry.

“Ever get sleepy in the afternoons? Wonder why? Maybe it’s more than the big lunch. Maybe it has something to do with the air you breathe. We are convinced that we can differentiate our product and improve preference for our hotels through these measures. Green means more than improving the environment — it can also create more green on the bottom line,” he writes.

Agrees a D.C insider: “Fresh air is something this town sorely needs.”

 

It was a gracious and fun item in Anne’s column. But more important than my blogging, I hope it sparks greater discussion about how going green can help consumers and businesses alike.