A Tale of Two Clintons

The defeat of former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor's race has been called the end of the Clinton era. But for which Clinton?

The landslide defeat of former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia was a debacle. But his loss to state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds offers important lessons about campaigns in general and about the status of the Clinton brand in particular.

First, campaigns. The lessons do not include the simplistic half-truth, happily proclaimed by reformers and the press, that McAuliffe's defeat proves that the influence of money in elections is on the wane. (It's not.) McAuliffe's cash advantage would have mattered more if he had had something to say that connected with voters. But McAuliffe, who started out ahead in the three-man field, was rich in money and poor in message.

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