Justin Fairfax may have earned his chops as a federal prosecutor, but the Democratic choice for lieutenant governor has a lot to learn about politics, As in, you never go AWOL for 48 hours during a heated campaign.
Now, we’re fairly sure loved ones and other folks knew of Mr. Fairfax’s whereabouts earlier this week, but even in this wired-up world he must have been in such a secluded place that he knew nothing of a controversial ad or the mini-brouhaha that had erupted over it. Though not encouraged to do so by the man at the top of Virginia’s Democratic ticket, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Latino supporters of Democratic politics who created and placed the ad pulled it in the wake of Tuesday’s terror-by-pickup in New York City,
The political spot — which shows an old pickup truck sporting a Confederate flag and a Gillespie bumper sticker chasing down a group of minority children — is more than garden-variety vicious; it’s outright despicable and suggests, perhaps, a wave of anxiety washing through state Democratic ranks as Election Day looms.
We don’t know whether Mr. Fairfax sought to insulate himself from this mess, but when jawboning with WRIC host Jeff Katz on Wednesday, he said he had yet to see the ad 48 hours after it became the top story on the state news cycle.
It did not take long for Republican opponent Jill Holtzman Vogel to make political hay of the situation, to wit: “Justin Fairfax’s outrageous refusal to condemn the hateful and divisive ad showing children being stalked and run down by a fictional Virginian in a truck is beneath the dignity of the office he seeks and shows true contempt for the good people of Virginia ... His choice to evade responsibility by claiming he missed the last 48 hours of news coverage is not the kind of principled and honest leadership Virginians want in a lieutenant governor.”
Mrs. Vogel later punctuated her remarks with, “Are you kidding me?”
That’s the very crux of it all: No kidding going on. Mr. Fairfax is clueless — or at least says he was.