The Jury Talks Back

2/8/2019

Still Tumbling Down The Virginia Rabbit Hole: Gov. Northam’s Image Rehab Includes Reading “Roots”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 4:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

You have got to be kidding me.

In spite of calls for his resignation by a few prominent Democrats, including Rev. Al Sharpton and the Virginia black legislative caucus, Gov. Northam of Virginia is digging in and refusing to resign. He is now on a mission to repair his image as he tries to make amends for having offended so many Virginians. While at first admitting that he was in the racist yearbook photograph, and then later denying it, he’s now working with a P.R. firm to do damage control.

In the interest of brevity, here’s the set-up and the kicker:

His office has begun to explore how it might recalibrate Northam’s legislative agenda to focus closely on race and equality, sources close to the governor tell BuzzFeed News. The move would mark a brazen attempt to hang onto his office by shifting the conversation away from Northam’s admission of having once worn blackface and his denials that he is featured in the racist yearbook photo, either as the person in blackface or the person in a Klan outfit. Northam’s policy team is looking at crafting a set of proposals based on the premise that the governor’s mistakes have rendered him keenly aware of inequity and the lack of justice faced by black Virginians 400 years after the first African people arrived in the Commonwealth, at Point Comfort, in 1619.

The centerpiece proposal is not complete in its scope or in terms of what it will seek to accomplish. But there are many possibilities being considered for a broad platform: increasing resources for affordable housing; setting new, more equitable standards in small business procurement; implementing programs that expand economic opportunity for entrepreneurs; pumping money into public services like education and transportation.

“Now that he knows better he is going to do better,” a Northam adviser said.

[…]

Northam doesn’t plan to hold any more press conferences any time soon. Advisers are in the midst of negotiations with major networks for a nationally televised interview they hope will humanize him. Additionally, his advisers have assigned the governor homework: He’s begun to read Alex Haley’s “Roots”, and “The Case for Reparations,” the seminal essay in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

How is it possible that a 59-year old governor of Virginia does not know just about everything one needs to know about racism in America, and, particularly, in his very own state? As ridiculous as this all seems, Northam’s rehab efforts might actually work now that there has been a second accusation of sexual assault leveled against Lt. Gov. Fairfax.

–Dana

1 Comment »

  1. Um, this is from Buzzfeed, which means it’s unlikely to be true.

    I’m trying to find any other mentions, but so far, the only ones I find cite buzzfeed.

    I have utterly no doubt he’s hired a PR firm to do image rehabilitation though; that’s basically standard for any politician in a scandal.

    Will Northam’s rehabilitation efforts work? I think almost certainly yes, barring major and worse new revelations (though I suspect those to be as likely as not). Northam has time on his side; he’s got 3 years before he has to run again. By then, almost all voters will have forgotten the scandal, or just think it’s “old news”.

    As proof, I cite Anthony Wiener, and how close he came to becoming mayor of NYC after his initial bout of scandals that caused his resignation from congress. Yes, voters’ memories are that short.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 2/8/2019 @ 10:39 pm

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