AT EASE: Don Beyer has the Washington Post at his back as he runs to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Moran.
By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
WASHINGTON, D.C. – After mentioning — and dismissing — GOP congressional candidate Micah Edmond a grand total of three times in June, the Washington Post published a 2,000-word Page 1 feature extolling his Democrat opponent, Don Beyer.
The Post previously endorsed Beyer and all but anointed him the successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Moran. Sunday’s top-of-the-page thumb-sucker was the cherry on top … four months before Election Day.
By the numbers, the Post is almost certainly correct. Like most gerrymandered creations, Nova’s 8th Congressional District, which encompasses Arlington and Alexandria, will likely stay true blue.
Yet the Post’s puff piece on Beyer — an ex-lieutenant governor from 17 years ago — wasn’t so much an exercise in journalism as it was a faint echo of hard-left political websites like the Daily Kos. In other words: Business as usual at the outfit whose editorial banner risibly proclaims itself “An Independent Newspaper.”
Truth be told, Kos might have produced a more substantial piece delving into actual issues.
Instead, Post readers were fed irrelevant tidbits about Megan Beyer snacking on guacamole and her husband’s penchant for cheesy car-sales slogans.
We also learn that, while serving as ambassador to Switzerland, Beyer sometimes referred to the U.S. Embassy as “the dealership.” Cute or demented? Who knows?
At one point in this ramble, Mrs. Beyer interrupts her free-associating hubby to say, “We want this to be about the race, dear.” If only the Post writers and editors were so disciplined.
Little-known (thanks to CD8’s largest daily) and vastly out-funded (no thanks to the Republican Party establishment), Edmond’s campaign issued a scathing statement to Watchdog on Monday:
“Mr. Beyer never even got back in the game until Moran’s announcement that he would retire in January. Can you say political opportunism?
“And how about arrogance? Mr. Beyer told the Post he calculated that the commute between his home and the Capitol is ‘18 minutes in rush hour.’”
Edmond says he wants to take the high road.
“My priorities are enacting a bipartisan, balanced economic plan that will help create jobs and increase investments in our public infrastructure and education systems,” he told me.
That may sound squishy to tea partyers, but Edmond has street cred. He served on the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles budget commission and fought for his country as a Marine Corps officer.
Ken Feltman, chairman of the Falls Church Republican City Committee, said the Post “missed a good story.”
“Micah grew up in poverty. Kids with his start in life often end up in jail, but Micah put himself through college, joined the Marine Corps, became an officer and rose to work with the commandant. After that, he joined the federal government and then started his own successful business. That’s the American Dream.
In a glancing shot at the entitled Beyer, Feltman said Edmond “is no dreamer. He’s imaginative, but practical.”
Indeed, Edmond is a realist who takes the Post’s obvious slights for what they are. If this Marine expects to score an even bigger upset than Dave Brat knocking out Eric Cantor in CD7, he knows he’ll have to do it without any cover from the hardened blue bunker at WaPo.
Kenric Ward is a national reporter for Watchdog.org and chief of the Virginia Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward