[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]
(That headline is a “Hello, Dolly!” reference, for those who didn’t get it. We once saw Carol Channing starring in that show at Wolf Trap. Good times.)
And yes, it appears the parade is passing by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who opted to put aside a gubernatorial bid in 2017 so fellow Democrat Ralph Northam could get the nomination. Herring chose to run for re-election, with the wishful thinking that he’d be next in line for the top spot come 2021.
But like almost all Virginia politicians who have gone the step-aside-for-now route (Don Beyer, Mary Sue Terry, Bill Bolling spring to mind), it has come back to bite him, as, right now, there is really no place up the political ladder for Herring to go.
He’s toyed with running for governor, but will Democrats nominate an aging white guy (who began his political career as a moderate) in a field that includes some up-and-coming newbies with a more, ahem, diverse appeal to a party that’s careening left? One doubts it.
He could run for another term as attorney general, but there also are Democrats eyeing that job, too, and they would have no compunction about stepping over Herring’s political almost-corpse to get it.
Herring could wait and see if Joe Biden’s basement strategy pays off, and if it does, he might hope to land a job in the incoming administration. But that would be kind of a letdown; like the attorneys general of the other 49 states, Herring surely goes to sleep at night thinking he’s just two quick steps to the White House – as the occupant, not somebody who stops by for the occasional meeting as the deputy assistant attorney general for this or that.
Maybe he’ll surprise us and stage a political resurrection next year. But odds do not favor it.
• • •
Speaking of the political un-dead, a couple of moderate Republicans are floating a trial balloon to get the aforementioned Bill Bolling to run for governor in 2021.
Good luck with that plan. Just as Virginia Democrats are lurching left, the state’s GOP grass-roots is rockin’ to the right. Moderates have little chance in either.