[Sun Gazette editorials represent the viewpoint of Sun Gazette Newspapers, which provides content to, but is otherwise unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

Poor Gov. Northam: If he didn’t have poor political instincts, he’d have no political instincts at all.

On the surface, his efforts last week made some sense: Use the power of the governorship to insist on a special session of the legislature to address gun violence in the wake of the Virginia Beach shooting. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” a phrase everyone from Winston Churchill and Rahm Emanuel (there’s an odd couple) has been credited with originating.

How SHOULD the governor have made his announcement? By himself, with the trapping of office around him, looking soberminded to match the situation.

How, instead, DID he do it? At what amounted to almost a Democratic pep rally, which immediately telegraphed that this was more about November’s election than about governance.

It’s long been said that the chief necessity of politicians is sincerity – and that once they learn to fake that, they’ve got it made. Northam clearly doesn’t have the instincts to do that right, as he’s proved for much of his tenure in office.

Such haplessness is kind of refreshing, in a way, but it’s hardly reassuring that our commonwealth’s chief executive is so politically inept.

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